'Lineker needs to stop!' Stephen Dixon fumes 'celebs should keep their mouths shut' in Vorderman sacking row

'Lineker needs to stop!' Stephen Dixon fumes 'celebs should keep their mouths shut' in Vorderman sacking row

WATCH NOW: Stephen and Isabel debate if Gary Lineker should follow in Carol Vorderman's steps after her sacking

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 09/11/2023

- 09:41

Updated: 09/11/2023

- 10:04

Carol Vorderman was told by the BBC she had to leave her post at Radio Wales

Stephen Dixon and Isabel Webster have shared their thoughts on the BBC's stance with presenters and its social media guidelines in the wake of Carol Vorderman's sacking.

According to Vorderman, she "breached the new guidelines" set out by the Beeb regarding social media activity "and BBC Wales management have decided I must leave".

Vorderman, who's no stranger to attacking the likes of Rishi Sunak and the government online, also said in her statement: "I've ultimately found that I’m not prepared to lose my voice on social media, change who I am, or lose the ability to express the strong beliefs I hold about the political turmoil this country finds itself in."

Andrew Allison, the Chief Exec of the Freedom Association, and journalist Julie Cook joined Stephen and Isabel to debate whether or not Vorderman was right to go and if Gary Lineker - another star renowned for his social media controversy - should follow suit.

"Carol Vorderman has stood down... or was she pushed? Reading between the lines," Isabel said as she began the discussion. "The BBC, they've got their new social media guidelines and we're asking this morning is it time Gary Lineker had a little think and also went."

"Never far from controversy, Gary Lineker was suspended earlier this year after he criticised the language used by ministers when discussing the government's asylum policy," Stephen added before Isabel weighed back in to suggest Lineker has reigned in his inflammatory and divisive remarks, although is still no stranger to causing online debate.

Stephen and Isabel

Stephen and Isabel debated whether Gary Lineker should leave the Beeb


Stephen then mused: "It's just that line, whether you think he's right or wrong, it's almost irrelevant, same with Carol Vorderman, it's whether you think it's appropriate for someone who has a very big platform to be rallying support for a political party or against a political party or whatever it might be."

As they welcomed their guests, Allison argued the likes of Lineker and Vorderman shouldn't have freedom while employed by the Beeb "due to the way the BBC is funded".

He added: "BBC presenters are not allowed to express themselves and in the case of Carol Vorderman, she's been particularly nasty about the government as well so I'm pleased (she's) gone but I think Gary Lineker really needs to think about his role at the corporation."

Cook weighed in to argue, however, that 20 years ago she would've agreed but "we're in fairyland if we believe the BBC is impartial anymore".

Stephen Dixon

Stephen Dixon has said "celebrities should keep their mouths shut"


She said: "It is right we hold them to account because we have to pay a fee but I don't think it's the impartial organisation it once professed to be.

"However, I think it's dangerous to call for sackings every five minutes when someone expresses and opinion when really and truly the BBC isn't an impartial organisation anymore."

Later in the interview, Stephen returned to Cook's point as he weighed in: "I'll tell you what struck me Julie, you were saying you don't agree with people being sacked because of what they've said.

"But in some respects, this isn't about being sacked - in relation to Gary Lineker - it's about saying the BBC needs to tighten its guidelines and therefore he needs to stop tweeting rather than be fired."

Carol Vorderman

Carol Vorderman has left the BBC


Cook agreed that in "an ideal world" that would be the case but pointed out that the pay packets given to the Beeb's top stars gives them remit to say what they want.

After bidding farewell to their guests, Stephen unleashed his own take on the ordeal as he said to Isabel: "I just think celebrities should keep their mouths shut.

"The problem is, whether you agree with Carol or not or whoever it may be, they shape minds - but what do they know about politics or situations that you don't? Nothing, frankly.

"They tend to be very well-off, not living a lifestyle that most people in the country are so I think celebrities should stop saying things."

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