Sam Quek makes Question of Sport history with new role ‘Long time coming’

A Question of Sport: Sue Barker says goodbye

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A Question of Sport is returning to BBC One for a brand new series, with a revamped panel. Olympic hockey champion Sam Quek and former rugby star Ugo Monye have been announced as the new team captains, while Paddy McGuinness will be replacing host Sue Barker. Ahead of the first episode, Sam has detailed feeling a “lot of responsibility” as she makes history as the first female captain. 

The long-running sports quiz programme, which began in 1970, has ditched presenter Sue Barker and team captains Matt Dawson and Phil Tufnell for Paddy, Ugo and Sam.

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk about taking the reins as a team captain, Sam said: “To be honest, I think to wait 51 years for a female captain is a long time.

“But for me to take on that mantle makes me feel really excited and super proud. 

“But I also have to realise I am in a bit of a position as well to kind of make a bit of a difference to where sport is going.”

Sam added: “I mean we are under no illusion that there is still a bit of sexism when it comes to women in sport, with some people assuming that women don’t know as much as men.”

The gold medalist went on to explain she felt men in sport get more airtime and headlines compared to female athletes. 

She explained: “It’s much better than where it was five years ago – it’s going fantastically in the right direction – but I think to have the statement of a female captain to be answering questions alongside another great sportsperson like Ugo and to also have a male presenter [like Paddy] it also actually goes on to show the dynamics to work. 

“When you get it right you can create something really special, so I feel massively, massively proud.”

When reflecting on her history-making role, Sam admitted: “I do have a little bit of responsibility to make the right impression and get my questions right, but at the end of the day we are all human and I get questions wrong.”

For the new series, Sam and Ugo filmed out of the studio to take part in challenges for the first time in the show’s history. 

Sam said: “The most important thing is that it’s still a competitive sports quiz and there are lots of questions and points to be won.

“It’s a good mix and it’s a family show. I mean I watched the show when I was ten years old, so if you want your daughters or grandma to watch it you can.” 

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Talking about her dream guests for A Question of Sport, Sam said: “I’m a massive Liverpool fan, but it’s such a huge show the majority of people we’ve had on are proper sporting royalty, Chris Hoy, one of the most successful Olympics is such a nice guy, and so knowledgeable.

“I’d love Serena Williams for me is the ultimate athlete and I’m a massive fan of NFL so a Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes to get them on there as well.

“Robbie Fowler, Steve McManaman, when I was younger and used to play football in the garden, my brother was Robbie and I was Steve. I never thought I’d be in this position to meet people on this journey.

“Playing golf with Robbie, when I used to work on LFC TV, just a casual chat with Steve, Michael Owen, these were the people who had posters on my wall growing up.”

A Question of Sport will not be the first programme 32-year-old Sam has been part of in recent years. 

The MBE has presented American football on the BBC, field hockey on BT Sport, and rugby union on Channel 5. 

Sam has also appeared as a contestant on I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! and Celebrity Masterchef. 

Question Of Sport returns tonight (Friday, September 3) at 7.35pm on BBC One.

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