Gary Lineker sent shockwaves through the sports broadcasting world with what appeared to be a not-so-subtle revelation about his successor on Match of the Day during Saturday’s episode. The 62-year-old icon has been at the helm of the Premier League highlights show since 1999, inheriting the role from Des Lynam and transforming into one of British television’s most recognizable figures.
Despite Lineker’s repeated assertions that he has no immediate plans to relinquish his Match of the Day hosting duties, speculation about his eventual departure persists. During the latest episode, where Lineker was joined by Jermaine Jenas and Ashley Williams as pundits, the seasoned host dropped a bombshell or, at the very least, a tantalizing hint about his future replacement.
In the midst of analyzing a game, Jenas, offering his insights, mentioned to Lineker that he “always likes getting a striker’s opinion.” Seizing the moment, Lineker playfully quipped, “Do you want my job?” To this, Jenas, with a response that left viewers in suspense, said, “No, no, not yet,” prompting Lineker to cryptically state, “Later!”
This seemingly innocent exchange took a dramatic turn when considering previous reports linking Jermaine Jenas to the coveted Match of the Day hosting position. In 2020, the Daily Mail hinted at Jenas becoming the BBC’s new “face of football” once Lineker decides to step aside. The 40-year-old former Tottenham midfielder, accustomed to presenting roles, previously fronted the Match of the Day spin-off MOTDx and frequently appeared as a host on BBC One’s The One Show.
Adding fuel to the speculation fire, Lineker himself acknowledged in August that Jenas is “probably drifting towards my role” as his “time is nearly up.” The brewing intrigue surrounding Lineker’s eventual successor has fans and industry insiders on the edge of their seats, eager to witness the unfolding of this unexpected plot twist in the world of football broadcasting.