Hugh Bonneville and Jason Watkins jokingly returned to their roles in the BBC sitcom W1A to discuss who should present Match Of The Day, as they poked fun at the corporation’s decision to take Gary Lineker off the show.
The series, which ran three seasons from 2014 to 2017, saw Bonneville play the Head of Values at the BBC in a mockumentary about the corporation’s management alongside Watkins and Jessica Hynes.
Recasting himself as Ian Fletcher, Bonneville sent a tweet to Watkins in character as Ian Fletcher, discussing his proposed plans for Match Of The Day with Watkins’ W1A part Simon Harwood – suggesting Lord Alan Sugar or former prime minister Boris Johnson could step in as pundits pulled out.
“Right no yes it’s all perfectly under control: Alan Sugar’s going to present (Match of the Day) and if Ian Wright does end up playing truant, (BBC chair) Richard Sharp says Boris Johnson will stand in for £800,000,” Paddington film star Bonneville tweeted.
“So that’s all good.”
After former Arsenal footballer and pundit Wright pulled out of appearing on Match of the Day, closely followed by ex-Newcastle striker Alan Shearer, The Crown actor Watkins responded.
“Yes no brilliant brilliant brilliant Ian,” he tweeted.
“I mean you’ll know how you want to deal with this but Timmy sweating a little as, (did you know?) Boris is asking for the 800k PER SHOW. He knows less about football than he does about throwing a party. And Alan supports Spurs!
“Ah now no yes, it’s a knotty isn’t it? Shearer going behind the bike shed too now. Says HE won’t do (Match of the Day) (Hates being left out!)”
As the Twitter exchange continued, Bonneville joked that they could bring in BBC sports broadcaster Clare Balding.
“She’s currently on that brainstorming retreat for BBC WINbledon in the Algarve but we could just about get her back in time,” he tweeted.
He added: “I suppose we could ask the FA to cancel all matches. That would help us out of a sticky I mean wouldn’t it?”
Finally, Bonneville suggest Sir David Attenborough – who also hit headlines on Friday after claims the BBC pulled an episode of his latest nature series, Wild Isles, out of fears of a political backlash.
“Just had a missed call from Sir David Attenborough,” Bonneville tweeted.
“Do you think he’d be up for (Match of the Day)?”
Watkins replied: “Yes no good thinking Ian.
“He’s incredibly expensive of course and we’ve blown our budget on Boris. I have told various awards panels that if you keep giving people #LifetimeAchievement awards, fees go up and we have to pay them.
“If only we could get a loan to pay Sir David.”