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Gary Lineker received ‘standing ovation' in M&S following BBC suspension

Gary Lineker says he received a ‘standing ovation' in Marks & Spencer following his BBC suspension (Mike Egerton/PA)
Mike Bedigan, PA Los Angeles Correspondent

Gary Lineker said he received a “standing ovation” in a branch of Marks & Spencer after being suspended by the BBC earlier this year.

The Match Of The Day host, 62, was taken off air by the corporation after being caught up in a row over impartiality in March.

Lineker had compared the language used to launch a Government asylum seeker policy with 1930s Germany on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Gary Lineker comments on Illegal Migration Bill
The Match Of The Day host was backed by a number of his fellow sports pundits, including Ian Wright and Alan Shearer (PA)

Benching Lineker sparked a backlash and resulted in a number of his fellow sports pundits, including Ian Wright and Alan Shearer, boycotting Match Of The Day.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Lineker said the fallout was “all pretty sad”.

“What the boys did was incredible,” he said, referring to Wright and Shearer.

“It was incredibly moving. For me, as the person they stood up for, it meant a lot. I cried in the back of the taxi.”

He added: “I recall walking to M&S two or three days in, and I got a standing ovation… Well, I suppose everybody’s standing in M&S, but even so.

“It was really cringe. I didn’t know what to do. I just thought, ‘Please stop’.”

Lineker returned to his presenting duty on March 18, where he fronted live coverage of Manchester City’s FA Cup quarter-final against Burnley alongside Shearer and Micah Richards.

Following the incident BBC director-general Tim Davie said the corporation had commissioned an independent review of its social media guidelines, particularly for freelancers.

Mr Davie apologised for what he acknowledged had been “a difficult period for staff, contributors, presenters and, most importantly, our audiences” and described the BBC’s commitment to freedom of expression and impartiality as a “difficult balancing act”.

UK News