BBC bosses ‘screen test comedians to replace presenter Sue Barker on A Question Of Sport’… after Alex Scott was tipped to be star’s replacement
BBC bosses are reportedly screen testing comedians to replace presenter Sue Barker on A Question Of Sport.
The show’s producers are said to be trying to attract a younger audience, with comics like Jack Whitehall, Mo Gilligan and Jon Richardson being considered for the job.
It comes after last year Sue, 64, was tipped to be replaced by ex-England footballer Alex Scott, 36, in a show shake up.
New show: BBC bosses are reportedly screen testing comedians to replace presenter Sue Barker (pictured) on A Question Of Sport
However The Sun reports Alex may now become a team captain instead, with a comedian taking on the main role.
Last year Sue was axed as the host of the series after 24 years, alongside the team captains Matt Dawson and Phil Tuffnell.
The BBC has also reportedly hired TV executive Pete Ogden for the show’s revamp who is the man behind Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway.
A source told the publication that the quiz is set become a mixture between panel show Have I Got News For You and A League of their Own.
All change: Last year Sue, 64, was tipped to be replaced by ex-England footballer Alex Scott, 36, (pictured) in a show shake up
The source said: ‘Pete is showbiz through and through, and will bring back some much-needed glamour to A Question of Sport
‘Bosses are trying out various line-ups, and are keen on getting a comedian, rather than ex-sportsperson, to front it.
‘The hope is to attract younger viewers and give the show a new lease of life. Everyone at the Beeb is really excited. It’s going to be brilliant.’
Shake up: The show’s producers are reportedly trying to attract a younger audience, with comics like Jack Whitehall (left), Mo Gilligan and Jon Richardson (right) being considered for the job
New faces? Bafta-winning comedian and presenter Mo Gilligan is also reportedly in the mix for the job
A BBC spokesman told MailOnline: ‘No decision has been made yet.’
A spokesman for Jack Whitehall denied he was in talks to join the show. Mailonline has also contacted representatives for Alex Scott, Mo Gilligan and Jon Richardson.
Last year, it was revealed Alex had been tipped to replace Sue on the show after impressing BBC bosses during previous appearances on the programme.
A source claimed Alex being in consideration for the presenting job had ‘nothing to do with gender, nor is it a case of the BBC trying to be woke’.
The insider told The Sun that Alex was being ‘lined up’ as Sue’s replacement because of her sporting knowledge and experience.
End of era: Sue was axed as the host of the series after 24 years, alongside the team captains Matt Dawson and Phil Tuffnell
They said: ‘Like Sue, she’s a former sportswoman and she also has five years of broadcasting under her belt. This has nothing to do with gender, nor is it a case of the BBC trying to be woke.
‘While a lot can happen over the next three months, as things stand Alex is genuinely considered the best woman for the job.’
Alex had previously guest-starred on A Question Of Sport twice, with one occasion broadcast in November 2016.
In September last year the star played down speculation BBC bosses had rubber-stamped her appointment to replace Sue.
On Instagram Alex wrote: ‘The love & support shown to me yesterday has me smiling through the weekend #thankyou I am going to #keeponkeepingon like always!
The only thing that is signed sealed delivered that I am buzzing about right now though is…[email protected] @Arsenal #COYG.’
Rumours of her new presenting role were met with a fierce Twitter backlash which included vile trolling referencing Scott’s race.
Scott, who is of Irish and Jamaican descent, has previously opened up about her dive into a ‘dark place’ following online abuse in the past.
This made her a ‘prime target’ for cruel trolls, the boss of a troll-hunting firm told MailOnline.
During her athletic career, Alex represented Great Britain at the London 2012 Olympics and was awarded an MBE in 2016.
The former professional footballer made 140 appearances for the English national team, and helped to score 12 goals.
After retiring from football in 2017, she went on to become the first female pundit for Sky Sport’s Super Sunday show.
Experience: Alex had previously guest-starred on A Question Of Sport twice, with one occasion broadcast in November 2016
Alex has plenty of presenting experience as she has also co-presented CBBC’s Match of the Day Kickabout and BBC One’s The Women’s Football Show.
Recently, she also hosted BBC’s Sport Personality Of the Year 2020 for the first time.
Alex had previously admitted she is continually accused of ‘ticking a box’ in her broadcasting career, during an appearance on Women’s Health’s Going For Goal podcast.
She said: ‘Every job that I’m linked to and every job that I’m going to be doing on screen for the next couple of years, I know the first thing people will be saying – a lot of it because it is already happening – it’s because I’m ticking a box.
‘I came back from playing professional in America in 2012 just before the London Olympics, I was already thinking about my career after sport then.
‘I went and I did a media degree in 2013 – I spent two years doing that for this same reason, so that no one could ever say that I was just ticking a box.’
Achievements: During her athletic career, Alex represented Great Britain at the London 2012 Olympics and was awarded an MBE in 2016
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