Gary Lineker called out Richard Madeley for “misrepresenting” him during an interview on Good Morning Britain about being suspended from Match of the Day earlier this year. In March, Lineker was instructed to step back from presenting duties on the football highlights show in response to a tweet in which he compared language which was used to launch a new asylum seeker policy from the government, to that used in 1930s Germany.
Match of the Day eventually went ahead with no presenters or pundits after Ian Wright and Alan Shearer both pulled out in “solidarity” with Lineker. His suspension came to an end three days later.
What happened on Good Morning Britain?
During Lineker’s appearance on Good Morning Britain on Tuesday (23 May), host Richard Madeley said that he defended the former footballers right to share his political views on social media, however he disagreed with what Lineker had said.
Madeley claimed that Lineker “essentially compared the British government today in 2023 to the Nazi government, the dictatorship, in the early 1930s”. Lineker could be seen rolling his eyes at Madeley.
In response, Lineker said: “Already you’ve misrepresented what I said, and that’s what happened because of the Daily Mail headline which caused this furore in the first place. I didn’t compare the government to the Nazis, I didn’t talk about the Holocaust, I didn’t do any of that.
“All I said was some of the language is not dissimilar to that used back in the thirties in Germany and there is a substantial difference in that.”
Pushing Lineker on the similarities between the Nazis and the Conservative government, Madeley said: “Let’s just take what you did say then, what is similar about the way the Nazis spoke about race and immigration and and the way that the British government talks about race and immigration? What are the similarities that you allege?”
Lineker replied: “Again, you’re using the term about Nazis and trying to connect it with this government. I was talking about some of the language that is not dissimilar and that is very much the case.
“We use the words “swarm”, we use the word “invasion”, we use the word “rapists”... all these for people fleeing persecution, fleeing war, awful circumstances. All I was trying to say is that we can use kinder language and it was nothing more and nothing less than that, Richard.”
What has the response been like?
Madeley has been criticised following the interview with Lineker, with many on Twitter comparing him to the Steeve Coogan character Alan Partridge.
One person tweeted: “Amused watching @RichardMadeley doing his best Alan Partridge while interviewing @garylineker this morning. Not surprising that the sports presenter out-journoed the so called journalist.”
“@GaryLineker taking no nonsense from Richard Madeley @GMB Madeley trotting out the daily fail rubbish. Madeley being Alan Partridge again,” someone else tweeted.
Another wrote: “#RichardMadeley is a disgrace to broadcasting. #ITV sure know how to pick them.”
“Richard Madeley isn’t impartial or even a journalist. Just a Tory who constantly spews Tory drivel and attacks anyone remotely from the left, or with liberal views. His interviews with the likes of Mick Lynch and Gary Lineker are embarrassing and pointless,” tweeted another.
From our sister title PeopleWorld: Should Richard Madeley leave Good Morning Britain after Gary Lineker interview?