Michael Vaughan is in a stand-off with the BBC over proposed return to broadcaster

EXCLUSIVE: Ex-England captain Michael Vaughan in stand-off with BBC over proposal to rename his popular Radio 5 Live show, with his proposed return coming just four months after exile for alleged racist remarks to Azeem Rafiq

  • Michael Vaughan has been signed up by BT Sport as pundit for West Indies tour
  • BBC executives are open to bringing Vaughan back at some point in the future
  • But they want to retitle the popular The Tuffers and Vaughan Cricket Show
  • Vaughan is against it as it could be interpreted as an admission of wrongdoing

Michael Vaughan is in a stand-off with the BBC over his proposed return to the corporation four months after he was exiled for allegedly making racist remarks to Azeem Rafiq.

The former England captain has been signed up by BT Sport as a studio pundit for the West Indies tour this month, but his future at the BBC remains uncertain despite many former colleagues wanting him to return.

BBC executives are open to bringing Vaughan back at some point, but the terms and timing have yet to be agreed.

Michael Vaughan is in a stand-off with the BBC over his proposed return to the corporation

It comes four months after he was exiled for allegedly making racist remarks to Azeem Rafiq

It comes four months after he was exiled for allegedly making racist remarks to Azeem Rafiq

Sportsmail has learned that one of the issues is a proposal from the BBC to retitle his popular Radio 5 Live discussion program The Tuffers and Vaughan Cricket Show and make it a generic cricket program featuring a range of guests, with him no longer in such a central role .

Vaughan is understood to be resisting this idea on the grounds that accepting a downgraded role could be interpreted as an admission of wrongdoing.

The Ashes-winning hero has always denied using racist language and is not facing any ECB disciplinary charges, unlike other former cricketers accused by Rafiq.

Vaughan was dropped by the BBC and BT Sport for their Ashes coverage earlier this winter after Rafiq claimed Vaughan told Yorkshire players of Asian descent there are ‘too many of you lot, we need to do something about it’, before a county game in 2009 .

BBC executives are open to bringing Vaughan back at some point but his future is uncertain

BBC executives are open to bringing Vaughan back at some point but his future is uncertain

His denials were not enough to keep him on air in the UK from Australia, with BT Sport taking the extreme step of cutting away from the Fox Sports audio feed every time Vaughan appeared. They have since made their peace with him.

Vaughan’s future at the BBC remains unclear, with the situation complicated by talkSPORT having the live radio rights for the West Indies series. The BBC are producing daily podcasts and Vaughan has not been booked to appear.

Many of the BBC Sport team are understood to want Vaughan back on the airwaves, but have been told that any decision will be made at the highest level by director general Tim Davie and director of sport Barbara Slater.

The BBC are proposing to retitle his program with ex-England spinner Phil Tufnell (above)

The BBC are proposing to retitle his program with ex-England spinner Phil Tufnell (above)

The 47-year-old remains under contract at the BBC, but could be forced to sit out their coverage from the West Indies before returning for the home summer, featuring series against New Zealand, India and South Africa.

Vaughan was initially stood down by the BBC on November 1 when a planned broadcast of Tuffers and Vaughan was canceled at short notice.

The BBC described it as a temporary measure and insisted he had not been suspended, but he has not appeared on their channels since, other than giving an interview to Dan Walker later in the month in which he apologized for sending offensive tweets and for the suffering Rafiq experienced at Yorkshire.

Vaughan has since attended a diversity and inclusion course.

BBC director general Tim Davies

BBC director of sport Barbara Slater

Any decision to bring him back will be made at the highest level by Tim Davie (L) and Barbara Slater (R)

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