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Gary Lineker – latest: BBC talks with presenter ‘moving in right direction’ as disruption continues

According to BBC News, there are hopes a resolution will be reached soon but not all issues are ‘fully resolved’

Martha McHardy,Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Monday 13 March 2023 04:29 GMT
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Downing Street brands Gary Lineker’s criticism of asylum policy ‘unacceptable’

Talks between BBC and Gary Lineker are believed to be “moving in the right direction” after a second day of disruption to the corporation’s sports programming.

There is “growing confidence” that the former England player will return to host the popular BBC show, according to reports,

According to BBC News, there are hopes a resolution will be reached soon but not all issues are “fully resolved.”

The Women’s Super League Chelsea v Manchester United game on BBC Two kicked off with no pre-match presentation and no pundits tonight.

BBC Radio 5 Live’s football phone-in programme 606 will also not air again tonight, according to Sky News.

Mr Lineker, who has hosted Match of the Day for almost a quarter of a century, has been embroiled in a row over impartiality after comparing the language used to launch a new government asylum policy with 1930s Germany.

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Rishi Sunak declines to back BBC chairman Richard Sharp

Rishi Sunak has declined to offer his backing to BBC Chairman Richard Sharp after he failed to properly share details of his involvement in facilitating an £800,000 loan for Boris Johnson when he was at No 10.

The prime minister stressed that his appointment was made by his predecessor Boris Johnson.

Richard Sharp (House of Commons/PA) (PA Archive)

Travelling to San Diego, Mr Sunak told reporters: “Richard Sharp went through an independent appointments process at the time that I had nothing to do with - he was appointed before I was prime minister, but also the Chair of Publics appointments has asked, a leading KC, has asked to review - to re-review - that appointments process so there is not much I can say more that’s ongoing, but it’s right in that process concludes.

“It gives people the confidence that they need.”

Mr Sharp is facing pressure to resign after a row between Gary Lineker and the BBC broke out over impartiality.

Richard Sharp is the former boss of Rishi Sunak during his Goldman Sachs career.

Martha Mchardy12 March 2023 23:25
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Another silent Match of the Day airs

Another silent edition of Match of the Day Two has aired on BBC One amid a walkout over a row between Gary Lineker and the BBC.

The BBC One show was originally scheduled to last an hour and 15 minutes, but it was reduced to 15 minutes and the classic theme song did not play at the beginning.

A continuity announcer introduced the programme, saying: “Now on BBC One, sorry we’re not able to show our normal Match Of The Day 2 including commentary tonight, but here’s the best action from today’s Premier League matches.”

It comes as several presenters and reporters are boycotting the show in solidarity with Gary Lineker after the Match of the Day presenter was stood down on Friday.

Former England internationals Alan Shearer and Ian Wright announced on Friday their boycott of this weekend’s Match Of The Day.

Martha Mchardy12 March 2023 22:43
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What did Gary Lineker tweet?

On Tuesday, Lineker wrote on Twitter about a video in which home secretary Suella Braverman unveiled plans to stop migrants crossing the Channel on small boats and said the UK is being “overwhelmed”.

Ms Braverman, who was previously chastised for comparing migrant crossings to an “invasion”, has been heavily criticised for her use of language around the matter.

“Good heavens, this is beyond awful,” Lineker wrote in response to the video.

Replying to the sports broadcaster, another Twitter user described his comment as “out of order”, adding that it was “easy to pontificate when it doesn’t affect you”.

Lineker responded: “There is no huge influx. We take far fewer refugees than other major European countries.

“This is just an immeasurably cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people in language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s, and I’m out of order?”

The comparison saw Lineker suspended from the helm of Match of the Day – prompting several fellow pundits, including Ian Wright, Alan Shearer, and Alex Scott, to announce they would not be taking part in solidarity with the former England striker.

Martha Mchardy12 March 2023 22:30
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We can all get behind the Match of the Day walkout

It doesn’t matter if you’re red or blue – we can all get behind the Match of the Day walkout, says Clare Morrison.

Opinion: We can all get behind the Match of the Day walkout

We as fans should support those who have walked out because without them, there is no Match of the Day

Martha Mchardy12 March 2023 22:10
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How the Gary Lineker and Match of the Day chaos unfolded

The BBC’s decision to stand Lineker down from its flagship football highlights programme caused a pundit boycott and left producers scrambling to keep the show alive, reports Miguel Delaney.

How Match of the Day fell apart within ‘minutes’

The BBC’s decision to stand Lineker down from its flagship football highlights programme caused a pundit boycott and left producers scrambling to keep the show alive, reports Miguel Delaney

Martha Mchardy12 March 2023 22:05
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Gary Lineker’s row with BBC will be resolved in next 24 hours - reports

Gary Lineker’s row with the BBC will be resolved to his satisfaction in the next 24 hours, according to Sky News.

