Gary Lineker shuts down James Corden ‘Match of the Day’ replacement rumours

Tom Beasley

·Contributor

Sun, 8 May 2022, 10:39 am

Gary Lineker has been the face of football coverage on the BBC since the late 1990s and isn't going anywhere soon. (Getty/The FA)
Gary Lineker has been the face of football coverage on the BBC since the late 1990s and isn’t going anywhere soon. (Getty/The FA)

Gary Lineker has poured cold water on the rumours that he will soon be replaced as the host of Match of the Day by James Corden.

Speculation had been swirling online about the future of the Premier League highlights programme in the wake of Corden’s announcement that he is stepping away from the hosting gig of The Late Late Show in the US.

Lineker has been the face of Match of the Day since 1999 and is its longest-tenured presenter of all time, fronting the weekend highlights show as well as live match coverage.

The former England striker wrote to his more than eight million followers on Twitter that rumours of his departure from MOTD were greatly exaggerated.

He said: “Getting a number of texts from friends asking if I’m quitting @BBCMOTD after reports on Twitter of my possible successor.

“So it’s only fair I give you the bad news now: I’m afraid I still have 3 years to run on my contract, so you’re stuck with me for a while.”

Lineker took over the hosting gig on Match of the Day from Des Lynam after hanging up his boots in 1994 and subsequently appearing on the programme as an analyst.

More than 20 years later, he is now the BBC’s highest paid presenter, earning £1.36m in the 2020/21 financial year according to the company’s official figures.

James Corden has revealed that he is stepping away from the sofa of The Late Late Show. (CBS/Getty)
James Corden has revealed that he is stepping away from the sofa of The Late Late Show. (CBS/Getty)

Corden had been rumoured to take on the Match of the Day role in the wake of his emotional announcement that he is stepping away from The Late Late Show next year.

“It’s been it’s a really hard decision to leave because I’m so immensely proud of the show,” the star told Deadline.

He added: “I always thought I’d do it for five years and then leave, and then I stayed on. I’ve really been thinking about it for a long time, thinking whether there might be one more adventure.”

During Corden’s tenure on the US late night scene, he has become a well-known face and popularised star-studded skits including Carpool Karaoke and Crosswalk the Musical.

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