Gary Lineker baffled by BBC apology for sex noise ‘scandal’

Gary Lineker red-faced at sex noise prank on Match of the Day

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Gary Lineker claims that the BBC have got ‘nothing to apologise for’ after a carefully-constructed prank saw Tuesday night’s live Match of the Day coverage interrupted by sex noises. The stunt, which had those in the studio flustered, was eventually claimed by a YouTube prankster who had taped a mobile phone to the back of the set.

During the pre-match build-up ahead of Liverpool’s FA Cup third-round replay with Wolves, Lineker was joined by former Premier League midfielders Paul Ince and Danny Murphy. Kick-off was closing in by the time the noise started to blare out in the studio, which left Lineker and his co-presenters struggling to keep a straight face.

It was not until the match got underway that the mobile phone was found and the BBC subsequently issued an apology. When interviewed by Newsnight after the game, Lineker took a light-hearted view on the incident and questioned the need to say sorry.

“If you had told me this morning that tonight I would be on Newsnight talking about a porn scandal, I would have been terrified,” he admitted.

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“But thankfully it was just something that happened in the studio. When it started, I did recognise that sound, I think we’ve all been done with that. You might open a WhatsApp and somebody has sent it as a trick, or something. It was quite difficult to deal with during the pre-match build-up.

“I thought maybe it had gone to one of the pundits’ phones but then we worked out that it was a prank. It was so loud that I could hardly hear what the pundits were saying. I have to say, I think it’s funny.

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“The BBC have issued some sort of apology – I know not why. We’ve certainly got nothing to apologise for.”

When asked whether it was the strangest obstacle Lineker has had to deal with during his broadcasting career, he continued: “I would say unquestionably. It was quite hard to continue the pre-match build-up in a serious way when it was going on in the background. In all seriousness, the only authorities were worried about is that if someone can plant a phone like that, it’s a security issue for obvious reasons. But as pranks go, it was a good one. Credit to them. It was funny I thought.”

Liverpool and Wolves met for the second time in two weeks in the FA Cup, having drawn their initial third-round clash 2-2. The tie at Molineux did not quite live up to the pre-match drama inside the studio as the Reds edged through by a slim one-goal margin.

Youngster Harvey Elliott was the difference-maker as his first-half stunner provided Jurgen Klopp’s side with the platform to hold on and they face a tough trip in the next round to face Brighton, who beat them comfortably in the Premier League on Saturday.

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