Mission Not So Impossible

TV presenter treks across Europe to beat flight ban

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A BBC television presenter trekked across Europe at the weekend to make it back to Shepherd's Bush in time to present his programme, beating the flight ban caused by the volcano in Iceland.

Gary Lineker was on holiday with his family in Tenerife when a cloud of ash from the volcano forced the closure of British airspace and the cancellation of all flights.

But determined to get back to London, the former England striker set out on the 2,058-mile trip, using whatever forms of transport were available.

Lineker began his journey on Friday evening, when he and his family flew from the Canary Island to Madrid on the Spanish mainland. From there, they hired a car and drove to Bordeaux in the south west of France, a journey of around seven hours, where they had hoped to catch a train.

However, on finding all the train tickets sold out, the family had to continue their journey by car, driving on for a further five-and-a-half hours to Paris. They eventually managed to get onto a Eurostar train which brought them back to central London - from where Linekar made a dash to BBC Television Centre in White City.

He arrived at the Wood Lane site at 7pm on Saturday evening - just two hours before he was due to present Match of the Day.

He opened the show saying: "Every now and then Match of the Day throws up a bunch of fixtures so enticing that you would go the extra mile to ensure you didn't miss it, and trust me that is certainly the case this week."

He told the Mail on Sunday it was the first time he had presented the show without having watched any of the afternoon games. "But the important thing is that I made it.

"It's something we'd never want to do again but at the same time, it was an adventure and has probably given us all a perverse sense of achievement," he added.

April 18, 2010

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