EXCLUSIVE: Stephen Lyle emerges as the early frontrunner to become the BBC's new director of sport...
Stephen Lyle has emerged as the early frontrunner to replace outgoing BBC director of sport Barbara Slater - who announced she would be quitting just six months after the Gary Lineker crisis.
In a move which would see the former Channel 4 head of sport become the first person of colour to hold the role, which was created in 2000, insiders have disclosed BBC bosses are already discussing a replacement for Slater, who announced on Wednesday that she will retire in the spring following 14 years overseeing the broadcaster's sport output.
Slater, a former gymnast who competed in the 1976 Olympic Games, came in for criticism for her part in the Lineker saga. She oversaw BBC Sport's response which saw the Match of the Day presenter taken off the air for publicly comparing the Government's flagship illegal immigration bill to Nazi Germany.
That decision, which triggered a backlash among staff with star names such as Ian Wright, Alan Shearer and Mark Chapman boycotting BBC programmes, was ultimately made by director general Tim Davie.