Gary Lineker looked full of anticipation as he made his way out of his South London home this morning. The star seemed eager to get back to work after his suspension from Match of the Day last weekend, following a row with the BBC.
He also took to Twitter to celebrate his comeback, writing in view of his 8.9 million followers: “Back to the Saturday job,” alongside a flexed bicep emoji.
Fans were quick to cheer Gary on, with one Twitter user branding him a “legend”.
A second person commented: “It wasn’t the same without you last week, then again I didn’t tune in, in support of you.”
A third fan replied: “Have a great one, Gary. Overwhelmingly supported.”
READ MORE… James Martin inundated with support amid tribute to late friend
It comes just one week after Gary sparked an impartiality disagreement with his employer, the BBC.
The football pundit was taken off air after sharing a tweet comparing the language used to promote a new government asylum seeker policy with rhetoric used in 1930s Germany.
Gary was later reinstated, as the BBC issued an apology and shared a plan to review its social media guidelines.
However, BBC employees have since told Express.co.uk they are “leaving the organisation” in protest at a “complete lack of progression” while big stars like Gary Lineker can do “whatever they want.”
Gary is one of the highest-paid presenters at the BBC, with one insider saying: “We’re not paid mega bucks – far from it. They cut a lot of it to the bone. And yet they waste £1.3million on paying Gary Lineker.”
Lineker “will abide by the editorial guidelines” until a review of the BBC’s social media policy is complete, BBC director-general Tim Davie said.
“Everyone recognises this has been a difficult period for staff, contributors, presenters and, most importantly, our audiences,” Davie added.
“I apologise for this. 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 sports content back on air.”
The broadcaster’s social media guidelines are meant to be followed by BBC staff and presenters who work in news and politics, not those in other areas, such as sports.
Match of the Day went ahead without presenters and commentary last weekend, after regular pundits, including Arsenal legend Ian Wright, refused to appear on the show in solidarity with Gary.
Gary also announced his MOTD return to his Twitter followers on Monday, writing: “After a surreal few days, I’m delighted that we have navigated a way through this. I want to thank you all for the incredible support, particularly my colleagues at BBC Sport, for the remarkable show of solidarity. Football is a team game but their backing was overwhelming.
“I have been presenting sport on the BBC for almost 3 decades and am immeasurably proud to work with the best and fairest broadcaster in the world. I cannot wait to get back in the MOTD chair on Saturday.
“A final thought: however difficult the last few days have been, it simply doesn’t compare to having to flee your home from persecution or war to seek refuge in a land far away. It’s heartwarming to have seen the empathy towards their plight from so many of you.
“We remain a country of predominantly tolerant, welcoming and generous people. Thank you.”