Sue Barker leaving BBC's A Question of Sport after 24 years

image captionFormer tennis star Barker has hosted the show for 24 years

A Question of Sport host Sue Barker is leaving the BBC quiz show after 24 years, as part of a major shake-up at the programme.

The former professional tennis player said she was "sad to say goodbye" to her "dream job".

Team captains Matt Dawson and Phil Tufnell will also depart the long-running sports quiz show.

Their final series together will be broadcast next year. The new line-up is yet to be announced.

Barker, 64, who took over as presenter from commentator David Coleman, 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."

Ex-England rugby player Dawson, 47, and former England international cricketer Tufnell, 54, have led their teams on the show for 16 and 12 years respectively.

They were recording the new series together as recently as a week ago, according to a post on Tufnell's social media.

Tufnell wrote on Twitter that it had been a "great part of life" and that he was "going to miss it hugely" as he thanked fans for their messages.

Dawson also said he would miss the show "immensely" but admitted he did not know yet how to respond to the news.

A BBC spokeswoman said: "We would like to thank Sue for her enormous contribution as the show's longest reigning host over the last 24 years, and Matt and Phil for their excellent team captaincy."

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

The first episode was broadcast on 5 January 1970 and the series has only had three hosts in the last 50 years - David Vine, David Coleman and Sue Barker.

Over 3,000 different sports stars have appeared on the programme over the years, including Jessica Ennis Hill, Chris Hoy, Anthony Joshua, Sebastian Coe and Tanni Grey-Thompson.

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