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Gary Lineker enjoying £1.2million Walkers deal – as Nick Knowles faces sack for cereal ad

Fans have leapt to Knowles‘ defence after it was claimed he might lose out on his BBC gig for appearing in a cereal advert. The presenter, who is known for his role as host of DIY SOS, upset the corporation after playing a builder in a Shreddies commercial. Reports suggest the advert breaches the broadcaster’s strict advertising rules which ban “talent” from trading-off their on-screen personas.

Fans of Knowles took to social media to complain about the potential move, some branding the BBC “inconsistent” for allowing Match of the Day host Lineker to continue being the face of Walkers crisps.

One Twitter user said: “This is ridiculous. What’s the difference between Gary Lineker selling Walkers Crisps? Very inconsistent policy?”

Lineker has been a part of the Walkers brand for 25 years, and in October signed a contract extending his services until 2023.

As part of the contract, the ex-footballer, 60, bagged a monstrous £1.2million.

The new deal will see him in fewer adverts and take on an ambassadorial role, according to Fernando Kahane, Walkers’ senior marketing director.

He had also recently signed a five-year deal with the BBC said to be worth £6.75million.

This deal was intended to water down his regular salary having taken a voluntary 23 percent pay cut.

Tim Davie, the BBC’s new Director General, told the i newspaper that the deal “across the board will deliver savings of one quarter over his last contract”.

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“I’m currently negotiating a new contract with them and I’m volunteering to take less.”

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He reportedly told a friend: ‘It’s the right thing to do.”

Despite this, controversy has continued to surround the amount of cash he takes home.

In February, he was accused of “mocking the poor” after joking about his new salary in response to the corporation ramping up the cost of the licence fee.

The hike saw it go from £157.50 to £159 a year.

Taking to Twitter, he wrote: “But, but I’ve just taken a pay cut.”

This was followed by a smiling emoji face with its tongue out.

His attempt at sarcasm misfired, with people describing him as “heartless” and “missing the mood of the public”.

Fans who usually supported him said they thought the comment was misjudged, adding: “Your timing isn’t great, Gary.”

Meanwhile, in a crunch Zoom meeting last month, Knowles was told by BBC bosses that he had to get the Shreddies advert taken off air or quit DIY SOS, according to MailOnline.

While the show helped launch his career, Knowles has recently signed up for a new DIY programme on Channel 5.

He is also still advertising the Shreddies commercial at the top of his website.

MailOnline added that it “understands that the issue is the similarity between Knowles’ character in the advert and his role as the presenter of DIY SOS – and whether it breaches a rule banning stars from replicating their BBC roles in commercials”.

In a joint statement from the BBC and Nick told the publication: “Both the BBC and Nick are keen to resolve this matter and are working together to seek a solution.” 

The BBC has been approached for comment.


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