Paddy McGuinness "Question of Sport fans can expect a bit more chat.."

Question of Sport
Paddy McGuinness takes over from Sue Barker as the show's host (Image credit: BBC)

Question of Sport will return for its 51st series in September and there will be a new host in the hot seat after Sue Barker stepped down this summer after 24 years in the hot seat. 

Paddy McGuinness will be the shows new host and he won't be the only new talent on show, with England rugby ace Ugo Monye and Olympic gold medal-winning hockey player Sam Quek will be picking up the captain’s armbands from Matt Dawson and Phil Tufnell.

There will also be some new rounds to look forward as Paddy welcomes a new era in the sporting quiz show's rich history. We caught up with him to find out more...  

Paddy on becoming Question of Sport's new host...

"I'm nervous and excited! It’s similar to Top Gear, you can get involved in these shows that everyone knows and loves and you just want to do the best you can with it. When the producers asked if I would be interested I said.. 'You're not changing it completely are you?'"

"Thankfully they’re not, but there is a bit more chat, a bit more humour, more stories from the sports people and a few new rounds. We still have all the classic rounds though, so hopefully people who’ve been watching for years will still love it. We did our first episode in front of a live audience this morning and they seemed to enjoy it, which was a big relief!” 

Paddy on getting tips from former host Sue Barker... 

"I spoke to Sue and she was so classy, giving me advice on how to organise my day, how to do my questions and how she runs through the scripts in the morning. She just gave me loads of lovely tips. Then this morning when I was on my way to record the first two shows I rang her up again and she was wishing me all the best, which was amazing. It's nice to have that passing of the baton!" 

Paddy on his hosting style...

"I really struggle when people are close to the right answer, but just can't get it! I actually have a little bit of licence, so if they’re close to the right answer I can make a judgement call on that, but I'll have to weigh it up and have a look at the other team's score as well. The thing is, if I give Sam's team something, then I've got Ugo in my ear and vice versa!" 

Paddy on Question of Sport's new rounds... 

"There are a couple of new rounds, but they’re peppered throughout the series, so people aren’t going to suddenly be.. “Hang on! What’s going on here?” My favourite is The Captain’s Challenge, where we’re out of the studio on the sports field and it’s Ugo against Sam. 

"I'm lucky enough to know a lot of sports men and women and I can honestly say I've never one that's not competitive, but these two are very competitive. I enjoy prodding them and getting them going a bit, on the challenges and in the studio!" 

Paddy on childhood memories of Question of Sport...

"I loved it as a kid and my earliest memory is the era of Bill Beaumont and Emlyn Hughes. When they asked me to host the show I was wondering if I should go out and buy a load of V-neck Pringle jumpers? That’s the era I remember."

"But the show has changed over the years and now it has a bit of comedy in it as well, captains like Ally McCoist, Frankie Dettori, Matt Dawson and Phil Tufnell brought a different vibe, which was great. The secret to the show's success is definitely how they keep it fresh, because while there have only ever been a few hosts, there have been loads of captains!" 

Paddy on his dream Question of Sport line-up..

"If it was like the ultimate dinner party thing, I’d go with George Best and Muhammad Ali for sure. I'd probably have Tyson Fury on there as well, as he'd be good with the chat. Then out of sheer loyalty to my team, I'd have ex-Bolton Wanderers striker Kevin Davis. Boxing and football basically!" 

Paddy on his busy schedule...

"It’s funny because in other jobs you go to work every day and that’s just normal, but if you work in telly and you’re on more than one show people say.. ‘Ooh you’re doing a lot!’ I feel like saying ‘I’m only doing two shows!’ We finished filming the new series of Top Gear earlier in the year and it will be on later this, so I have plenty of time to work on A Question of Sport!" 

Sean Marland

Sean is a Senior Feature writer for TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week, who also writes for He's been covering the world of TV for over 15 years and in that time he's been lucky enough to interview stars like Ian McKellen, Tom Hardy and Kate Winslet. His favourite shows are I'm Alan Partridge, The Wire, People Just Do Nothing and Succession and in his spare time he enjoys drinking tea, doing crosswords and watching football.