BBC TV chief hits out at “too white” Match of the Day

Match of the Day has been criticised by BBC director of television Danny Cohen over its lack of diversity.

Cohen, who last month attacked the number of BBC comedy shows with all-male panels, has now turned his attention to the channel’s flagship football programme, presented by Gary Lineker.

Match of the Day's studio at MediaCity

Match of the Day’s studio at MediaCity

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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