A League Of Their Own: always fun and unpredictable. Georgia Humphreys gets the lowdown from Romesh Ranganathan, Freddie Flintoff and Jamie Redknapp.

Now in its 15th series, A League Of Their Own is one of the most successful panel shows on TV.

It's won Baftas, native versions have been produced in Denmark, Germany, Australia and the US, and it manages to attract big-name sports stars as guests (this series features the likes of Andy Murray, Eddie Hearn, Dina Asher-Smith and Anthony Joshua).

Travel restrictions put in place because of the Covid-19 pandemic have meant some changes this year - longtime frontman James Corden, who is based in the US, is unable to be in the studio, but producers are working hard to have him involved in some way.

Meanwhile, comedian Romesh Ranganathan is taking over principal hosting duties (he will present six episodes, while co-stars Jamie Redknapp and Freddie Flintoff will present one each).

Here, the trio tell us everything we need to know about the new episodes.


A League Of Their Own sees two celebrity teams compete against each other, over three rounds, to test their sporting knowledge.

Ranganathan, Flintoff and Redknapp are permanent fixtures on the show, and chatting to them is enjoyably easy (their banter with each other is genuinely amusing).

So, it's no surprise that, when asked to reveal their favourite thing about making A League Of Their Own, former professional footballer Redknapp, 47, says it's the friendships they all have.

They even hang out when not filming together - a few weeks ago, he had "the lads" round to his house for a BBQ.

"Apart from Freddie, we all get on well," the Hampshire-born sportsman adds, with a chuckle. "Nah, I love Freddie. It took me about five series to break him down..."

"It was about eight, to be honest," 42-year-old Flintoff - a former international cricketer - cheekily chimes in.

"Well, there have been 15, so I'll take that!" retorts Redknapp. "You can't do a TV show where it's not real," he continues. "If it's not authentic, people see right through it.

"The fact that we can give each other as much stick as we do comes from the fact that we all get on well, otherwise we'd all be a little bit prickly and we wouldn't like it.

"But we can all say to each other whatever we want. As much as there's a lot of stick, there's a lot of love as well."

"A lot of panel shows that you do, you're seeing jokes and stuff like that, but the truth is, this is the panel show that's probably the closest to how you would be if we just happened to get together and hang out," echoes stand-up comedian and actor Ranganathan, 42.


The teams take on different hilarious games and sporting tasks, with this year's including BMX and badminton, and there's also a unique golf challenge.

Then there are the great sporting stars viewers get to see a different side of.

Flintoff describes tennis player Andy Murray - who is a three-time Grand Slam tournament winner - as an "iconic" guest.

"Honestly, I don't think it's an exaggeration to say you have never seen Andy Murray as he is on this show," follows Crawley-born Ranganathan, who has his own topical comedy show on BBC Two, called The Ranganation.

"Absolutely crazy. I could not believe it - he could be a stand-up."

Social distancing measures mean the panellists are sitting further apart, plus there will be no audience during filming of the new episodes at Elstree Studios.

Ranganathan feels this means the chat on the show has improved, as they've been able to get into some "real discussions", and that the sportsmen and women seem less nervous without hundreds of people in front of them.

"It feels a bit more intimate, so it's easier to get stuff from them," he suggests.

There's also a warmth to the show, notes Preston native Flintoff.

"People who are coming on the show now, I don't think it's that intimidating for sports stars now because they've seen people before do all these weird and wonderful things.

"It's just essentially a laugh. It's not really work, is it? You feel bad you get paid!"


One thing that hasn't changed is that Ranganthan is still not exactly, well, a natural athlete, shall we say...

"When I first started on the show, genuinely there was a part of me that thought, because I haven't done loads of sports growing up, 'There might be a sport that suddenly I discover I've got a skill for, an ability I didn't know I had'," he says.

"I think all of us now have accepted that that's not on the cards."

There's lots of laughter at this, and then Flintoff recalls: "But you had a baptism of fire, didn't you, when you came on as a guest? Your first show, on that bike, was possibly the hardest thing we've ever done."

The challenge in question saw Ranganathan try to use a bicycle while on a treadmill which was being lifted to the top of the studio and tilted back.

"I couldn't ride the bike when it was on the ground!" quips the comedian.


When it comes to building a rapport with guests, Flintoff reveals that he waits for Ranganathan to dip "his toe in the water early doors, and then you know where you are".

"You're just waiting for Rom to offend someone and then we know we can do it, or if we've got to rein it in a little bit!"

Is there anyone they've been nervous to have join the A League Of Their Own panel?

"Aaron Ramsey, who played for Arsenal at the time ... to be doing a show with him felt incredible," admits Ranganathan, who is a Gunners fan.

"I've got to be honest, I did that sad, sort of loser-y thing you do of trying to make them like you.

"And trying to hope that Aaron, at the end of the show, would say, 'Rom, you know what, we've got a connection!'"

The new series of A League Of Their Own airs on Sky One and NOW TV ON Thursdays.