Gary Lineker is scheduled to return to BBC screens this weekend after reaching a deal with the corporation and an independent review of the BBC’s social media guidelines will begin, focusing on how the guidelines can apply to freelancers outside of news, such as Lineker.
His return to the screens comes shortly after Lineker was forced to step down from his roles at the BBC following his criticism of the governments new asylum policy during a series of Tweets.
A very unusual weekend of football followed after Lineker’s ban, Match of the Day was cancelled and much of the BBC’s sports coverage was forced to be removed as presenters, pundits and commentators refused to work, in a demonstration of solidarity with Lineker.
After the news broke that he’s to be reinstated, Lineker took to Twitter to share his thanks for all of the support he’s received and that’s he’s “delighted” to return.
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. 1/4— Gary Lineker 💙💛 (@GaryLineker) March 13, 2023
Lineker was forced to step away from his regular position as host of Match of the Day at the publicly funded BBC for breaching its impartiality rules when he compared the explanation of the new Illegal Migration Bill by Britain’s home secretary Suella Braverman to the language used in 1930s Germany.
As of today, it’s been confirmed that Lineker, the former England football captain, will return to football coverage this coming weekend, just in time for the FA Cup quarter-final clash between Manchester City and Burnley.
Fellow commentators Alan Shearer and Ian Wright showed their support for Lineker when they announced they wouldn’t be resuming their punditry roles on Match of the Day without Lineker and Mark Chapman announced he wouldn’t host Saturday afternoon’s coverage on BBC Radio Five Live.
BBC Director General Tim Davie said in a statement today that Lineker was a valued part of the BBC and that he “looks forward to him presenting our coverage this coming weekend.”
With his weekend suddenly freed up, 62-year-old Lineker went to the King Power stadium to watch his boyhood club Leicester take on Chelsea last Saturday (March 11) when Chelsea won 3-1.
Attending with his son, Lineker was welcomed with messages and signs from supporters showing their support for Gary as he was seen taking photos and shaking hands with many fans who were pleased to see him.
Now that a return has been confirmed, we can all rejoice that the usual familiar faces will all be back to grace our screens for Match of the Day at the weekend.