A Question of Sport

(Broadcast: Production company added)
Line 18: Line 18:
== Broadcast ==
== Broadcast ==
BBC 1, 5 January 1970 to present
BBC North West for BBC 1, 5 January 1970 to present

Revision as of 15:50, 27 February 2007



David Vine (original host)

David Coleman

Bill Beaumont (2 programmes)

Sue Barker


Regular team captains: Cliff Morgan (1970-75), Henry Cooper (1970-79), Freddie Trueman (1976-77), Brendan Foster (1977-79), Emlyn Hughes (1979-81; 1984-87), Gareth Edwards (1979-81), Bill Beaumont (1982-96), Willie Carson (1982-83), Ian Botham (1988-96), Ally McCoist (1996-present), John Parrott (1996-2002), Frankie Dettori (2002-04), Matt Dawson (2004-present)

There have also been several stand-in captains over the years. They have included: John Barnes; Jonathan Davies; Will Carling; Sam Torrance and David Ginola. Ally McCoist and John Parrott were both also stand-in captains before becoming regulars.


BBC North West for BBC 1, 5 January 1970 to present


The eternal question: What Happens Next? This show has been going for years and years and years. And maybe longer than that. Past captains (or David Coleman at least) have hosted the show and it has been regular prime-time viewing. And yes, it's about sport. Each team is made up of three people, two famous sporting guests and a captain who is usually more portly.

The traditional show invariably began with the Picture Round. 12 boxes each hide a picture of a famous sportsperson in an interesting pose (usually, Media Studies fans, a long shot but always an action shot). Each person would score two points if they got it correct, but if they don't know it's passed over to the opposition for a bonus. Every member of both teams gets a go. Generally there is two pictures for every sport represented by the team members that week.

Then comes the Specialised Subject round. Each person would get a collage of clips based on their sport, and they would be asked to name two specific people in it. The captains, however, would get a completely random selection of sports, being the captains and everything.

Then comes the Home and Away round, a round devoted to everybody's favourite Australian soap. Will Bill Beaumont know who Pippa used to be married to? Will Ally McCoist understand why

Mystery Personality next, and a short piece of film of a famous personality filmed from odd positions and situations. They are carefully filmed so as never to completely give away who they are. Two points for a correct answer and one point if they don't know and the opposition gets it.

Then, it's What Happens Next? A piece of film starts and at an inopportune moment it stops and the contestants need to guess... well, you get the idea. Usually with some outrageous (i.e.wrong) guesses, you can be sure that hilarity will ensue when it turns out that a little cat runs onto the pitch or somesuch. Every week.

The One Minute Round, nine questions, nine points and sixty seconds. A nice mixture of trivia, picture questions and the famous "These three people all have surnames connected with snowball fighting" question. Completely random, completely pointless but good fun nonetheless.

Finally, the Picture Round reprise, the six remaining pictures are taken one at a time a la Round One and the same points apply and at the end of the round, whoever wins, wins and whoever loses loses, predictably enough.

For no particularly good reason except to annoy us, the 1998 season reordered the rounds, and dropped the One Minute Round in favour of an On the Buzzer end game. Not a particularly inspired decision, but not a disaster either.

Current host, Sue Barker

If you like sport, you'll probably like this and if you don't you probably won't. It's certainly pleasant enough, and in latter years (with the ever-popular They Think it's All Over breathing down its neck) the emphasis on the banter between players has been increased. Also, Sue Barker has introduced a certain glamour, middle-class street-cred and sense of fun that doddery David Coleman never really had. It should be said, however, that Coleman was an excellent host, always managing to keep a very good balance between the quiz itself and the general joviality of the show, especially with his own infectious enthusiasm (and his many colourful jumpers!) and many would have been sorry to see him go when he finally left the programme. In addition, later series have proved, and some themed specials (either tied to topical sporting events such as Euro 2000, or featuring TV commentators, referees, sport-loving comedians, that kind of thing) have buffed up the ingenuity somewhat.

You will have seen most of this before but, given the age of the show, it's not inconceivable that it invented most of it...

Key moments

Princess Anne joined the quiz for its 200th edition. The Princess Royal was qualified to know a bit about sport, being a former Olympic equestrian herself. Over 19 million people saw it, naturally enough the show's highest ever audience. However, the ratings didn't last as Channel 4 launched a new series of Treasure Hunt the following week. The Princess Anne show came only 2 weeks after Emlyn Hughes had mistaken her for the jockey John Reid in a picture round!

Front row: David Coleman (host) with Anne, the Princess Royal. Back row: John Rutherford, Emlyn Hughes, Nigel Mansell, Bill Beaumont, Lindford Christie.


The guests for the very first show were Cliff Morgan, Lillian Board, Tom Finney, George Best, Henry Cooper and Ray Illingworth, hosted by David Vine.

Surprisingly, Bill Beaumont hosted the programme in David Coleman's absence for 2 editions in 1996, and Will Carling stood in as team captain. The show was as enjoyable as ever, but, on the whole, Bill was better as a captain! Sue Barker had also hosted the programme in Coleman's absence around Christmas 1996, which was almost certainly the main reason why she succeeded him from the next series onwards. In addition, Coleman had had quite a long period of absence around early 1989, and, during this time, David Vine returned to host the programme.


Nick Hunter, also the first producer.

Theme music

There has been at least three pieces of music, to our reckoning. The very first which noone remembers is called Tio Pepe. Then there was the bouncy "A Question of Sport, bom bom bom bom". Now it's a fairly anonymous piece of keyboard janging music which has got remixed several times, including samba of all things. The latterday theme is by Richie Close. The current mix is by Andrew Harris.


A Question of Sport 5

by Michael Adley

Several Question of Sport board games are also available.

Web links

Very good official site, with games and features about the show.

See also

A Question of EastEnders

A Question of Entertainment

A Question of News

A Question of Pop

A Question of TV


To correct something on this page or post an addition, please complete this form and press "Send":
If you are asking us a question, please read our contact us page and FAQ first.

Name: E-mail:   
A Labyrinth Games site.
Design by Thomas.
Printable version
Editors: Log in