Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer ‘glad to be back to normality’ in return to TV after BBC row

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Gary Lineker returned to television screens on Saturday evening and, alongside fellow pundit Alan Shearer, addressed the situation last week which saw viewers faced with a wordless flagship football programme.

The BBC presenter was stood down from Match of the Day last weekend following his tweets on the UK government’s immigration policy.

Fellow pundits then followed him in opting against appearing on screen in solidarity, before a resolution was found during the week leading to Lineker and his team being reinstated for an FA Cup clash.

A prerecorded introduction saw Lineker’s first words highlight Vincent Kompany’s return to the Etihad Stadium, now as head coach of the visitors, before Lineker – seemingly struggling with a slight lack of voice – handed over to Shearer in-studio.

Shearer then spoke of the situation faced by fellow broadcasters and commentators last week.


“I just need to clear up and wanted to say how upset we were about all the audiences who missed out on last weekend,” he said.

“It was a really difficult situation for everyone concerned. Through no fault of their own, some really great people in TV and radio were put in impossible situations and that wasn’t fair.

“It’s good to get back to normality and talk about football again.”

“I echo those sentiments,” added Lineker.

The duo would usually spend this evening on the coach in the MOTD studios, occasionally alongside Micah Richards who was in attendance with them at the Man City vs Burnley game.

But that duty will tonight fall to Mark Chapman, another of the BBC’s regular presenters.


The BBC’s director general, Tim Davie, apologised last week for the “difficult period for staff, contributors, presenters and, most importantly, our audiences.”

However, Mr Davie denied the move represented a climbdown. He defended his actions saying that he did “the right thing” in asking Lineker to step back that Lineker will “abide by the editorial guidelines” until an independent review of the BBC’s social media policy is completed.

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