WATCH: GB News stages cringeworthy 'Alternative Match of the Day' amid Gary Lineker row

Television presenter and former footballer Gary Lineker leaves his home on March 11, 2023 in London, United Kingdom.
(Image credit: Hollie Adams/Getty Images)

GB News broadcasted a cringeworthy 'Alternative Match of the Day' on Saturday night, as the real programme was heavily truncated after Gary Lineker's suspension by the BBC.

Lineker was suspended on Friday for allegedly breaching BBC impartiality guidelines with a tweet about the UK government's asylum policy. In response, pundits and commentators stepped back from their duties in solidarity with their colleague.

Consequently, Saturday's MOTD was stripped to the bare bones, running for just 20 minutes and consisting only of brief highlights of the day's Premier League action with no commentary or studio analysis; even the iconic title music was missing. And in that, GB News saw an opportunity.

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In a bizarre performance featuring no football and that drew comparisons with 90s satirical show The Day Today – which features Steve Coogan's iconic Alan Partridge character – the GB News team took multiple digs at Lineker, with presenter Patrick Christys calling him "a rabid lefty" and suggesting he must "quite like Brighton because it's full of rainbow flags and woke people".

'Alternative Match of the Day' was widely mocked on social media, with many struggling to believe that it wasn't, in fact, a parody.

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In further disruption, Saturday's editions of Football Focus and Final Score were taken off air after presenters and reporters pulled out, while Radio 5 Live's sport schedule was also heavily impacted.

The fallout from the Lineker row has continued into Sunday, with Match of the Day 2 and live coverage of the Women's Super League game between Chelsea and Manchester United set to be "much-reduced" (opens in new tab).

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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...