Questions over Gary Lineker’s future with Walkers Crisps after Match of the Day star did NOT star in latest TV ad
- The former footballer has appeared in the crisp company’s adverts since 1995
Gary Lineker has not appeared in Walkers Crisps’ latest advert after Match of the Day host was benched by the firm.
The 62-year-old, who first appeared in commercials for the Leicester-based company in 1995, was nowhere to be seen in its latest advertisement which was released this month.
The ad features farmers and customers alike showing their affection for the humble potato to a soundtrack of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s 1984 ballad ‘The Power of Love’.
Extolling the virtues of the company’s British potatoes, the commercial has proven to be a hit as it romanticises how they are grown and, more importantly, how we love to eat them.
But it was conspicuous for the absence of footballer turned broadcaster Lineker, who has appeared in more than 150 adverts for the firm since the 1990s.
The new Walkers Advert saw farmers and customers alike extolling the virtues of the potatoes found in the firm’s crisps. Pictured: An elderly woman finishes the last Salt & Vinegar crisps in front of a man in the latest advert
Gary Lineker has been the face of Walkers Crisps for decades, appearing in adverts for the firm since 1995. Pictured: Lineker holding up a packet of crisps for the camera
It sparked some confusion among viewers, with one asking on Twitter: ‘Lineker lost his Walkers contract?’
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Another gloated: ‘Ha ha I can now eat Walkers crisps again, no troll Lineker in the new advert.’
However, despite his non-show in the commercial, the Leicester-born star is still believed to be associated with the company.
In 2020 he signed a three-year deal worth around £1.2million, the terms of which saw him take on a new ambassadorial role for the firm, as well as appear in fewer adverts, the Daily Star reports.
A representative for the former England footballer told the publication that his deal was ‘in the process of being extended’.
MailOnline has contacted PepsiCo, which owns Walkers Crisps, for comment.
The former Leicester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Everton and Barcelona star has been the face of the brand for 29 years after signing an initial deal with it in 1994.
He previously told local outlet Leicestershire Live that it was supposed to be ‘just a one-off collaboration but it was very well received’.
He added: ‘Then they offered me a deal, a three-year deal, a five-year deal and it has rolled on from there really and here I am still.’
Lineker first signed a deal with Walkers Crisps to promote the brand in 1994. Pictured: Lineker holding a very large novelty bag of Builder’s Breakfast-flavoured crisps
Since then, he has appeared in dozens of adverts, with many playing off his Mr Nice Guy image.
Last year Lineker tweeted that his favourite so far was one filmed in 1996 with England legend Paul Gascoigne.
The advert in question saw Lineker tucking into a packet of Salt & Lineker crisps – a play on his name and the popular flavour Salt & Vinegar – while watching a football match.
In the row behind, Gazza could be seen eyeing up the crisps, before being foiled by Lineker moving every time he dived in to steal one.
When he finally does get his hand in the packet, Lineker squeezes Gascoigne’s hand, leading to comical tears from the Gazza – a reference to the 1990 World Cup where he famously wept on the pitch.
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