Sue Barker is the latest star to lash out at the BBC after being sacked as presenter of A Question of Sport.
The 66-year-old former tennis star stepped down after 24 years on the show and revealed today that she has been asked to say the decision was her own – despite being told she would be replaced as part of a “refresher”.
“It’s such a shame because I have to say the BBC had told us we were leaving. They wanted to refresh the program and that’s absolutely fine. Everyone has the right to do so. We don’t own the programme,” she said on BBC Breakfast.
“I had worked for 24 amazing years with the most incredible people. So we knew it was going to happen and it was just the way it happened and the way it was handled and the way the BBC wanted me to say I walk away from it.
“Yet I would never quit a job I love. I don’t mind being replaced. Totally okay. Happens. But it was just the way it was handled.
“I think we regret the way this has been handled. I think looking back on it, we could have handled it better. I think the BBC could have handled it better.
The departures of Sue Barker, Matt Dawson (left) and Phil Tufnell were announced in September 2020
Paddy McGuinness took over as part of a ‘refresh’
“It’s just such a shame because I loved it. And I don’t look back on it badly, just because of a couple of bad days and then some negative publicity that I think affected quite a lot of people.
The BBC announced their departure in September 2020, later revealing Paddy McGuinness as the new host. Team captains Matt Dawson and Phil Tufnell also left to be replaced by Sam Quek and Ugo Monye.
Barker’s criticism – months after stepping down as the face of the BBC’s Wimbledon coverage – comes days after Mark Lawrenson’s claim that his departure from the BBC was because he was “65 and a white male”.
The former Liverpool defender had been with the company for three decades, including 25 years at Football Focus, before being told of the show’s format changes in March.
Mark Lawrenson said his age and race played some role in his departure from the BBC
Lawrenson told the Sunday Times: “The Beeb are probably the worst at breaking you bad news. It was just, ‘We’re going on tour with Focus next season. We don’t think it’s really for you.’
“I haven’t watched the program since to see if they toured. You forget that you are an ex-footballer and could be substituted, dropped or transferred. Someone might say to me, ‘I’m sorry, that’s not good news.’ And I’d say, ‘Okay, just tell me what it is.’
“I just wish they had said to me at the start of my contract last year: ‘You’ve had a great run, thank you very much and you’re not working next season.’
Lawrenson revealed he should be considering leaving the show when host Dan Walker gave up his hosting duties after 12 years in 2021.
Lawrenson revealed he became “anti-wake” in response to the BBC’s aim not to upset people
The 65-year-old continued his tirade at the BBC after targeting the company over Dan Walker’s sacking as Football Focus presenter last year.
Lawrenson said: “It’s just very, very strange. I mean, Dan Walker, I’m sure you know Dan, he used to present Football Focus. He basically learned about rumors that he lost his job at the end of the season.
“I’m afraid it’s just a weird way the BBC works. And they seem very scared to bring you bad news. It’s a very strange thing.’
Walker replaced Manish Bhasin as Football Focus’s main presenter in 2009 but left the position in 2021 after 12 years, with Alex Scott taking over.
Mark Lawrenson has claimed former Football Focus presenter Dan Walker found out about his departure from the show through rumors about his future
Lawrenson also protested the BBC’s direction, as a radio commentator after Princess Diana’s death in 1997, to avoid any reference to free-kick “walls” should anyone have been offended by the language used.
Lawrenson revealed: “In my entire time at the BBC, no one has ever said not to say this or that, but waking up is driving me insane.
“While you usually say the first thing that comes to mind, now you’re thinking, ‘If I say that, will I get in trouble?’ It was a bit like playing with your legs tied.
“The BBC is the national broadcaster and I understand that, but they’re scared to death of offending anyone.”
Lawrenson has worked as a co-commentator for BBC television and radio, as well as a pundit
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/uncategorized/sue-barker-slams-bbc-days-after-mark-lawrenson-criticism-i-would-never-walk-out-on-a-job-i-love/ Sue Barker slams BBC days after Mark Lawrenson’s criticism: ‘I would never do a job I love’: