Sue Barker walks her dogs as she's seen for the first time since being ditched as A Question Of Sport host

Sue Barker walks her dogs as she's seen for the first time since being ditched as A Question Of Sport host

SUE Barker has been spotted for the first time since she was axed from A Question Of Sport.

The 64-year-old presenter walked her pooches, Batty and Charlie, in the picturesque Cotswolds on Monday.

She looked in fine spirits wearing a turquoise jumper draped over her shoulders, a pale blue T-shirt, black trousers and walking boots.

Last week Sue insisted she didn't quit A Question Of Sport and was "removed" from the job by the BBC.

The former tennis player was axed from the quiz show, along with team captains Matt Dawson and Phil Tufnell in a "diversity drive".

But Sue – who is the face of Wimbledon for the BBC – said she wouldn't have left the show and only did because she was "removed".

"I love the show so much they would have to remove me, it would have been tough for me to walk away.

"I absolutely loved my 24 years fronting A Question Of Sport, it's been my dream job," she told the Daily Mail.

"But I understand the BBC want to take the show in a new direction and I'm sad to say goodbye."

The white middle-aged stars were said to have been “blind-sided” by the decision from Corporation bosses to ditch them despite the show’s continued popularity.

Stunned viewers accused Beeb bosses of putting political-correctness over what audience want as Ms Barker revealed she had been told the show would go in “a new direction”.

Confused Matt Dawson himself confessed on Twitter: “I’m not sure how to respond.”

Reacting to the news, Barker said: “I’ve absolutely loved my 24 years fronting A Question of Sport, it’s been my dream job.

“But I understand the BBC want to take the show in a new direction and I’m sad to say goodbye.”

Tufnell wrote: “13 yrs Question of Sport has been a great part of life, going to miss it hugely, thanks so much for all the lovely messages.”

Dawson tweeted: “Thanks for all the lovely messages. I’m not sure how to respond so I’ll have a think.

“Needless to say I will miss Question of Sport immensely.”

A BBC insider told The Sun: “The show has been on for a long time and the producers think it’s time to give it a new look.

“Sue, Matt and Tuffers have been so popular, so the producers are aware they will have big shoes to fill.

“With the 50th anniversary this year they thought it would be a good time to revamp things.”

A spokesman said: "We would like to thank Sue for her enormous contribution as the show's longest-reigning host over the last 23 years, and Matt and Phil for their excellent team captaincy over 16 and 12 years respectively.

"Together they have ensured A Question of Sport remains a firm favourite with the BBC One audience.

"Sue, Matt and Phil's final series will be broadcast next year before the series returns with a new team."

Former footballer Alex Scoot, 35, will reportedly replace Sue at the helm of the show.

Gary Lineker seemingly confirmed the appointment when he tweeted: "Congratulations and good luck to @AlexScott on being the new host for Question Of Sport. 

"Smart, knowledgeable and perfectly qualified for the role. Oh… and if you have a problem with Alex getting the job, you might just be part of the problem."

The show, which has been a regular feature of the BBC’s schedules, celebrated its 50th anniversary and 1,200 episodes in May. The stars’ final series will be shown next year.

Over the years the show has attracted a host of famous faces from the world of sport including George Best, Pat Cash and Jessica Ennis-Hill. Princess Anne appeared in the 200th episode.

The shake-up follows other older female talent leaving the BBC with Jenni Murray and Jane Garvey both leaving Radio 4’s Woman’s hour.

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