Gary Lineker news: Match of the Day star says he’s ‘still punching’ ahead of BBC return

Gary Lineker to return to Match of the Day as BBC apologises

A defiant Gary Lineker has said he’s “still punching” ahead of his return to the BBC after comparing the government’s language around the small boats crisis to Nazi Germany.

The Match of the Day star returns to the screen to present live coverage of the FA Cup quarter-final between Manchester City and Burnley on Saturday, having been suspended last week over the comments.

In his first television appearance since the row, Mr Lineker said: “You could say it’s been an interesting week but I’m still here, still punching.” Asked about the row by LaLiga TV he added: “It was interesting and also hugely gratifying.

“I had an amazing amount of support from my friends and colleagues, which was quite beautiful, actually. “It was totally disproportionate, the whole thing. “But we’re OK. It’s resolved, we’re relieved and back to work tomorrow and all is well with the world.”

Mr Lineker will not appear on the MOTD highlights show tonight, although it’s understood his absence is due to scheduling rather than the row that ended up in his suspension.


Next BBC chairman should not be a ‘political appointment’, says ex-news chief

A former head of BBC television news has said the next BBC chairman should not be a “political appointment”.

Roger Mosey, who was also director of sport at the broadcaster, said it would be a “great act of statesmanship” for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to de-politicise the appointment.

Matt Mathers18 March 2023 11:23


Re-cap: how did the Lineker row unfold?

BBC sports presenter Gary Lineker has been embroiled in a row over impartiality after criticising the Government’s Illegal Immigration Bill in a post on Twitter.

The row has made headlines and front pages.

Here is a timeline of how events unfolded:

Matt Mathers18 March 2023 10:50


Why Gary Lineker won’t be on Match of the Day tonight

But despite Lineker’s reinstatement on Monday, the star presenter will not be hosting the highlights show on Saturday night.

Matt Mathers18 March 2023 10:15


‘Totally disproportionate’

Football presenter Gary Lineker has condemned the row over his suspension by the BBC because of his tweets as “totally disproportionate”.

But he said he received a large amount of support during his dispute with the BBC, which had been gratifying and “quite beautiful”.

It comes as the TV star’s agent said he believed he had a “special arrangement” with the broadcaster that allowed him to make comments about refugees and the small boats crisis.

Matt Mathers18 March 2023 09:18


What to expect from BBC social media review

BBC director-general Tim Davie announced a review of social media guidelines as he recognised “the potential confusion caused by the grey areas” of the guidance.

Jane Dalton18 March 2023 06:45


BBC apologised to staff and viewers

The corporation apologised for a “difficult period for staff, contributors, presenters, and most importantly, our audiences”:

Gary Lineker to return to Match of the Day as BBC apologises

Match of the Day host Gary Lineker will continue as a BBC presenter after the corporation apologised for a “difficult period for staff, contributors, presenters, and most importantly, our audiences”. Lineker did not appear on the football highlights programme over the weekend after he was told to stand down from the role after comparing language used to launch a new government asylum seeker policy to 1930s Germany in a tweet. Fellow pundits, presenters and commentators walked out in “solidarity” with Lineker, seriously impacting the weekend’s sporting coverage. Click here to sign up for our newsletters.

Jane Dalton18 March 2023 03:45


Presenter also earns from film and podcast company

Gary Lineker tops up £1.35m BBC salary with more licence fee money, The Telegraph has reported.

It says he and other BBC broadcasters have worked on podcasts or television programmes made by Lineker’s Goalhanger film and podcast companies.

A BBC spokesman told the paper: “Gary is a freelance presenter and his BBC pay for that role is published annually, under transparency obligations in the BBC Charter.

“This is entirely separate to any programmes the BBC commissions from Goalhanger Productions, an independent production company.”

Jane Dalton18 March 2023 01:50


What are BBC guidelines on impartiality?

What the BBC guidelines state and how they apply to Lineker:

Jane Dalton18 March 2023 00:10


Presenter backs UK trophy-hunt crackdown

Gary Lineker was among celebrities who supported a UK ban on imports of hunting trophies.

Jane Dalton17 March 2023 22:55


The tweets that started it all

The debacle began when Lineker tweeted the government’s small boats approach was “an immeasurably cruel policy”:

Jane Dalton17 March 2023 21:55

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