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  • Writer's pictureLara Clarke


Match of the Day, currently presented by Gary Lineker, is the longest-running football programme in the world. Originally aired on BBC2 in August 1964 but transferred to BBC1 in 1966 following England’s success at the 1966 FIFA World Cup. The shows catchy theme tune was composed for the programme in 1970 and was used for the first time on 15th August 1970 and was voted the most recognised TV theme tune in a 2010 poll. To date there has been 51 series with over 5,000 episodes broadcast.

Gary Lineker OBE is a former professional footballer and regarded as one of the greatest English strikers and now holds the longest tenure of any MOTD presenter. Lineker’s England debut was in 1984, he earned 80 caps and scored 48 goals over an 8 year international career.

The show has been running for nearly 60 years but, unbelievably, there have only been 5 main presenters of the show in all that time – Kenneth Wolstenholme 1964 – 1967, David Coleman 1967 – 1973 followed by the golden era of Jimmy Hill 1973 – 1988, Des Lynam 1988 – 1999 and Gary Lineker since 1999. Lineker is usually joined by two or three fellow analysts and commentators which currently includes Alan Shearer, Ian Wright, Micah Richards, Jermaine Jenas, Martin Keown and Danny Murphy.

With it’s flagship football highlights show, Match of the Day and spin off shows, the BBC continues to be the number one choice for football fans wanting their fix of Premier League action regularly getting over 2.5 million viewers on a Saturday night despite competition from streaming services giving viewers more and more choice how to watch matches and get football updates.

In January 2018 The BBC paid the Premier League £211.5 million for the rights to broadcast the UK highlights for three seasons 2019/2020 and 2020/2021. BBC Sport is the Premier Leagues free-to-air highlights broadcast partner in the UK having secured a 3 year renewal up to the 2024/2025 season.

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