BBC urged to ‘get a grip’ as fans rage at Gary Lineker coverage

Samira Ahmed shares fans reactions to Gary Lineker 'spat'

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After he compared the language in the Conservative government’s new asylum policy as that “not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s”, Gary Lineker was suspended and asked to step back from his roles by the BBC. His suspension sparked a boycott from other BBC sports presenters, resulting in last weekend’s coverage landing in disarray and the chaos taking up much of the news cycle. 

A few days after his suspension, Gary confirmed he and BBC bosses had “navigated a way through” the dispute but the broadcaster’s coverage of the dispute has not sat well with viewers.

Samira Ahmed revealed the backlash the BBC has received since the dispute arose over its own coverage of the ordeal.

Many BBC viewers slammed the broadcaster’s ongoing coverage of Gary’s suspension, with many suggesting it wasn’t worthy of taking centre stage across the weekend.

Samira told BBC Breakfast viewers during Saturday’s News Watch: “Now for some of your other comments this week. 

“A week and a half on from that tweet about the government’s refugee policy posted by Gary Lineker, the shockwaves are still being felt around Broadcasting House. 

“And while the rights or the wrongs of a sports presenter’s social media activity don’t fall into the territory of a program called News Watch, the priority given to discussing it on news outlets certainly does. 

“Again this week, we had complaints after BBC One’s evening bulletins led on the story last Friday, Saturday and Sunday and the News at One did so on Monday.”

A brief compilation of the aforementioned bulletins then played out to demonstrate the vast coverage. 

As the programme returned to Samira in the studio, she continued: “All of that prompted Jacquie Douglas to email on Saturday. 

“(She said), ‘I cannot believe that the first item on the news and first five topics on the BBC News website today are all about Gary Lineker.

“’Does this spat with the BBC really warrant being the first item in a worldwide news programme?’”

Samira continued: “That was echoed on Monday by Colin Boon, ‘I’ve just watched the first 10 minutes of BBC One’s lunchtime news and cannot believe this domestic squabble should take precedence over the junior doctors’ strike and the rescue of the Silicon Valley Bank by HSBC. Come on BBC, get a grip.’ 

“And John Silcock added, ‘I didn’t realise that BBC News means News about the BBC.’”

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