Gary Lineker is set to be allowed to RETURN to host Match of the Day in a BBC U-turn – as Beeb boss Tim Davie hails ‘outstanding broadcaster’ and admits ‘success for me is getting him back on air’
- BBC look poised to allow Gary Lineker to return as Match of the Day host
- On Saturday night BBC director general Tim Davie appeared to be backing down
- Match of the Day was reduced to 20 minutes without pundits or commentary
The BBC look poised to back down and allow Gary Lineker to return to his role as Match of the Day host with a new deal on his political tweets.
On an extraordinary day of chaos at BBC Sport, their flagship show, Match of the Day, was reduced to a farcical 20-minute package without any commentary, presenter or analysis and the entire day’s football coverage was hugely disrupted after a plethora of star pundits and presenters walked out in solidarity with the suspended Lineker.
BBC director general Tim Davie appeared to be backing down on Saturday night, after suspending Lineker for likening the language on government immigration policy to 1930s Germany, which Davie said was a breach of the BBC’s impartiality guidelines.
Davie, a former Conservative Party candidate, gave an emollient interview to BBC News in which he was forced to deny that he had acted with partiality himself under pressure from the Government and said he was seeking a resolution to get Lineker back on air.
The BBC look poised to back down and allow Gary Lineker to return to his role as Match of the Day host
BBC director general Tim Davie appeared to be backing down on Saturday night
Davie said he was seeking a resolution to try and get Lineker back on air for the BBC
It came after one of the most embarrassing and extraordinary days in the corporation’s history where they were forced to axe Football Focus and Final Score. They scrambled to run pre-recorded podcasts to fill the gaps in Five Live’s sports coverage after a string of star pundits — led by Alan Shearer and Ian Wright — declined to appear and their most high-profile sports presenters Alex Scott, Mark Chapman and Jason Mohammad refused to work.
Davie hinted that there needed to be a rethink after it was pointed out that Lord Sugar, presenter of The Apprentice, often takes political stances and has never been censured nor suspended and that Lineker is a freelancer, not a BBC staff member.
Davie said: ‘We are working very hard to resolve the situation and make sure we get output back on air.
‘I don’t want to go into too much details about the discussion. Gary Lineker is a superb broadcaster, the best in the business, that’s not in debate. He is an outstanding broadcaster and success for me is Gary gets back on air.