Joe Lycett hilariously trolls BBC over Gary Lineker and Match of the Day chaos
Comedian Joe Lycett has expertly trolled the BBC by saying he is “very much available” to step in for Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker.
On Friday (10 March), the broadcaster announced that Lineker would be taking a break from presenting the football highlights show, after the former footballer compared the language used to launch a widely-condemned new government asylum policy with 1930s Germany.
In an effective presenter strike, Lineker’s co-hosts Ian Wright and Alan Shearer pulled out of presenting Match of the Day.
Pundits also ruling out an appearance on the weekend programme in solidarity with the former England striker include Alex Scott, Jermaine Jenas and Micah Richards. Scott has also pulled out of hosting Saturday’s Football Focus.
The BBC has confirmed that there will be no presenter or pundits for this weekend’s Match of the Day, prompting Joe Lycett’s hilarious response.
He wrote that he has “informed the BBC that I am very much available for tomorrow’s #MOTD” above a still from his appearance on Laura Kuenssberg’s Sunday politics show in September 2022, where he famously pretended to be a right-wing supporter of then-prime minister Liz Truss.
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Joe Lycett, known for his camp comedic persona and moniker “Mummy”, is no stranger to holding public figures and businesses to account.
In November last year, he threatened to shred £10,000 of his own money if David Beckham did not pull out of a multi-million pound ambassadorship deal for the controversial 2022 Qatar World Cup.
While Lycett didn’t ultimately destroy any actual money, he did shred Beckham’s famous 2002 Attitude magazine cover to convey his disgust at the actions of a former LGBTQ+ icon.
The Conservative government’s proposed legislation to crack down on Channel migrant crossings has been condemned by LGBTQ+ groups and activists. It would see those who enter the UK illegally removed within 28 days and prevented from returning or claiming British citizenship in the future.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has accused the government of “extinguishing the right to seek refugee protection in the UK”. It has expressed “profound concern” over the highly contentious bill’s provisions, calling it a “clear breach of the refugee convention”.
Former Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, LGBTQ+ author Joanne Harris and trans broadcaster India Willoughby are among those condemning the BBC’s decision to suspend Lineker from presenting duties.
A BBC spokesperson said: “The BBC has been in extensive discussions with Gary and his team in recent days. We have said that we consider his recent social media activity to be a breach of our guidelines.
“The BBC has decided that he will step back from presenting Match of the Day until we’ve got an agreed and clear position on his use of social media.
“When it comes to leading our football and sports coverage, Gary is second to none. We have never said that Gary should be an opinion-free zone, or that he can’t have a view on issues that matter to him, but we have said that he should keep well away from taking sides on party political issues or political controversies.”
The question being asked by many across social media is whether anti-refugee legislation and dehumanising language directed at people seeking safety in Britain should be viewed as a “political controversy” or an issue of common humanity.
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