Interview: Gary Linekar on Sport Relief 2018

Sport Relief is back for 2018 bringing a bumper night of entertainment, music and comedy to BBC One and for the first time the show will come live from Salford.

The mayhem begins from 7pm as Gary Lineker, Davina McCall and Ore Oduba welcome viewers. Throughout the night Paddy McGuinness, Claudia Winkleman and Freddie Flintoff will also take on presenting duties as the fun rolls into the early hours.

A host of famous faces will come together for the big night of TV with some stepping into new and unfamiliar territory all in the name of entertainment and fundraising.

Viewers are in for a treat, as Celebrity Boxing makes a comeback. Six fearless celebrities will don their gloves and take to the ring in a series of bouts. Wayne Bridge faces Spencer Matthews, Hannah Spearritt goes head to head with Vanessa White and Camilla Thurlow takes on Helen Skelton - mouth guards at the ready!

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During the jam packed evening, comedian John Bishop will take on a role he could only have dreamt of as he sets out on a mission to help England win the World Cup. We’ll see a special Clash Of The Channels Boat Race and Quizmaster Sue Barker hosts a special edition of A Question of Sport.

There will be regular visits outside the studio to 5-Live-A-Side where Robbie Savage’s celebrity all-star five-a-side football team attempt a whopping twelve hours of non-stop football.

Strictly Come Dancing brings even more glitz and glamour to the evening as three football legends Alex Scott, Chris Kamara and David Ginola don their sequins to show us their fancy footwork.

Throughout the night, there will be a look into how money raised through Sport Relief can help vulnerable people in the UK and across the world live happier, healthier, safer lives, through several appeal films with a special focus this year on maternal health, malaria and mental health.

Gary Linekar tells us more...

Sport Relief is live for the first time ever from Salford, are you excited about the new venue?

I sure am, I know Salford really well of course as I’m here every Saturday for Match of the Day, but something that’s the scale of Sport Relief and the live studio audience is totally different.

What are you most looking forward to on this year’s night of TV?

There’s always someone who surprises you, who is secretly a serious athlete with a real competitive edge, so I’m looking forward to seeing who the dark horse in the great challenges we have going on will be this year.

There's a fantastic presenter line up for 2018, are you excited about working together?

Yes, it’s a very strong team and aside from the amazing projects we raise money for during Sport Relief, the team are why I always enjoy coming back. This year we have Ore, Paddy and Freddie joining the presenter line-up for the first time so it’ll be great to see them on the night.

You’re somewhat of a Sport Relief veteran, having presented the show from 2002. What has been your favourite memory or skit from years prior?

Wow, there are so many so it’s hard to choose just the one. I’ve always enjoyed taking part in the A Question of Sport specials for Sport Relief as I’m quite competitive and obviously like to think I know quite a bit about sport - it might look like fun but we all really want to win!

Another memory that stands out is taking part in Masterchef for Sport Relief in 2010. I cooked up good old steak and chips but I would honestly rather take a penalty shootout over that any day - it was so nerve-wracking.