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:

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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Have you been doing a brilliant job in an admi...

Surrey County Council: Senior Project Officer (Fixed Term to Feb 2019)

£26,498 - £31,556: Surrey County Council: We are looking for an outgoing, conf...

Recruitment Genius: Interim Head of HR

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you an innovative, senior H...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources and Payroll Administrator

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client, a very well respect...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic