There are not many TV shows that can be classed as a British institution but I think it's fair to say that A Question of Sport is most certainly one.
I've been lucky enough to be involved in the show since 1999 and now have over 500 shows under my belt. However that is just a drop in the ocean when it comes to the show as a whole. After starting in 1970 (six years before I was born), this week QS, as we call it, reaches the landmark of 1000 episodes. I remember watching the programme as a child growing up when the team captains were Emlyn Hughes and Bill Beaumont. It was always game on with me and my Dad in the living room when David Coleman was asking the questions. I was always hoping for cricket, rugby union or football questions and was pretty gutted when they had someone on from a sport that I knew nothing about. But being a fairly big sporting geek I could get involved in most things.
For A Question of Sport : 1000 Not Out we invited back four former captains to join the regular crowd of Sue, Matt and Phil. Alongside Matt we had the knowledgeable John Parrott and the effervescent Willie Carson.
Joining Phil were two of the longest serving captains and crowd favourites Bill Beaumont and Ally McCoist.
To be perfectly honest the recording of what is meant to be a half hour show, took well over an hour and very often recording came to a complete standstill as Sue, all the guests, the studio audience and us in the gallery were in stitches at some anecdote or other. The editing of the show has been quite an effort and luckily we have got an extended version of 40 minutes for our repeat, which means we can cram even more nostalgia in.
It was a real laugh recording the show and great for old friends to catch up. I hadn't seen Ally since he finished as captain six years ago so to have a beer and catch up with him afterwards was all part of the fun. It might sound a big cliché and very “media lovey”, but it is a real team atmosphere on QS. The Production team and the on-screen talent genuinely get on very well off-camera so bringing back ex-captains is like welcoming back old friends.
At the end of the show Sue says: “and here's to the next 1000”. Episode 2000 is due for transmission in December 2040 when I will have just turned 64. I'm sure there is a song in there somewhere!
On QS we have to do a lot of our own promo work. So, over the past few months we've managed to film some our celeb friends as part of a trail for the big show. Whenever the team were out filming mystery guests or were with some big sporting names we gave them our QS ball. This is the result…
A special celebrity game of catch to mark reaching the landmark of 1000 shows.
Gareth JM Edwards is Series Producer, A Question of Sport.
Watch more clips from the 1000th show on the Question of Sport website.