Alex Scott couldn't help but crack a joke after she replaced Gary Lineker for the BBC's coverage of Brighton's FA Cup quarter-final tie against Grimsby on Sunday.

Scott, 38, had to fill in for Lineker, who pulled out of presenting due to illness. The former Leicester and Tottenham striker was set to be at the Amex Stadium for the Seagulls' clash against the League Two side but was forced to withdraw after picking up a "nasty cold".

The BBC's statement read: "Due to illness, we've got a line-up change for today's live FA Cup coverage of Brighton v Grimsby on BBC One.

"As viewers will have noticed yesterday, Gary Lineker was struggling with his voice and unfortunately it has deteriorated overnight. Alex Scott will be hosting instead."

Towards the start of coverage on BBC 1, Scott cracked a brief joke after all the controversy surrounding Lineker and then his absence last weekend. She said: "Everyone in the house apart from Gary Lineker," which made pundits Danny Murphy and Glenn Murray laugh, with the pair working alongside Scott.

Lineker was scheduled to working for the BBC for the second day in a row after being at the Etihad Stadium for Manchester City's 6-0 win over Burnley. Pep Guardiola's side thrashed Vincent Kompany's men on Saturday with Erling Haaland grabbing a hat-trick, while Julian Alvarez and Cole Palmer also found the net.

However, viewers noticed on BBC's coverage that Lineker was struggling with his voice. Alan Shearer and Micah Richards were present with Lineker as City booked their place into the FA Cup semi-final.

Lineker's condition worsened overnight and he pulled out on Sunday morning. He tweeted: "I've been silenced.... literally, by a nasty cold so, annoyingly, won’t be working at @OfficialBHAFC this afternoon."

This is comes after Lineker was axed from Match of the Day last weekend following his comments on the government's bill on illegal migrants. He was taken off air for MOTD, with Shearer and Wright also pulling out from working in solidarity, while many other pundits joined in to support Lineker.

The matter between Lineker and the BBC was resolved on Monday as the two came to an agreement. In a statement on social media, Lineker opened up about returning to work.

He tweeted: "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 three 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."

2023-03-19T15:37:15Z dg43tfdfdgfd