Viewers slam BBC after presenters pay tribute to jailed Boris Becker

‘Boris Becker is a convicted criminal!’: Wimbledon viewers slam BBC after John McEnroe and Sue Barker pay tribute to jailed tennis star

  • McEnroe and Barker said they ‘love and miss’ Becker, who is currently in prison 
  • Becker was found guilty of hiding £2.5m of assets and loans in his bankruptcy
  • He was in last year’s coverage of the event, which he won three times as a player
  • BBC viewers criticised the on-air support for the German-born former tennis star

Wimbledon viewers have slammed the BBC after John McEnroe and Sue Barker paid tribute to jailed Boris Becker live-on-air. 

The British and American tennis legends sent their support to their former colleague, who is currently serving a prison sentence for bankruptcy fraud. 

During the first day of coverage yesterday, seven-time Grand Slam winner McEnroe said in commentary: ‘Boris, we love you. We miss you, man.’

He was joined by Barker, who is anchoring coverage of the tournament for the final time, who said: ‘We do indeed, well said.’

The words drew outrage from some viewers who were angry at the apparent support for the convicted criminal, who had been part of the BBC’s coverage of Wimbledon last year, but was jailed on April 29 this year.

Despite his conviction he is thought of fondly by former colleagues, while his girlfriend Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro and his eldest son Noah sat in Novak Djokovic’s box on day one of the tournament.

The six-time Grand Slam champion is currently serving a two-and-a-half year prison sentence HMP Huntercombe, near Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, after he was found guilty of hiding £2.5million worth of assets and loans to avoid paying off debts when he was declared bankrupt in 2017.

Some viewers hit out at the presenters and suggested they should not be showing support for the 54-year-old on-air.  

During the BBC’s Wimbledon coverage on Monday, seven-time Grand Slam winner McEnroe said during the commentary: ‘Boris, we love you. We miss you, man.’ Barker, who is anchoring the coverage for the final time in her career, added: ‘We do indeed, well said’ 

Becker, 54, was jailed for two years and six months at London ’s Southwark Crown Court on April 29 after being found guilty of four charges under the Insolvency Act

David William Cobb said: ‘Any chance of throwing McEnroe off the programme before he sends greetings to Ghislaine Maxwell or Wayne Couzens via licence payers airwaves (shame on Sue Barker also for agreeing). Boris Becker is a convicted criminal!’

Debbie Scott added: ‘Why are your BBC commentators at Wimbledon talking about Boris Becker? The man’s a criminal in jail for committing a crime, so why are they talking about him during the Wimbledon coverage?’ 

Catherine Smith wrote: ‘Has anyone noticed John McEnroe’s talking and missing Boris Becker, a criminal locked up for fraud. What about the victims he knew he was doing wrong. He should be where he is, disgusting.’

Sarah Yarwood added: ‘Stop presenters mentioning Boris Becker. We pay taxes in order to buy license fee, he avoids it and it’s rubbed in our face.’

Social media users were left angry at the show of support for the former tennis star now he is in prison

Earlier this month, BBC viewers have slammed commentator Andrew Castle after he told disgraced tennis star Boris Becker live on air that they were ‘looking forward to welcoming you back’.

Former tennis player Castle, 58, made the comment during the BBC’s live coverage of the Queen’s Clubs Championships on Friday.

He said: ‘I’ve had a real moment of missing Boris. I know he’s in prison and I know why. Boris, we look forward to welcoming you on your return.’

Last week, McEnroe also said he was planning on visiting Becker in prison during his time in the UK for the tournament. 

He said: ‘Boris is a friend of mine. This is just horrible. I want to see him if I possibly can and if he’s willing to see people.

‘I just feel terrible. He’s one of the great players that has ever played the game, and I know it meant a lot to Boris. He’s been going through a lot for a long time.’

Boris’s earlier trial heard how he had been legally obliged to disclose all of his assets to help pay off his debts of nearly £50milion. 

Jurors found Becker guilty of removal of property, two counts of failing to disclose estate and concealing debt. 

But they cleared him of a further 20 charges which included nine counts of failing to hand over his tennis trophies and medals, including two from Wimbledon. 

The jury found he had made £390,000 worth of payments from his business account following his bankruptcy to nine others, including his ex-wife Barbara and estranged wife Sharlely ‘Lilly’ Becker, the mother of his fourth child. 

Becker, who has lived in London since 2012, was also convicted of failing to declare his share in a sprawling £1m property in his German hometown of Leimen, and hiding a bank loan of almost £700,000 on the house. 

The fourth charge related to not revealing his shares in a technology firm Breaking Data Corp valued at £66,000.

Boris Becker’s girlfriend Lillian de Carvalho Monteiro and his eldest son Noah cheered on Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon on Monday, in their first appearance together since the former world number 1 was jailed.

Lillian de Carvalho Monteiro (top right) sits alongside Noah Becker in Novak Djokovic’s box at Centre Court in their first public outing since Boris Becker’s trial

Boris Becker and girlfriend Lilian De Carvalho Monteiro attend the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in June 2021

Carvalho Monteiro, who is in her 40s, appeared alongside her partner’s 28-year-old son as the pair sat in Djokovic’s box on Centre Court on the first day of this year’s tournament as he played against, and beat, South Korean Soonwoo Kwon.

The political risk analyst, who speaks five languages and has three university degrees, stood by her partner’s side as he was jailed for two-and-a-half years in April.

During his trial at Southwark Crown Court, Lilian, who is thought to have been dating Becker for around three years, supported her partner alongside his son Noah.

Lillian, who was born in the African island state of São Tomé and Príncipe, reportedly blew her beau a goodbye kiss as he was led out of the courtroom following his sentencing.

Since Becker’s sentencing his girlfriend has been seen visiting him at HMP Wandsworth, where he is being held.

MailOnline has contacted the BBC for comment. 

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