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30th Sep 2022

Mark Lawrenson claims the BBC are ‘frightened to give you bad news’

Callum Boyle

‘I just don’t get it’

Mark Lawrenson has said that the BBC are “frightened to give you bad news” while also claiming that former presenter Dan Walker found out he was being replaced on Football Focus through rumours about his future.

Lawrenson, who stepped down from his role as a pundit and co-commentator after over 30 years of service, said that his departure was due to him being “65, white and male”.

Walker had been the host of Football Focus since 2009 but was replaced by Alex Scott in 2021 and Lawrenson has been critical of the way his departure was handled.

“I just don’t get it. I think the premise should be, whatever age you are, colour or whatever, if you can do what you are asked to do, and are very good at the job, then you should still be in the job,” he told GB News.

“It is just very very strange. I mean, Dan Walker, I am sure you know Dan, he used to present Football Focus. He found out from basically rumours that he had lost his job at the end of the season.

“So it is just a strange way that the BBC operate I am afraid. And they seem to be very frightened to give you bad news. It is a very strange thing.”

The former Liverpool defender also hit out at the BBC for how they handled his own departure and his frustrations against the BBC’s safe culture led to him becoming ‘anti-woke.’

Speaking to the Sunday Times he said: “The Beeb are probably the worst at giving you bad news. It was just, ‘We are going on the road next season with Focus. We don’t think it is really something for you.

“I just wish they had said to me at the start of my contract last year, ‘You’ve had a great run, thanks very much and you are not working next season.’

“In all my time at the BBC, nobody ever said you can’t say this or that, but the woke thing drives me bonkers.

“Whereas normally you would say the first thing that comes into your head, you’re now thinking, ‘If I say that will I get into trouble?’ It was a bit like playing with your legs tied together.

“The BBC is the national broadcaster and I get that, but they are frightened to death of upsetting anybody.”

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