BBC apologises for Match Of The Day disruption and hails ‘best in business’ Gary Lineker
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The BBC has apologised for disruption to Match of the Day as the show aired on Saturday (11 March) evening without Gary Lineker or any other presenters or pundits.
Before the opening titles began, the continuity announcer said: “Now on BBC One we’re sorry we’re not able to show our normal Match of the Day including commentary tonight, but here’s the best action from today’s Premier League matches.”
The episode began without the opening theme music and went straight into highlights from Saturday’s match between Bournemouth and Liverpool.
Only the sounds of cheering from inside the stadiums could be heard after Lineker's colleagues Ian Wright, Alan Shearer and more decided to boycott the show.
The eerie 20-minute broadcast - which was originally meant to last for over an hour - came as sports schedules across the BBC were thrown into disarray, forcing the channel to drop hours of shows due to mass boycott from its top stars.
On Saturday evening, Director-General of the BBC Tim Davie said he wants Lineker back on the football highlights show.
Speaking to BBC News in Washington D.C., Davie said it has been a ‘difficult day’ and that the broadcaster is working hard to get the show back to normal.
“I don’t want to go into too much detail about exact discussion,” he said.
“I think that everyone wants to calmly resolve the situation. I would say Gary Lineker is a superb broadcaster. He’s the best in the business, that’s not for debate.”
Davie added: “To be clear, success for me is – Gary gets back on air and together we are giving to the audiences that world class sports coverage which, as I say, I’m sorry we haven’t been able to deliver today.”
Fans vowed to boycott yesterday's broadcast amid the fallout from Lineker's tweets.
Lineker was reprimanded by the broadcaster after he found himself in a political storm after he criticised the UK government’s handling of the migrant crisis by comparing it to Germany in the 1930s.
Lineker’s break from the show, which he has hosted since 1999, will continue for an undetermined amount of time until both sides can come to an agreement about his social media presence.
"The BBC has been in extensive discussions with Gary and his team in recent days. We have said that we consider his recent social media activity to be a breach of our guidelines,” the BBC statement said on Friday (10 March).
“The BBC has decided that he will step back from presenting Match of the Day until we’ve got an agreed and clear position on his use of social media."
A petition calling for Lineker to be reinstated has almost reached its goal of 200,000 signatures as of Sunday morning.
Featured Image Credit: BBC
Topics: Gary Lineker, BBC, Sport, News, UK News