The Five Minute Interview: Gary Lineker

"I wish I was 20-years younger as I’d be earning a few quid as a footballer now..."

Gary Lineker, 48, is a former England international footballer turned television presenter. Gary is England's all time World Cup top scorer, with a total of 10 goals in two tournaments and scored an astonishing 244 goals in 466 appearances for clubs including Tottenham Hotspur and Barcelona. He retired from professional football in 1994 and embarked on a media career, culminating in his fronting of the BBC's flagship football programme Match of the Day. Gary stars in the recent ‘Do Us A Flavour’ Walkers crisps advertising campaign. For more visit: www.walkers.co.uk.

If I weren't talking to you right now I'd be…

Playing golf. I’ve only got a Saturday job so my weekdays are generally pretty free. It’s easy for me to sneak off to the course for a few rounds.



A phrase I use far too often...

Well I’m sure Match of The Day viewers could think of a few but I do my best not to slip into habits like that. I try to avoid saying “fantastic” too often and “obviously” is a dangerous word for all broadcasters.



I wish people would take more notice of...

Spinal injuries. My fiancée’s brother-in-law was recently paralysed in an accident and it really brought home the fact that thousands of young people live with spinal injuries. It’s an issue I wish had more coverage.



A common misperception of me is...

That I have big ears when I’ve clearly just got a very, very small head.



The most surprising thing that ever happened to me was...

Winning Sports Broadcaster of the Year. I think I was born to be in the box not on it and whereas football came naturally to me, I’ve had to work very hard on my television skills. Winning that award was a real surprise and a great boost.



I am not a politician but...

If I were I’d lower taxes for all sports presenters! But seriously there are so many massive issues going on at the moment that I fear the environment will take second place. We really need to remain focussed on climate change.



I'm good at...

I was quite good at football once, although other than that my speciality would be maths. I’m great at sudokus and find all the spin-off games pretty easy too.



But I'm very bad at...

Anything that requires using my imagination. I’m also awful at music, singing and dancing, so to be honest the list of things I’m bad at is probably endless.



The ideal night out is...

A really good meal and a fantastic bottle of red wine. I love going to Zuma which is a Japanese restaurant in London and also Ziani’s – a wonderful Italian place near Chelsea.



In moments of weakness I...

Eat salt and vinegar crisps. I tend to have those moments of weakness daily.



You know me as a former-footballer and television presenter but in truer life I'd have been...

A golfer, although I doubt I’d ever have been good enough to go professional. If that had failed I’d have tried my hand at sports-writing. I always dreamed of being a sports journalist and in many ways it’s what I’ve become.



The best age to be is...

Well I wish I was 20-years younger as I’d be earning a few quid as a footballer now but I think that, generally speaking, being in your thirties is actually the best. You’re still young but you have a bit more experience and physically you’re still in pretty good shape. I’ve tried to carry that on into my forties but believe me, it’s hard.



In a nutshell, my philosophy is…

Whatever you do, give it everything. I try to give my all in everything I do, whether it’s football, television or flogging crisps. If you give it everything you can’t really have any regrets.

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