13 March 2023

Gary Lineker will return to the BBC following row over migration tweets

Following his comments, the presenter was removed from 'Match of the Day' over the weekend.

The BBC has released a statement confirming news that Gary Lineker will return to hosting at the broadcaster.

Director general Tim Davie says: “Gary is a valued part of the BBC and I know how much the BBC means to Gary, and I look forward to him presenting our coverage this coming weekend.”

In a statement, Davie also announces the BBC will launch an independent review into its social media guidelines, with a particular focus on freelancers outside news and current affairs like Lineker.

Gary Lineker says in the statement: “I am glad that we have found a way forward. I support this review and look forward to getting back on air.”

The former footballer then took to Twitter to give his own statement, saying: “After a surreal few days, I’m delighted that we have navigated a way through this. I want to thank you all for the incredible support, particularly my colleagues at BBC Sport, for the remarkable show of solidarity. Football is a team game but their backing was overwhelming.”

He continued, “I have been presenting sport on the BBC for almost 3 decades and am immeasurably proud to work with the best and fairest broadcaster in the world. I cannot wait to get back in the MOTD chair on Saturday.”

“A final thought: however difficult the last few days have been, it simply doesn’t compare to having to flee your home from persecution or war to seek refuge in a land far away. It’s heartwarming to have seen the empathy towards their plight from so many of you. We remain a country of predominantly tolerant, welcoming and generous people. Thank you.”

It follows a chaotic few days which saw reduced football coverage across the BBC over the weekend as pundits, commentators and other staff refused to work in protest of Lineker’s removal from the show.

The backlash came after Conservative politicians criticised Lineker after comparing the language used in the government’s new asylum policy with 1930s Germany.

  • Writer Chris Saunders
  • BAnner Image Credit BBC

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