Featured Presenter Comment | BBC director Tim Davie remains in charge despite the controversy

(LONDON) BBC chief executive Tim Davie said on Saturday he would not step down despite the storm raised by the suspension of star broadcaster Gary Lineker, who was sanctioned for a tweet critical of the government, and the disruption of the British broadcaster group’s sports broadcasts.

“Everyone wants to settle the situation quietly,” Davy said in an interview with the BBC.

Gary Lineker, former footballer and host of the popular show Match of the dayon Friday, after accusing the British government of using Nazi-era rhetoric to crack down on illegal immigration.

This suspension disrupted BBC sports programming on TV and radio.

Several football broadcasting consultants, such as former England players Ian Wright and Alan Shearer, have decided to withdraw from their programmes, “in solidarity”.

Match Of The Day, a real UK institution where the program has been broadcast since 1964, was first broadcast on Saturdays without a presenter, advisor or even commentary, as part of a 20-minute short program on highlights from six Premier League matches.

Football Focus’ weekend preview shows results The final result off the network and Radio 5Live’s coverage was disrupted.

Asked about his possible resignation, Mr. Davey replied, “Absolutely not,” saying, “We look forward to us resolving this situation.”

” Sorry ”

He added, “To be clear, it will be a success for me if Gary is back on the air and together we bring international sports coverage to audiences,” saying he was “sorry we couldn’t provide it today.”

The words of ex-sportsman Gary Lineker, who regularly shares his progressive views with his 8.8m subscribers, have sparked lively debate in a very tense context over immigration issues, but also frequent criticism of neutrality aimed at public broadcasting by the British right. .

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The BBC initially said it would “talk” to the presenter.

On Friday, the audiovisual group finally decided “that (Gary Lineker) will withdraw from the show Match of the day So that we clearly agree with him on his use of social networks.”

An online petition of support surpassed 190,000 signatures on Saturday morning, and the hashtag #BoycottBBC is trending on Twitter.

On the political side, the audiovisual group’s decision was decried by many figures, from the Labor opposition to Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who described the BBC’s position as “untenable”. She said this “threatens freedom of expression in the face of political pressure.”

According to the newspaper Daily Express On Saturday, a group of 36 British Conservative MPs reportedly wrote a letter to the group’s chief executive, Tim Davey, demanding an “unconditional” apology from the presenter.


“The BBC has undermined its credibility by appearing to be bowing to government pressure,” said former BBC director general Greg Dyke. According to him, the duty of impartiality required of staff working in political news should not apply to providers of entertainment programmes.

The BBC is regularly attacked by Tories who accuse it of reporting on Brexit in a biased manner and focusing on the concerns of urban elites.

Since then, the group has made neutrality a ‘priority’ and, on government advice, has appointed Richard Sharpe in 2021 to head the BBC.

But the appointment is under criticism because this former banker, a well-known Tory donor, would have played matchmaker shortly before he was appointed to help former Prime Minister Boris Johnson secure an £800,000 ($1.33 million Canadian) loan.

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Gary Lineker, 48 goals for England until his retirement in 1994, has not publicly responded to his comment but repeated this week that he totally takes his word for it.

Nicknamed “Mr Nice” for his impeccable behavior throughout his career – he’s never received a single yellow card – he is a habit of voicing his political positions on social networks, notably against Brexit, and pro-immigrant.

The new bill, which according to the government aims to put an end to the arrival of illegal immigrants across the English Channel, has been criticized by human rights groups and the United Nations, which has accused London of wanting to “put an end to the ‘right of asylum'”.

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