BBC Breakfast faces backlash after Mike Yarwood tribute blunder

BBC Breakfast hosts Charlie Stayt and Sarah Campbell paid tribute to the late Mike Yarwood after his death at the age of 82.

Mike was well-loved in the 1960s and 70s for his impersonations of public figures and there were many who wanted to pay their respects.

Joining the BBC Breakfast team were Jon Culshaw and Alistair McGowen, who both thanked Mike for inspiring them.

However, as they both spoke about Mike, BBC Breakfast noted the channel had broadcast an image of Lionel Blair instead of Mike.

Jon commented: “He inspired us so much, and the way Mike took all of those little foibles of the characters that none of us realised or even noticed and he exaggerated them, made them hilarious, and it just translated through so vividly.

“Saturday night BBC One, the golden age of TV, and Mike really did set the bar.”

Spotting the photo of Lionel, one viewer took to X, formerly known as Twitter, posted: “I’m sorry but that’s not Mike Yarwood. It’s Lionel Blair #BBCBreakfast.”

“Lionel Blair? Not Mike Yarwood!! #BBCBreakfast,” a second chimed.

A third continued: “#BBCBreakfast fail for Mike Yarwood! Showing Lionel Blair. Someone needs coffee! Or #Specsavers.”

Someone else asked: “Why the random picture of Lionel Blair on @BBCBreakfast in the middle of a piece about Mike Yarwood? Or have I missed something?”

Another tweeted: “I’m pretty sure Lionel Blair wasn’t Mike Yarwood. #BBCBreakfast.”

Mike’s death was confirmed by the Royal Variety Charity on Friday in a statement which read: “He leaves behind an immeasurable void in the entertainment industry.

“Mike Yarwood quickly rose to prominence for his exceptional ability to mimic the voices and mannerisms of countless celebrities and public figures.

“His talent for impersonation brought smiles to the faces of millions and his unique ability to capture the essence of his subjects made him an icon in the comedy world.

“Throughout his career, Mike graced television screens nationwide, becoming a household name in the 1960s and 1970s.

“His variety shows, including The Mike Yarwood Show, and Mike Yarwood In Persons, captivated audiences and showcased his uncanny talent for mimicry on prime-time television for two decades.

“The Mike Yarwood Show (1977) holds the record for the largest single Christmas Day audience of 21.4 million viewers. Mike’s family have asked that their privacy be respected during this sad and difficult time.”

BBC Breakfast airs daily on BBC One from 6am.