Gary Lineker apologises to Luke Chadwick for cruel jokes about his looks on They Think It’s All Over after host Nick Hancock admitted he was now ‘appalled’ at how they had mocked the former Manchester United youngster
- Luke Chadwick was a regular target of jokes about his appearance on BBC show
- BBC show They Think It’s All Over featured Nick Hancock and Gary Lineker
- Chadwick said jibes about his looks week after week drained his confidence
- Lineker has now responded by apologising for any hurt he caused Chadwick
Gary Lineker has apologised to Luke Chadwick for the cruel insults directed towards the former Manchester United teenager on They Think It’s All Over.
Chadwick recently opened up about how the jibes featured at his expense on the television show obliterated his already fragile confidence.
On Twitter Lineker wrote: ‘I was part of that show, therefore, I too would like to apologise to Luke Chadwick for any hurt caused.’
Manchester United player Luke Chadwick was the subject of cruel jokes about his appearance on the BBC show They Think It’s All Over
Lineker was one of the guest captains on the show and tweeted his apology to Chadwick
The show was fronted by Nick Hancock, who said: ‘Listening to Luke is incredibly humbling, he’s shown so much more generosity and understanding and good judgement than we did at the time.
‘I’m appalled for him and at myself. When I hear him speaking, I’m full of admiration for the present Luke Chadwick and full of sympathy for the young Luke Chadwick.
‘The terrible thing about comedians and comedy shows is that if you’re getting laughs, you think you’re doing a good job.
The show’s former presenter Nick Hancock admitted he felt appalled at himself
‘Of course the worst thing for Luke was that it became a bit of a running joke. To us it was a photograph. That’s not good obviously, we should have been thinking about the person, but that’s what can happen.’
And Hancock went on to add: ‘Nobody should expect Luke to have called us on it, but it would have been effective if say the PFA or his club had said something.
‘I’m desperate to be in touch with him. I would be happy to meet him and hopefully we could put it to bed. If he feels he couldn’t forgive me, although he sounds like he may be able to, I would understand that too.’
They Think It’s All Over featured guest captains, including Lineker, and poked fun at Chadwick week after week.
They Think It’s All Over was a satirical sports-based panel show presented by Hancock (centre) and featuring Lineker (right), David Gower (left), Jonathan Ross (top left) and Rory McGrath (top middle)
Chadwick was a teenager at the time and left ‘hoping and praying’ he wouldn’t be mentioned
And Chadwick, a teenager trying to break into Sir Alex Ferguson’s first team at Old Trafford at the time, revealed how the jibes drained his confidence to the point where even going out shopping turned into an ordeal.
Chadwick has since wondered whether he should have spoken to the BBC and asked them to stop the jokes about his looks.
He told The Athletic: ‘When they started bringing it [my appearance] up, they were bringing me to the attention of millions of people.
‘I remember the first time and someone texting me to say, “Nice appearance on They Think It’s All Over”.
‘I was so shocked because I was quite naive back then, even if I was playing occasionally for Manchester United.
‘I watched it the next week and I could see people laughing at these jokes about me. It was obviously funny to other people but, to me, it didn’t feel like that.
Chadwick said the jokes about his looks meant even a trip to the shops could be an ordeal
‘After that, I would dread every Friday. I wasn’t a hugely confident guy anyway and this just made it worse. I used to half-watch it, hoping and praying that they would stop. But they never did. It just carried on and on.
‘I always asked myself whether I should have tried to speak to them [the BBC] about it. As a 19 or 20-year-old boy, would it have been possible to speak to someone at the BBC and stop them talking about me? Or would they have carried on anyway?
‘You’d like to think it would have stopped. But I don’t know. At the time, it was just accepted.’
Chadwick, 39, went on to play for West Ham, Stoke, Norwich, MK Dons and Cambridge United after leaving Old Trafford in 2004 having made 39 first-team appearances.
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