When will Gary Lineker next appear on the BBC?
With Premier League football returning to viewers’ screens this weekend after some impressive midweek Champions League games, many will be wondering if Match of the Day will be returning in a similar vein.
Last weekend’s news was dominated by the BBC’s decision to remove Gary Lineker from its highlights coverage of the Premier League fixtures, after comments he had made in a tweet regarding the government’s new immigration policy.
Lineker, who is the BBC’s highest-paid presenter - on a reported £1.35million per year - has presented the show since 1999, along with other presenting duties for events such as the World Cup and FA Cup. His withdrawal was met with widespread support from within the industry and the BBC itself, with fellow presenters Ian Wright and Alan Shearer among the employees who refused to take part in their usual work in solidarity.
On Monday, the BBC reinstated the ex-England international, with Tim Davie, the director general of the BBC, apologising for the “difficult period for staff, contributors, presenters and our audiences”. He also announced an independent review of the corporation’s social media guidelines.
With his reinstatement ahead of this weekend’s football, many fans will be wondering if they will see the ex-Leicester man on their screens come Saturday night after last week’s show was widely criticised for showing simple highlights with no commentary or analysis - they will be disappointed though, as Lineker will be replaced by Mark Chapman for this weekend’s show.
Lineker is instead on presenting duties for Manchester City’s FA Cup tie at home to Burnley on Saturday evening.
The Premier League champions welcome Vincent Kompany back to the Etihad, with the game live on BBC 1 from 5:25pm (GMT). Lineker will be joined by Micah Richards and Alan Shearer in the studio.
Expect to see Lineker back on the Match of the Day sofa soon however, with the Premier League resuming after an international break on 1 April, when Man City will host Liverpool in the 12:30pm kick-off.
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