Slick sporting fun on stage

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A Question of Sport - Blackpool Opera House

FOR those avid watchers of A Question of Sport, the expectation was quickfire repartee with a few Blackpool bells and whistles.

For £40 a ticket, we were poised for the usual quiz show format, locally-branded humour and a few live show extras – and that’s pretty much how it all went.

Team captains Matt Dawson and Phil Tufnell were joined on stage by World Superbiker Carl Fogarty and ex-Yorkshire and England cricketer Michael Vaughan with Matt and with Phil, ex-Premiership footballer Robbie Savage and ex-England rugby union player Mark Regan. Sue Barker hosted and after 14 years in the TV chair, she’s got the slick-slack balance just right.

As usual, it was the captains who scored highest for repartee, with Foggy Fogarty and the colourful Savage – currently waltzing his way through Strictly Come Dancing – leading the field for taking most of the flak, with hair and the lack of it scoring the most points for favourite subject matter.

Teams stayed pretty much neck and neck through the usual rounds, with Lancashire the theme for the final finger on the buzzer section, and Bill Beaumont, Jane Couch, Freddie Flintoff and Emlyn Hughes in his Seasiders days among local answers that helped secure victory for Matt’s team, ably assisted by my half of the audience.

In between, there was an engaging share-an-anecdote section, in which Tuffers told of batting for two and a half days against Brian Lara in the Caribbean and Matt’s moments shared included a Jason Leonard tale involving bannisters ... you had to be there.

Later came the revelation that when Foggy became world champion at the age of 28, he hadn’t actually passed his bike test. Oh, and Matt admitted he preferred watching Wales to ‘rubbish’ England in the rugby world cup. Didn’t we all.

Great fun – but programmes at £8 each scored top marks in the catchpenny section.