Match of the Day serves up a treat from Gary Lineker’s kitchen


Match of the Day serves up a treat from Gary Lineker’s kitchen as Alan Shearer and Ian Wright reveal thrilling tales from their careers – TV REVIEW

  • The return of Match of the Day on Saturday offered much needed TV relief 
  • The low budget production in Gary Lineker’s kitchen gave show authenticity
  • Alan Shearer revealed his rivalry with Roy Keane during his playing days
  • Ian Wright was the star of the show as he reeled off stories about his career 
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

From one kitchen to another. From a national embarrassment to some semblance of normality, even entertainment.

In this longest of weeks, coronavirus has put sport in its rightful place.

But nothing showed how much football means to so many than the furious reaction to the news that, mercifully for one week only, Match of the Day would be replaced by Mrs Brown’s Boys.

With no football, Saturday night’s staple diet had suddenly gone stale.

A new-look version of Match of the Day did much to relieve the misery of coronavirus

Alan Shearer spoke about his long-standing rivalry with Roy Keane during playing days

Ian Wright was the star of the show as he reeled off compelling anecdotes from his career

Fortunately, the occasional good idea still floats around BBC towers. And so Gary Lineker and the boys are back.

The glitzy studio has gone, while the cheek-hugging microphones made Gary and Co resemble an ageing boyband clinging on to better days. But in these uncertain times, there was comfort in that orchestra’s familiar melody and something refreshing about a new format.

In the first of a series of top 10s, Lineker, Alan Shearer and Ian Wright gathered in the host’s kitchen to debate the best captains of the Premier League era.

The episode was released in audio form in midweek and then broadcast on Saturday night.

Shearer told Wright and Lineker that he didn’t like Keane after they clashed on the pitch

Fans were given a rare glimpse behind the curtain into how Lineker arranges his crockery and how footballers operate away from the spotlight.

The production was rather less slick than normal, but with that came added authenticity. No VAR chat or outrage, only fun and insight into life on the other side of the line.

We heard Shearer detail his snide battles with Roy Keane and Wright describe his use of ‘Franglais’ to force conversation from Patrick Vieira. With the help of archive footage — and in the absence of any real action — perhaps this is the best we can hope for.

Wright said he had to use ‘Franglais’ to force conversation with Patrick Vieira at Arsenal

Wright was the star. In recent years he has transformed from a lovable, if occasionally crass cheerleader to an engaging storyteller.

Here he displayed more emotion, and even some profanities, aided by an offensively large glass of wine.

Water for Shearer and Lineker, if you’re wondering.

In truth, the format is probably more suited to a podcast than TV, not least because there are serious questions as to whether the Beeb should broadcast three national heroes so blatantly contradicting Government advice on social distancing.

There were odd selections in the top 10 but a more pressing issue is: how many more listicles can football fans stomach?

For now, though, those concerns seem trivial. Especially when the alternative offering is so unpalatable.


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