Alan Shearer delivered a passionate, on-screen apology to fans as he made his TV return alongside Gary Lineker.

The Match of the Day host was pulled from screens last weekend amid the row with BBC bosses for comments he made about the government's asylum policies. Amid that decision, former Newcastle striker Shearer and his colleagues, such as Ian Wright, elected not to appear on any BBC programming throughout the weekend.

It was announced that an agreement had been found for Lineker to return - which he duly did for Manchester City's FA Cup quarter-final against Burnley on Saturday afternoon. Shearer also returned and had some strong words for viewers in the opening minutes of the coverage.

Speaking before any football chat got underway, the Newcastle icon said: “I just need to clear up and wanted to say how upset we were for the audience that missed out last weekend. It was a really difficult situation for everyone concerned and through no fault of their own some really great people in TV and radio were put in an impossible situation and that wasn’t fair so it’s good to get back to some sort of normality and be talking about football again."

Lineker then replied: “Absolutely, I echo those sentiments.”

The conversation then quickly turned to the upcoming game as Vincent Kompany returned to the Etihad Stadium to take on his former employers. Ahead of the game, Lineker managed to find some time for a few telling social media posts.

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"Ah the joys of being allowed to stick to football," he wrote on Twitter, sharing a photo from the Etihad Stadium. A second photo captioned with the caption "teammates" showed Lineker in the studio next to Micah Richards and Shearer.

Whilst fans were delighted to see Lineker return to screens, they might have been disappointed should they want to tune into Saturday's regular Match of the Day on Saturday.

Amid his FA Cup commitments at the Etihad, Lineker was not selected to host the programme, with colleague Mark Chapman taking his place. Interestingly enough, he was actually at the heart of an awkward joke from former England goalkeeper Rob Green during 5 Live’s Sport’s programme on Saturday afternoon.

The panel were discussing Chris Wilder’s appointment as Watford manager, which came shortly after he appeared on the programme.

Green then saw his opportunity to fire a jibe towards his colleague by saying: "I don't know what is more precarious, working for Watford, or working for the BBC?!"

Chapman laughed briefly before then attempting to change topic. "Moving swiftly on,” he began, before intelligently steering the conversation elsewhere.

2023-03-18T17:37:13Z dg43tfdfdgfd