Match of the Day viewing figures rocketed by 500,000 after Gary Lineker axed
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Match of the Day enjoyed its largest audience since Novemeber last night, despite the absence of Gary Lineker.
The BBC descended into turmoil this week after the suspension of Gary Lineker sparked a mass-exodus of football pundits and comentators.
Lineker was suspended by the BBC after he refused to apologise - or change the way he uses Twitter - for a Tweet he published earlilier in the week.
Lineker's Tweet likened the language used in the Conservative government's controversial Illegal Migration Bill to that used in 1930s Germany.
The BBC suspended Lineker for breaching it's impartiality regulations, despite the fact that several leading figures at the broadcaster have close ties to the Conservative party.
Following Lineker's suspension both Ian Wright and Alan Shearer said they would not be appearing on Saturday night's edition of Match of the Day.
Several other pundits and presenters including Alex Scott, Mark Chapman, Micah Richards and Jermain Jenas rules themselves out, as did all six commentators who were scheduled to provide commentary for saturday's games.
Ultimately the BBC ended up airing a strange 20-minute version of Match of the Day that included highlights of six games without punditry, commentary or even the usual intro theme music.
There were no post-match interviews with managers or players either, as they were not asked to give interviews to Match of the Day.
On Friday the PFA revealed that some clubs had expressed an interest in showing solidarity with Lineker and his colleagues.
As expeceted, millions of people tuned in to see what could end up being a once-in-a-lifetime event. As a result, the programme received it's best viewing figures since November.
2.58 million people - up nearly 500,000 from last week's 2.09m viewership - tuned in at 10:20pm on Saturday evening.
Saturday's editions of Football Focus and Final Score were pulled from television schedules entirely.