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Match of the Day “is too white”, says BBC TV chief


BBC director of television Danny Cohen has singled out Match of the Day for its lack of diversity.

Cohen, who recently criticised the number of comedy shows with all-male panels, has seemingly turned his attention to BBC1’s Gary Lineker-fronted football programme.

BBC's Danny Cohen BBC’s Danny Cohen

Responding to a question at the BBC Reflect and Represent event, Cohen argued that those appearing on Match of the Day – which is based alongside the rest of BBC Sport at MediaCityUK – should better reflect football’s diversity.

Cohen said: “If we have five people on a panel show, it shouldn’t be five white men. I think the same thing of Match of the Day. It’s a very diverse sport and it shouldn’t be like that when we make that programme.”

Garth Crooks, Dion Dublin and Mark Bright are among the BBC’s black pundits, while Rio Ferdinand has been signed up to join the broadcaster’s World Cup team in Rio this summer.

Jacqui Oatley was the first female commentator to appear on Match of the Day in 2007 and continues to work on a freelance basis for TV and 5 live, while Charlotte Green this season took over as the voice of the BBC’s classified football results.

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