Sack Lineker and replace with a woman ‘at half the price’, says ex-BBC governor

Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer and Ian Wright should be sacked from Match of the Day and replaced with women “at half the price”, a former BBC governor has said.

The suggestion from Lord Young of Norwood Green sparked outcry from his own Labour benches in the House of Lords.

However, he insisted he did not believe the corporation should be paying Mr Lineker’s £1.35 million salary or Mr Shearer’s £450,000 sum.

He told peers in Westminster: “I tend to echo the view that was made about Gary Lineker and his salary.

“He’s like many people in that position in the past who believe they are irreplaceable.

“You’ll remember that Jeremy Clarkson and the Top Gear team thought that they were irreplaceable and needless to say that Top Gear thrives just as successfully without them.

“So, if I had a solution, and advice that I have conveyed in written form to the director-general, it would be to get rid of the old boys’ club, namely Lineker, Shearer and Wright, replace it with at least one or two women, which we could probably do at half the price and they’d do twice as good a job.”

Several peers, including from his own party, heckled Lord Young after this comment, with one shouting: “Half the price?”

Lord Young responded: “I don’t believe that we should be paying those kinds of prices to presenters.”

He added that, if the director-general did fire the Match of the Day team and replace them with lower-paid presenters, they could “save the BBC Singers, which provide a really important contribution to the country.”

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay, a minister in the department for Culture, Media and Sport, said: “Decisions about salaries are, of course, for the BBC, but the Government have urged transparency over those payments so the licence fee payers are aware of how their money is being spent.”