Match Of The Day episode branded ‘bleak’ by Richard Osman

‘Bring back Gary Lineker’ BBC News heckled during live report

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Match Of The Day aired for just 20 minutes and did not include accompanying commentary or analysis from pundits or even its famous theme tune. Instead, only short highlight clips of the day’s matches were shown to BBC viewers.

It wasn’t long before celebrity viewers shared their thoughts on the update.

Pointless star Richard Osman branded the episode “bleak” in view of his 1.2 million Twitter followers.

The 52-year-old, who has previously spoken out about the controversy surrounding Gary Lineker, 62, said he had resorted to re-runs of a quiz show to lift his spirits afterwards.

Dan Walker and Piers Morgan were also vocal about the unique MOTD, with the former, 45, slating it as “rubbish”.

While the ex Good Morning Britain host, 57, didn’t hold back, claiming it had been “s**t”.

Richard had tweeted: “Wow, MOTD was BLEAK.

“Am going to watch ‘Would I Lie To You’ to cheer myself up.”

The author also quipped: “I unequivocally support the decision taken by all of the Match Of The Day team, but if Fulham beat Arsenal today* I want every single presenter and pundit back in the studio for a two-hour special.”

Dan firmly agreed with him, posting to his 800,000 fans: “MOTD was rubbish. Anyone else miss the music? #MOTD.”

Piers went on: “BBC should now adjust the licence fee so that everyone on Twitter pretending to prefer Match of the Day in the new format can pay £1 less a month but only ever watch it that way in future.”

He added to 8.4 million users: “Spoiler alert: nobody would take that deal. It’s s**t.”

BBC Breakfast star Rachel Burder went online to ask: “Was anyone else doing DIY commentary for #MOTD last night?”

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Meanwhile, The Chase star Mark Labbett had previously questioned the result if people preferred the new style.

The Beast tweeted: “I can respect the principled stand by the MOTD presenters and pundits but what happen if the 100 per cent football option proves more popular and the ratings go up? #MOTDboycott.”

This morning it was revealed that Saturday night’s MOTD had been watched by 2.6 million viewers, according to BBC News.

The programme was viewed by nearly half a million more than last Saturday’s show, which had an audience of 2.1 million, according to BARB overnight figures.

It comes after presenters withdrew from the show, including Ian Wright and Alan Shearer, in solidarity with Gary who was asked to step back for comparing the language used to launch a new Government asylum seeker policy with 1930s Germany in a tweet.

Former BBC executive Peter Salmon, who was previously controller of BBC One and director of sport, told Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg the situation was “complex” and Gary a “major figure”.

Previously, Richard shared a headline which read: “Gary Lineker to step back from presenting Match of the Day until agreement reached on social media use – BBC statement.”

He had commented alongside: “This is pathetic for so many reasons.”

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