Eamonn Holmes claims that the BBC attempted to replace him with Gary Lineker before his colleagues intervened.
The 63-year-old controversial broadcaster formerly hosted the snooker show Pot Black in the early 1990s.
However, he claims his colleagues were compelled to rally around him after the BBC nominated sports commentator Gary, 62, to replace him.
Eamonn made the discovery while addressing statements made by Des Lynam, who said Match of the Day presenter Gary should stick to sports and not voice political thoughts, on GB News.
His remarks came after the commentator was told to’step aside’ from hosting the football programme earlier this year until he and the BBC established a ‘agreed and unambiguous policy’ on social media use.
‘He was extremely positive about Gary, saying he liked him as a broadcaster,’ Eamonn said.
‘Des is the doyen, Des is the Pope of broadcasting. He is the one if you were any good you wanted to be like because he was the best.
‘See, Gary Lineker actually changed the way sports representation happened after that because prior to that, there were anchors, people like David Coleman, Frank Bough, Dickie Davies, Des Lynam.
‘After Des, it was sports hosts who anchored all the programmes. You had to have competed at some level or been involved in sport.’
The former This Morning presenter added that he believes Gary is a ‘very, very good presenter’, however, the ‘landscape’ has changed.
Asked if he thinks the shift in presenting is a positive thing, Eamonn replied: ‘I don’t think it’s a good idea, particularly on football.
‘I think it’s very good to have someone who has an interest… in the game and be asked somewhat naive or silly questions at some stage but have the passion of a fan.
‘You don’t always have to be an expert to present certain stuff.’
'They wanted to replace me with Gary Lineker!'@EamonnHolmes reveals the BBC planned to drop him as a snooker presenter in favour of the former footballer.
— GB News (@GBNEWS) July 24, 2023
Des is entitled to his opinion…as, of course, am I. https://t.co/gga82yQdzh
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) July 23, 2023
Eammon then recounted his time presenting snooker, during which he nearly got snookered himself.
‘I used to host snooker for the BBC at that stage, and they wanted to replace me with Gary Lineker. Pot Black and things…’, he explained.
‘I’m lucky that the snooker players, I think, got together as a union and said, “No, we like Eamonn.”
‘And, actually, it’s a tremendous tribute to me that they said, “No, we want Eamonn to stay”, and they had that power that meant that I stayed on hosting snooker, that was a great compliment.’
Gary, who was born in Belfast, was described as a “top dude” by the star.
Des’s initial comments attracted attention as, while speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Broadcasting House show, the 80-year-old broadcaster said: ‘I like him as a man, I like him as a broadcaster.
‘But, I think there are some areas that he should stay out of.
‘For example, the last World Cup was in Qatar and he went very, very strongly about the limitations of society in Qatar.
‘And he’s right, there are, but he’s not the person to say it. Get on with the football.’
Gary quickly responded with a clap of his own.
Responding to Lynam’s comments, Gary simply tweeted: ‘Des is entitled to his opinion… as, of course, am I.’
The BBC has been contacted for comment.