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SNP MP grills BBC boss over ‘that Gazza goal’ shown during Euros coverage

Paul Gascoigne

BBC bosses have been criticised for showing Paul Gascoigne’s famous Euro 96 strike against Scotland “continually” during this year’s tournament coverage.

Scottish Affairs Committee chairman Pete Wishart remonstrated with BBC executives over the network’s England centric sports coverage during the 2020 Euros.

The SNP MP was unhappy with “references to 1966”, when England lifted the World Cup, and warned it had damaged how Scottish viewers “perceive” the BBC.

Mr Wishart, citing a recent Ofcom survey, said: “BBC News is perceived by some as representing a mainly white, middle class and London centric point of view.

“One of the things that people got in touch about was that the coverage of the European football.

“We were seeing that Gazza goal continually and references to 1966.

“What communication do you have with colleagues in Salford or London just about how this is being communicated and presented in Scotland and the impact and effect that it has on how Scottish viewers perceive and experience some of the news, particularly they see from the BBC?”

Gary Smith, head of news and current affairs at BBC Scotland, did not respond directly to questions about Gascoigne’s goal but said: “We talk a lot about the stories we’re covering and we talk about how they’re being covered.”

He added: “On the points you made about the nature of news being London centric, I think it’s really important to look across the UK policy that was announced by the director general just some months ago, which is going to mean a considerable number of extra news jobs moving to Scotland.”

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