Viewers heartbroken as iconic TV show is axed - just two years after returning to screens

Viewers have been left heartbroken after it was revealed a hugely popular comedy sports series has been cancelled - with no more shows being made.

Fantasy Football League, which was based on the 1990s cult original hosted by David Baddiel and Frank Skinner, was rebooted in 2022, with Matt Lucas and Elis James taking on the presenting roles.

Announcing the cancellation on X, TV producer Spencer Millman wrote: “Gutted to say that Fantasy Football League won’t be returning for another run.

"Big thanks to my brilliant production team, crew, writers, spotters, you were an absolute joy to work with. A massive thanks to all the sofa & phoenix guests we had over the 24 shows, we loved having you.

Elis James, Andrew Mensah and Matt Lucas
Elis James, Andrew Mensah and Matt Lucas host Fantasy Football League -Credit:James Veysey/REX/Shutterstock for London Football Awards

"Huge love to Matt, Elis, Mense and of course Lee Trundle but most importantly thanks to the people who watched it. I’m eternally grateful you accepted the changes to the original and sorry we won’t be making more. Much love and gratitude.”

Responding to the news, one fan posted: "Aaah no! I think this is a great shame, the show was funny and a refreshing change to the usual depiction of football on the telly.

"I was also lucky enough to meet many of the team and they were, without exception, friendly, warm and a joy to be around. Thanks once again x."

Another added: "Sorry to hear this. Captured the essence of the original perfectly. Hopefully can get it snapped up elsewhere. FPL has a huge fan base after all."

A third shared: "Gutted to hear this! Hope it’s not the end of the journey. A few tweaks and back on another platform."

Elis James & Matt Lucas on Fantasy Football League
Elis James & Matt Lucas on Fantasy Football League -Credit:©Sky UK Ltd

The original series was based on the Fantasy Football game phenomenon of the 1990s, where players chose their dream team of real life football players, then scored points based on the footballers’ actual performance on the pitch. Frank Skinner and David Baddiel hosted episodes from 1994 to 1996, and the show also had specials during Euro 96, the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2004.

Matt Lucas and fellow comedian Elis James were brought in to host when Sky decided to relaunch the show two years ago. In 2023, Elis told Virgin Radio: “It’s the funnest show to work on. And I knew it was gonna be fun because the pilots were fun. I was just hoping that people would like it, and the show would go well. And it has.”

Frank Skinner and David Baddiel
Frank Skinner and David Baddiel, presenters of the original Fantasy Football League -Credit:REX/Shutterstock

The rebooted series also featured football fanatic and comedian Andrew Mensah, and each episode also introduced a pair of celebrity guest managers who chatted about the week in football and shared their own fantasy football teams. During the show’s run, Jennifer Saunders, Gus Khan, Sir Mo Farah, Danny Dyer, Sir Trevor MacDonald and Michael Sheen were among those revealing their dream teams.

The second and final series of Fantasy Football League aired on Sky Max and NOW in February this year. Matt and Elis now have other projects in the works, with Matt filming a role in Ridley Scott’s Gladiator II movie and Elis embarking on a comedy tour later this year while also presenting the Radio X show The Elis James and John Robins Show.