According to reports, a statement on the Lineker issue could be released as early as tomorrow morning.

Martha Mchardy12 March 2023 21:46
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Former BBC director-general believes Tim Davie will survive Lineker row

Former BBC director-general Mark Thompson said he “absolutely hopes” and “believes” Tim Davie will survive the impartiality row surrounding Lineker.

Asked by Kuenssberg whether he thinks the presenter will be back on air by Sunday night, he replied: “I hope so.”

The BBC’s decision on Friday to stand Lineker down from presenting Match Of The Day, after he compared language used to launch a new Government asylum seeker policy with 1930s Germany in a tweet, has prompted a growing number of its sports presenters to boycott their shows.

Tim Davie (Sky News)

Lineker told reporters that he “can’t say anything” as they questioned him on the future of his presenting career when he left his home in Barnes, south-west London, to walk his dog on Sunday morning.

Among the questions he was asked was whether he had spoken to BBC Director-General Tim Davie overnight, but provided no response.

Mr Davie has apologised for the disruption to the sporting schedule this weekend but said he will not resign.

Martha Mchardy12 March 2023 20:35
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BBC talks with Lineker ‘moving in right direction’ - reports

Talks between BBC and Gary Lineker are “moving in the right direction” but not all issues have been “fully resolved” at this stage, BBC News reports.

It comes as disruption has entered the second day with Match of the Day 2 to run only 14 minutes with no pundits or commentary.

(BBC / Pete Dadds)
Thomas Kingsley12 March 2023 20:29
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BBC urged to get a ‘grip’ as Match of the Day 2 airs without presenters

The BBC has been urged to get a “grip” of the impartiality row over Gary Lineker as its sports coverage faced disruption for a second consecutive day.

Match Of The Day aired for only 20 minutes on Saturday without accompanying commentary or analysis from pundits following a boycott in “solidarity” with former England player Lineker.

Sunday’s Match Of The Day 2 will run for a reduced 15 minutes, while coverage of the Women’s Super League match between Chelsea and Manchester United aired without a pre-match presentation and with world feed commentary used instead of regular BBC presenters.

Sports pundits have held a protest in support of Gary Lineker (Ian Walton/PA) (PA Wire)

Uncertainty over Match Of The Day 2 grew yesterday after main presenter Mark Chapman was absent from his BBC radio duties and Jermain Defoe announced he had pulled out of appearing as a pundit on the highlights show.

For a second day, Radio 5 Live also replaced its usual live sports coverage with pre-recorded content, such as the podcast Sport’s Strangest Crimes.

The station did provide match commentary from its two scheduled Premier League games on Sunday afternoon but the sports presenter admitted it had been a “very difficult decision” to come on air.

Ahead of the Fulham game against Arsenal, Alistair Bruce-Ball said: “It’s been a very difficult decision to make personally - I can assure you it’s not been taken lightly - but I’m a BBC staff member, I’m a radio commentator for this station and, just like yesterday, we are here to provide our football service to you, our audience.”

Former BBC executive Peter Salmon, who was previously controller of BBC One and director of sport, told Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg the situation is “complex” and Lineker is a “major figure”.

He added: “Twenty-five years in Match Of The Day - he’s more than just a TV presenter, he’s a national figure.

“He’s got views, he’s got passions, he’s been involved in looking after Ukrainian refugees. It may be that Gary’s outgrown the job and the role in the BBC.

“Twenty-five years in, before that Des Lynam, Gary took over, he’s been brilliant. Sometimes there’s a point at which you cross the line.”

Reflecting on the disruption to the BBC’s sports schedule, he added: “It’s a mess, isn’t it?

“They must be wishing they could reel back 72 hours and start all over again. It’s Oscars day but there’s no awards for how this has been managed.

“I think they’ve got to take action pretty quickly. It doesn’t help the chairman of the BBC himself is slacked to one side in this process and there’s a bit of an issue.

“Tim Davie is isolated in some ways; he needs to come home and grip this now. We need him back running the ship.”

Former BBC director-general Mark Thompson said he “absolutely hopes” and “believes” Mr Davie will survive the impartiality row surrounding Lineker.

Martha Mchardy12 March 2023 20:15
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Gary Lineker row will be ‘resolved in 24 hours’ - reports

Sources close to Gary Lineker say they are increasingly confident the matter will be resolved to his satisfaction in the next 24 hours, Sky News reports.

It comes as Match of the Day 2 will last just 14 minutes tonight after a rare 20 minute episode on Saturday.

(PA Wire)
Thomas Kingsley12 March 2023 19:57

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