BBC presenter Gary Lineker’s personal commercial ventures have sparked more concern for his employers than his controversial social media exploits, according to Kelvin MacKenzie.
Lineker has been embroiled in an impartiality row for a significant period of time as a result of his insistence on posting his political views to X, formerly known as Twitter.
According to former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie, Lineker’s opinions will not be his downfall, but he is likely to be shown the door by the broadcaster regardless.
He told GB News that the BBC are concerned by the “competition” Lineker poses through his personal ventures.
Kelvin MacKenzie expects the BBC to let Lineker go
GETTY / GB NEWS
“All he is doing is pulling the tail of the tiger”, he said.
“The BBC are less worried about those tweets than they are about his successful commercial ventures where he is doing podcasts that are doing massive numbers.
“They’re saying, ‘you’re competing against us’. I fully expect Lineker’s contract not to get renewed.
“That will be more for the commercial side of it than the tweets.”
Lineker sparked new controversy by ‘liking’ a tweet which defended the Labour MP who has found herself at the centre of an antisemitism row.
Kate Osamor made a post about Holocaust Memorial Day in which she said that Gaza should be remembered as a genocide.
Patrick Christys spoke to Kelvin MacKenzie on GB News
She has since apologised but has had the whip suspended while the incident is investigated.
The BBC presenter liked a tweet from a presenter from left-wing news organisation Novara Media, who branded the suspension “insane”.
It marks the latest in a long line of incidents which have seen Lineker land himself in hot water on social media.
Back in March 2023, he called the Government’s migrant policy “immeasurably cruel” and compared the language surrounding it to 1930s Germany.
He was removed from his duties as Match of the Day presenter, before swiftly returning to the role after a mass boycott from fellow pundits and commentators.
MacKenzie believes his political takes are not the BBC’s main concern, arguing they are actually his projects which are not associated with the broadcaster.
Lineker hosts The Rest is Football, a football podcast with Micah Richards and Alan Shearer, who both also work with the BBC.
The BBC has been contacted for comment.