Gary Lineker says 'BBC love me' for his social media activity as he admits to helping write new guidelines

Gary Lineker says 'BBC love me' for his social media activity as he admits to helping write new guidelines

Gary Lineker sparked a debate on whether hosts linked to the BBC should be able to voice their political views

Olivia Gantzer

By Olivia Gantzer

Published: 07/02/2024

- 09:29

The former footballer often causes controversy with his social media activity

Gary Lineker has opened up about his relationship with the BBC, explaining the broadcaster “loves” him for his social media activity despite the frequent bouts of outrage caused by his actions.

It comes after tweets posted to his account last year saw a huge controversy after the corporation demanded he step back from his presenting duties for three days.

In March 2023, Lineker criticised the government’s immigration policy on social media platform Twitter, now X and the fallout caused several other famous faces from the company to step down in support of the sports broadcaster.

Lineker had likened the government’s policies to that of 1930s Germany, spurring a huge response and a debate about whether sports pundits working for corporations should be able to freely comment about political events.

New guidelines came into force late last year but it hasn’t stopped Lineker from causing controversy – including a recent row where he appeared to endorse the banning of the Israeli football team.

However, he has since enthused that the BBC still hold him in high regard as he reflected on his social media use – and admitted he even had a hand in crafting the rules he and his colleagues have to abide by.

Gary Lineker

Gary Lineker sparked an impartiality row last year


“The BBC love me on there [social media] because I promote their shows,” he stated at a Broadcasting Press Guild event before going on to describe last year’s controversy as a “lover’s tiff”.

He continued: “I think it was a little bit unfortunate but we are fine again now. I’ve worked for the BBC for 30 years and we had one little fallout.

“I know the guidelines really, really well. I was partly involved in drawing them up with John [Hardie],” he added.

Once the guidelines were published, Lineker had taken to social media to brand them as “very sensible”.

Gary Lineker

Gary Lineker talked about his social media use

BBC Sport

Talking about X, he said the platform had become “increasingly toxic” following Elon Musk’s acquisition.

According to Deadline, Lineker went on to add: “ always been a bit of a cesspit but it’s just become increasingly toxic.

“You can’t have a nuanced conversation on there any more so I’ve stepped away from that side of things.”

While he hasn’t used Elon Musk’s social media outlet as much as he once did, Lineker did take to X to wish King Charles a “speedy recovery” on Monday after it was announced he’d been diagnosed with cancer.

Gary Lineker

Gary Lineker said he has limited his social media use


He penned: “Really sorry to hear the news that King Charles has cancer. Awful news. Wish him a full and speedy recovery.”

The Match of the Day host isn’t alone as several faces – including a poignant message from Queen rocker Brian May – have also surfaced on social media.

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