Alex Scott pulls out of BBC’s Football Focus in support for Gary Lineker as last-minute replacement is named

FOOTBALL Focus host Alex Scott has pulled out of presenting the hit BBC sports show in support of Gary Lineker.

Alex told BBC bosses last night she would step down with Kelly Somers called in to replace her for today’s episode.

GettyThe BBC’s entire sports output this weekend has been thrown into crisis as the Match of the Day boycott spreads[/caption]

Former Arsenal Women’s player Alex told colleagues she chose to step back from the BBC One show in solidarity for Match Of The Day host Gary.

A source said: “Alex fully supports Gary and last night decided she would not host Football Focus to show her support for him.

“Kelly has been brought in to replace her for the episode. Alex was in Media City in Manchester preparing for the show yesterday but after seeing the news play out said she did not feel comfortable.”

Ian Wright and Alan Shearer also walked out in “solidarity” with Lineker, 62, who had compared the Government’s language around its small boats crackdown to that of 1930s Germany in a tweet.

The BBC announced yesterday they had asked Lineker to step down while they worked out the row.

The move left Lineker stunned. 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

“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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