Gary Lineker was reportedly “in shock” after hearing that many of his colleagues have walked out after the presenter was ‘taken off air’ by the BBC.
On Friday afternoon, it was revealed that Lineker has been ‘taken off air’ by the BBC after he tweeted a response to the government’s new policy on asylum.
This angered some Conservatives, who were of the opinion that Lineker was breaching the BBC’s impartiality guidelines, despite his comments coming via his own platform and not the broadcaster.
The BBC’s decision to remove Lineker from Match of the Day has angered many of their own workers. Alan Shearer, Ian Wright, Jermaine Jenas, Micah Richards and Alex Scott have all since announced that they will not take part in the programme, which will go ahead without a presenter, pundits or commentators on Saturday night.
The Sun are now reporting that Lineker ‘wept when he found out his pals had publicly backed him after the BBC took him off air’.
A source has told the newspaper that Lineker “wanted to go on air but this was not his decision”. They add that “everyone at the BBC is in meltdown”.
“This has been a tumultuous 24 hours. Gary is in shock and had no idea this was coming. He wanted to go on air, make no bones about it, this was not his decision,” a source told The Sun.
“Privately, everyone at the Beeb is in meltdown too. They genuinely don’t know how they will get a show out because no one wants to touch it.
“Everyone in the industry is appalled at how Gary has been hung out to dry, and the general BBC inconsistency.
“The support has been overwhelming which, essentially, is a massive pie in the face for the BBC.
“Gary wasn’t willing to pretend to support something he vehemently doesn’t agree with.
“He doesn’t need the cash and, frankly, it seems hard to imagine a way back for either party from here.”
Wright has since warned the BBC that he will be “gone” for good if they decide to permanently “get rid” of Lineker.
“That is the distraction and let me tell you something, if the BBC do get rid of Gary Lineker I am out. I am gone, I am not staying there. On his own platform, he should be able to say what he wants to say,” he said on his Wrighty’s House podcast.
“Gary Lineker, he says stuff on everything and it’s almost like this one has missed everybody simply because he says so much but this is so right what he is saying. I have spoken to Gary, I am behind him.
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