Guinness World Records can today announce that the BBC’s prestigious football show, Match of the Day, is officially the Longest Running Football TV show in history, running a total of 50 years, 246 days, as verified on 25 April 2015.
Match of the Day, and host Gary Lineker, accepted their Guinness World Records certificate - which recognises the feat of having appeared on British television for over 50 years - ahead of Sunday’s last show of the 2014/15 Barclays Premier League campaign, The award is also in recognition for the Match of the Day strand and its associated broadcasts over the years including live matches of the FA Cup, European club competitions, international tournaments as well as its Sunday show, Match of the Day 2.
It has been a nostalgia driven year for the Saturday highlights show with a 50th anniversary theme all season with trips down memory lane to momentous occasions and goals throughout the years driven on, of course, by its famous theme tune which has been hummed in essence since its creation.
On thesecond Saturday show of the 2014/15 season on 23 August 2014, they marked 50 years to the day in which their first ever presenter, Kenneth Wolstenholme, introduced Match of the Day to the public on 22 August 1964 with the words, “Welcome to Match Of The Day, the first of a weekly series coming to you every Saturday on BBC Two. As you can hear we’re in Beatleville for this Liverpool versus Arsenal match.” This also featured a comeback from commentator Barry Davies with old style graphics during the game he covered between Crystal Palace and West Ham.
Since conception, the programme has gone from strength to strength and has won the hearts of the British public with its iconic theme tune and in depth analysis on tactics and all the big talking points in the world of football. Match of the Day’s most recognised format, the Saturday night highlights compilation of weekly Premier League matches, has often been regarded as the birth of football punditry on television due to the impact it has had on similar shows now existing on television and is regularly watched by over 6 million people each week.
Although there is a huge nostalgia link to Match of the Day, it has also managed to cope and live within the modern transformation of the way in which football is now covered with an expansion of its highlights services thanks to a new look studio after a move to Salford in 2011 which enabled enhanced graphics and analysis tools.
Match of the Day presenter, Gary Lineker, said: "It's a great honour for all at Match of the Day to achieve a Guinness World Records title and to be included in the Guinness World Records Book. We all feel privileged to work on such an iconic show and are delighted that six million people continue to enjoy that 90-minute digest of all the Premier League action each weekend. The show has really evolved in recent years and continues to set the football agenda every Saturday night. Long may it continue”
Guinness World Records Editor-in-Chief, Craig Glenday, said: “Match of the Day, and its many broadcast strands, has been an important fixture in the weekly football calendar for half a century. Whether you settle down in front of TV with a cup of tea on a Saturday night, or enjoy a social gathering to watch their unprecedented FIFA World Cup coverage, Match of the Day is there to satisfy your every footballing need!“
Mark Cole, BBC's Lead Executive for Football, said: “This is a great way to cap off a fantastic year for all at BBC Football. We've had a World Cup in Brazil, the return of the FA Cup and the 50th anniversary of Match of the Day. We're delighted to secure a new deal with the Premier League to guarantee MotD continues to 2019 and hopefully long into the future."
Match of the Day’s Guinness World Records title for the longest running football TV show will feature in the 2016 Guinness World Records Book, due out on September 10th 2015.