It’s the story that has dominated the front and back pages for days on end. Gary Lineker’s suspension from his role as host of Match of the Day, followed by a mass downing of tools from his colleagues and peers, and then a subsequent edition of the show that ran for just 20 minutes and feature no punditry, no commentary, and no real sense of entertainment whatsoever.
The BBC’s decision to remove Lineker from their programming over the weekend as a response to a tweet in which he criticised the government for their latest anti-immigration measures received widespread backlash, and has rekindled the embers of a debate regarding the organisation’s rules on impartiality. On Monday, the BBC’s director general, Tim Davie, issued an apology for the disruption to sport broadcasting in recent days, as well as pledging to an independent review of the corporation’s internal social media guidelines.
“Everyone recognises this has been a difficult period for staff, contributors, presenters and, most importantly, our audiences,” said Davie. “I apologise for this. The potential confusion caused by the grey areas of the BBC’s social media guidance that was introduced in 2020 is recognised. I want to get matters resolved and our sport content back on air.”
In a special edition of The Chris Wheatley Show, Chris and host Jason Jones are joined by 3 Added Minutes’ Matt Gregory to discuss the saga in greater detail, as well as asking what the fallout from Lineker’s suspension could mean for the BBC going forward.