BBC in more turmoil as Mark Chapman steps down from Radio 5 Live to support Gary Lineker | The Sun

BBC in more turmoil as Mark Chapman steps down from Radio 5 Live to support Gary Lineker | The Sun

March 11, 2023

MARK CHAPMAN has stepped down from BBC 5 Live radio duties in solidarity with Gary Lineker.

The radio and Match of the Day 2 host, 49, was due to be on air this afternoon to help cover the Saturday football schedule for 5 Live Sport.

However, SunSport can reveal he will not be taking to the mic and the entire programme is at risk of being pulled – plunging the BBC into further turmoil.

Colin Murray will not be in the studio for his popular Fighting Talk programme on 5 Live either.

It comes in the latest twist following the BBC's decision to suspend Gary Lineker from hosting Match of the Day following his tweets comparing the Government's new Illegal Migration Bill to 1930s Nazi Germany.

Lineker was told to step away unless he apologised but stood firm.


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Pundits and commentators, including Alan Shearer and Ian Wright, confirmed they would not appear on the show either in a stand of unity with Lineker.

Chapman had already ruled himself out of replacing Lineker on the flagship highlights show.

The bungling Beeb confirmed there would be no studio talk or punditry tonight – while manager and player interviews will also be axed.

Football Focus was also scrapped at the 11th hour when host Alex Scott and replacement Kelly Somers pulled out.

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The lunchtime preview show has been replaced by Bargain Hunt at midday on BBC One.

And results programme Final Score is also expected to be cancelled with presenter Jason Mohammad refusing to go on air.

As revealed by SunSport, ex-England captain Lineker wept when he heard about his colleagues' support to boycott Match of the Day and other BBC sport scheduling.

A source said: “This has been a tumultuous 24 hours. Gary is in shock and had no idea this was coming. He wanted to go on air, make no bones about it, this was not his decision.

“Privately, everyone at the Beeb is in meltdown too. They genuinely don’t know how they will get a show out because no one wants to touch it.

“Everyone in the industry is appalled at how Gary has been hung out to dry, and the general BBC inconsistency. 

“Gary wept when he found out his mates had all publicly backed him. 

“The support has been overwhelming which, essentially, is a massive pie in the face for the BBC. 

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“Gary wasn’t willing to pretend to support something he vehemently doesn’t agree with.

“He doesn’t need the cash and, frankly, it seems hard to imagine a way back for either party from here.”

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