Gary Lineker pulls out of Match of the Day hosting duties tonight… as the long-time host jokes that he has been ‘silenced’ and explains why he will miss the show in social media post

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Gary Lineker has announced that he will miss Saturday’s Match of the Day due to illness.

The esteemed England legend, who usually presents the football highlights show every week, will be absent on Saturday night.

Lineker shared the news on X, formerly Twitter, this afternoon, saying: ‘Some good news for some: I’ve been silenced…with a rotten cold that seems to last forever.

‘Hate to miss @BBCMOTD but I’ll watch.’ he added in his post.

Fans were quick to send their well wishes to the former striker who is hoping to feel better for the show next week.

Former England legend Gary Lineker will miss Saturday's Match of the Day due to illness

Former England legend Gary Lineker will miss Saturday’s Match of the Day due to illness

Newcastle fans have joked that they don't want Alan Shearer to catch a cold

Newcastle fans have joked that they don’t want Alan Shearer to catch a cold

Mark Chapman will present the BBC Football program in place of Gary Lineker

Mark Chapman will present the BBC Football program in place of Gary Lineker

Lineker has become a much-loved member of the Match of the Day team

Lineker has become a much-loved member of the Match of the Day team

Ian Wright has announced he will be 'retiring' from BBC Match of the Day next year

Ian Wright has announced he will be ‘retiring’ from BBC Match of the Day next year

Lineker has been the face of Match of the Day for nearly 25 years, regularly joined by footballing icons such as Alan Shearer, Ian Wright and Micah Richards.

After becoming a much-loved pundit, the star last went off air during his disagreement with the BBC over his views on the government’s migration policy.

The former striker is one of the highest paid presenters and earns around £1.3m a year.

Host of the football highlights show for nearly 25 years, without him, the flagship show looks completely different, even with him out for a short period of time.

In December, Match of the Day and BBC Sport signed a new four-year contract with the Premier League.

Questions about Lineker’s future on the show lingered for a while, although the England legend reiterated his love for the show and said it was ‘too early’ to think about anything outside the flagship programme.

Fellow pundit Ian Wright confirmed last year that he would be stepping down from Match of the Day at the end of the season, saying it was ‘time to do some more different things with my Saturdays’.

Match of the Day 2 host Mark Chapman will take over from Lineker in his absence on Saturday night’s show, which airs on BBC One from 10.30pm.