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Former BBC presenter Mark Lawrenson says he was sacked due to his age and race

Anish Vij

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Former BBC presenter Mark Lawrenson says he was sacked due to his age and race

Ex-BBC football pundit Mark Lawrenson has suggested that he was sacked from his role because of his age and his race.

The Liverpool legend spent 30 years with the organisation and announced his retirement at the end of last season.

However, Lawrenson claims that BBC's head of football told him he was no longer needed.

Mark Lawrenson during the FA Cup third round match at Anfield, Liverpool in 2020. Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo
Mark Lawrenson during the FA Cup third round match at Anfield, Liverpool in 2020. Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Lawrenson was asked about his departure.

He replied: "Well, I’m 65 and a white male, so you know..."

The 65-year-old said that he felt unsettled when Football Focus colleague Dan Walker left the show last year.

"Maybe I should have gone when Dan left and that is not being disrespectful to anybody," Lawrenson said.

"He had been the best presenter for a long time, probably since Ray Stubbs. And it was easy working with him and I just thought, ‘Why on earth would they want to do that?’"

Pictured in March 1985. Credit: Allstar Picture Library Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo
Pictured in March 1985. Credit: Allstar Picture Library Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

Commenting on his replacement, Alex Scott, Lawrenson added: "Alex was just thrown in, so from the outset we were trying to make the programme as easy as possible for her.

"It was a little bit frustrating because she would ask you a question and then move on to the next person and I would want to say something I had just thought of, but I just had to shut up because she was just learning.

"She has done well in fairness to her and she is a lovely kid. It’s a tough gig, because Dan was so good.

"Some people just don’t want her to be any good, but she has gotten better and better."

Lawrenson on BBC Match of the Day show in 1999. Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo
Lawrenson on BBC Match of the Day show in 1999. Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Lawrenson's dislike for 'woke' culture has coincided with BBC's apparent decision to choose their words carefully on air, he says.

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

"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."

Despite seemingly having issues with the way he left the company, Lawrenson says he largely loved his time with the BBC and that they are throwing him a farewell lunch where he can invite 20 guests.

LADbible has contacted BBC for comment.

Featured Image Credit: BBC / PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: BBC, UK News, Sport

Anish Vij
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