“It was a game of two halves,” Gary Lineker told viewers last night on Match of the Day, following Portugal’s 1-0 Euro 2012 win over the Czech Republic.
But in this case, that hoary old chestnut wasn’t due to a lack of imagination on Lineker’s part but the result of a Twitter dare by comic Ricky Gervais.
Gervais tweeted Linker during BBC1’s coverage of last night’s game: “I am watching you on my TV. I dare you to use the phrase ‘it was a game of two halves’. I would enjoy that.”
Lineker replied: “I will suffer the abuse that will follow my uttering of the cliché, just because it’s you,” before going ahead with his pledge.
“Hahaha. You did it! You are a man of honour,” said Gervais. “I will donate £1000 to Great Ormond Street Hospital. The boy done good. Cheers.”
But Lineker’s linguistic capers didn’t end there. After switching effortlessly from talk of the weather conditions (“lethal drizzle”) to the new England football song Three Little Words (performed by rapper Lethal Bizzle), Lineker managed to shoehorn in the street slang term “dench” (the equivalent of “sick”, in case you were wondering).
The move delighted Bizzle and co, who soon had Lineker’s name trending on Twitter.
“Big up Gary Lineker repping the #DENCHGANG live on Match of The Day! #DENCH !” tweeted Lethal Bizzle.
Other commentators were less impressed. “No, no, no, no, no….not ‘DENCH’ as well, @GaryLineker ?? We need an adult intervention here, this is getting so awkward,” said serial Lineker-baiter Piers Morgan.
But Lineker was, as usual, unphased. “Seems to have gone down rather well with the younger followers,” he responded. “Glad to hear that you are watching #DENCH.”