Gary Lineker jokes about 'quiet' week as he prepares for BBC return after suspension

Television presenter and former footballer Gary Lineker leaves his home on March 13, 2023 in London, United Kingdom.
(Image credit: Neil Mockford/GC Images)

Gary Lineker has joked about his "quiet" week as he prepares to return to TV screens on Saturday, following his suspension by the BBC.

The 62-year-old Match of the Day anchor was taken off air after being accused of breaching BBC impartiality guidelines by criticising the British government's asylum policy on Twitter.

It was move which threw last weekend's Match of the Day and further BBC football schedule into chaos as commentators, pundits and other presenters walked out in solidarity with their colleague.

In an unprecedented scenes, Match of the Day ran without any commentary or studio coverage – with the curious format generating its highest viewing figures since November (opens in new tab).

Lineker will resume his duties by hosting live coverage of Saturday evening's FA Cup quarter-final between Manchester City (opens in new tab) and Burnley; Mark Chapman is set to host Match of the Day, featuring highlights from the day's six Premier League games.

Appearing on LaLigaSportsTV ahead of his BBC comeback, Lineker reflected on a whirlwind past seven days, describing the period as (opens in new tab): "Really quiet! Nothing much going on. You could say it's been an interesting week, but I'm still here, still punching.

"It was interesting and also hugely gratifying. I had an amazing amount of support from my friends and colleagues, which was quite beautiful actually.

"It was totally disproportionate to the whole thing, but we're ok. It's resolved; I'm relieved; I'm back to work tomorrow [Saturday] and all is well with the world."

Following confirmation on Tuesday that the Lineker row had been resolved, BBC director general Tim Davie announced that independent review of the corporation's social media guidelines would be carried out.

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Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...