Gary Lineker was seen getting into a car outside of his south London home hours before his much-anticipated return on the BBC.
The pundit, 62, has been at the centre of an impartiality row with the Line of Duty broadcaster after tweeting about a new Government asylum seeker policy.
The Match of the Day presenter was controversially asked to step back from the popular football highlights show after comparing the Home Office’s new plans to Nazi Germany.
There was an outpouring of support for the former Leicester City player, with fellow broadcasters including Ian Wright and Alan Shearer, also pulling out of the beloved programme.
While the ex-England striker will not helm MOTD on Saturday, he will be back presenting the BBC’s coverage of the FA Cup quarter-final between Manchester City and Burnley at the Etihad Stadium.
Hours before kick-off, he was spotted looking dapper in a dark blue shirt layered over with a black suit as he left his London home in a car.
Looking like he meant business, the Walkers star was presumably on the way to the BBC studios, joking on Twitter: ‘Back to the Saturday job.’
When asked by LaLiga Sports TV about how his week has been on Friday, the former England striker said: ‘Really quiet. Nothing much going on. You could say it’s been an interesting week but I’m still here, still punching.
‘It was interesting and also hugely gratifying, I had an amazing amount of support from my friends and colleagues which was quite beautiful actually.
‘It was totally disproportionate the whole thing but we’re OK. It’s resolved, I’m relieved, I’m back to work tomorrow and all is well with the world.’
MOTD aired for only 20 minutes last Saturday without accompanying commentary or analysis from presenters, with Sunday’s edition following a similar format and running for just 15 minutes.
BBC director-general Tim Davie said in a statement the corporation has commissioned an independent review of its social media guidelines, particularly for freelancers.
Davie apologised for what he acknowledged had been ‘a difficult period for staff, contributors, presenters and, most importantly, our audiences’ and described the BBC’s commitment to freedom of expression and impartiality as a ‘difficult balancing act’.
He added: ‘The potential confusion caused by the grey areas of the BBC’s social media guidance that was introduced in 2020 is recognised. I want to get matters resolved and our sport content back on air.’
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