Fatboy Slim shares support for Gary Lineker during gig amid BBC suspension: Watch
Lineker's position as host of Match Of The Day has since been reinstated
As Gary Lineker's suspension from the BBC caused heavy disruption to the organisation's TV and radio scheduling this past weekend, Fatboy Slim threw his support behind the presenter and former footballer.
During his set on Friday night at Manchester's O2 Victoria Warehouse, visuals of Lineker's face were displayed on a large video screen behind Fatboy Slim – the moment was met by huge cheers from the crowd. Images of other public figures, such as Prince and Greta Thunberg, also featured.
Sharing a video of the moment via Twitter, Fatboy Slim tagged Lineker and wrote: "Enough respect. I'm With Gary." You can watch the moment below.
The controversy around Lineker emerged after he criticised a UK Government policy headed by Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who last week outlined a much-criticised plan to ban people arriving in the UK illegally from ever claiming asylum.
Responding to the proposal, Lineker said it was "immeasurably cruel" and "directed at the most vulnerable people in language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the '30s". Braverman and other Government figures hit back through last week, disagreeing with the language parallels that he suggested were taking place.
Following an ongoing news cycle, the BBC asked Lineker to apologise and withdraw his opinion or "step back" from his role with BBC Sport and as host of the organisation's flagship football show Match Of The Day. Refusing to apologise, he was taken off air, with the BBC citing issues around the network's impartiality rules. The move, the organisation said at the time, would remain in place until "we've got an agreed and clear position on his use of social media".
With pundits Ian Wright and Alan Shearer soon withdrawing from Saturday night's episode of Match Of The Day, and other figures such as presenters and commentators also refusing to go on air over the weekend until he was reinstated, the BBC was forced to pull a number of programmes from its schedule and air a truncated edition of Match Of The Day with no studio punditry or commentary.
Lineker was reinstated earlier today (Monday, 13th March), with the BBC's Director-General, Tim Davie, apologising for the disruption and announcing an independent review into social media use for BBC figures who work outside of the network's news and current affairs output.
Fatboy Slim is currently on an 11-date tour of the UK, with shows still to come in Brighton, London, Cardiff and Bournemouth.
In August, he shared a 20th anniversary mix for his historic Big Beach Boutique Festival in Brighton, and he also released a deluxe box set to commemorate the anniversary at the start of September.