‘BBC made him!’ Gary Lineker was ‘created’ by the BBC – Michael Cole blasts presenter as 'just a footballer’

‘BBC made him!’ Gary Lineker was ‘created’ by the BBC – Michael Cole blasts presenter as 'just a footballer’

BBC lose Vorderman over social media policy 'diminishing the point of a public broadcaster'

GB News
Harvey Gough

By Harvey Gough

Published: 09/11/2023

- 14:03

Updated: 09/11/2023

- 15:29

Cole said 'the BBC hasn't got guts' after it bent to the former footballer instead of replacing him after controversy surrounding his tweets.

Former BBC correspondent has voiced his opinion after Carol Vorderman was sacked from her Saturday morning BBC Radio Wales after breaching BBC guidelines.

The star, who is renowned for making her opinions known on social media, posted a tweet to social media site X criticising the Conservatives amid the ongoing Covid inquiry.

The tweet read: “The 2 most senior civil servants called Johnson's number 10 ‘mad’ and ‘poisonous’ #COVID Inquiry… While people died, NHS was on its knees & money was funnelled to the VIP lane.”

The broadcasting service’s guidelines on social media were recently revealed after Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker was suspended after condemning the Government’s policy on immigration.

Michael Cole on Britain's Newsroom

Michael Cole joined Andrew and Beverley on Britain's Newsroom to discuss Carol Vorderman's controversy

Joining Andrew Pierce and Beverley Turner on Britain’s Newsroom, Cole began the conversation, joking: "The first question must be who knew she had a programme on BBC Wales?!

“Now I worked for the BBC for more than 20 years. It's the most tremendous privilege able to address the nation. And when I was there, it was quite simple. I filed literally thousands of stories. I never once expressed a personal opinion, and I covered six general elections.

“Of course I had opinions. I expressed them at the ballot box. When you were in the BBC, you were not allowed to stand for an elective office above the level of parish councillor.

“And that was a good thing because impartiality was important, particularly for the national broadcaster. And when I see this happening, I deplore it. I really do deplore it.


BBC Carol VordermanBBC have been rocked with Carol Vorderman choosing to quit the broadcasterGETTY

Cole then moved onto Gary Lineker’s part in the controversy, saying: “The BBC made him. They took time to create what is now the highest paid person in the BBC and there are 22,000 people on wherever the sum of money is.

“It's a huge sum of money the BBC used to create stars. It can do it again. It should never be in thrall to any single person or its purpose is finished.”

Andrew theorised about the BBC’s position, saying, “You will recall they took Lineker off of Match of the Day. A lot of other BBC presenters then effectively went on strike. The BBC panicked and put him back on air. That's because he has that sort of power.

“And you're right, he completely dictated to the BBC in a way that Carol Vorderman simply hasn't got the clamp to do?”

Gary LinekerGary Lineker is one of the BBC's highest-paid presenters PA

Cole agreed: “That's absolutely true. I mean, those other former footballers who were also on his programmes, they really couldn't do it. They had to suck up to him. Whatever they thought about what he was saying, they had to do it or else they would have looked rather bad.

“But you're absolutely right. It's the case of being pusillanimous. The BBC hasn't got guts. They could go out and find any number of people to fill that role if they saw it through, but they weren't prepared to stick it out and do that.

“And I think in any organisation, you know, isn't that the first rule of football? Nobody's more important than the team. It's the team that's important and it's the integrity of the organisation.

“And if that is ever compromised by this person or that person sounding off their personal views, I think it diminishes the whole purpose of having a public service broadcaster.”

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