Last week saw a major switch up to the BBC's sporting schedule, as Gary Lineker stepped off air after criticising Home Secretary Suella Braverman's new immigration policy on Tuesday 7th March.


Lineker was accused of breaching BBC impartiality guidelines, and after he was temporarily removed from the show, a host of other presenters and commentators, such as Alan Shearer, Ian Wright and Alex Scott, announced they would also not be appearing on the BBC over the weekend in a show of solidarity.

On Monday 13th March, it was announced that the dispute had been resolved, with Lineker re-instated and BBC director-general Tim Davie releasing a statement.

Davie said: "Impartiality is important to the BBC. It is also important to the public. The BBC has a commitment to impartiality in its Charter and a commitment to freedom of expression. That is a difficult balancing act to get right where people are subject to different contracts and on air positions, and with different audience and social media profiles."

Davie went on to announce an independent review of the BBC's social media guidance, with a particular focus on how it applies to freelancers outside of news and current affairs.

He added: "Gary is a valued part of the BBC and I know how much the BBC means to Gary, and I look forward to him presenting our coverage this coming weekend."

Meanwhile, Lineker said: "I am glad that we have found a way forward. I support this review and look forward to getting back on air."

However, fans may be surprised to see that in spite of this, Lineker will not be hosting Match of the Day this Saturday (18th March). But why will he not be appearing on the show?

Read on for everything you need to know about why Gary Lineker isn't on Match of the Day this weekend.

Why is Gary Lineker not on Match of the Day?

Gary Lineker on Match of the Day
Gary Lineker on Match of the Day. BBC

Despite the dispute between Lineker and the BBC having being resolved, Gary Lineker will not be hosting Match of the Day this week. This is, however, all to do with original scheduling.

It had always been the case that Lineker would not be hosting Match of the Day this weekend, as he will be taking part in live coverage of the FA Cup quarter-final clash between Manchester City and Burnley.

Lineker will be joined by Micah Richards and Alan Shearer in the studio at the Etihad Stadium from 5:25pm on Saturday 18th March 2023.

Match of the Day will instead by hosted in the studio by Mark Chapman at 10:30pm on Saturday 18th March, with Chapman being joined by former player Ashley Williams as part of the line-up.

When will Gary Lineker next host Match of the Day?

Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer and Ian Wright on Match of the Day.
Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer and Ian Wright on Match of the Day. BBC / Pete Dadds

It has not been confirmed just which date Lineker will be back in the studio hosting Match of the Day yet, but now that schedules for the show are back to normal, we imagine his next appearance will be in April 2023.

If you’re looking for something else to watch, check out our TV Guide or Streaming Guide, or visit our Sport hub for all the latest news.


Try Radio Times magazine today and get 12 issues for only £1 with delivery to your home – subscribe now. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.