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BBC unveils Olympic team

The BBC have named their line-up for the coverage of the Olympics next summer. Some familiar faces will be hogging your TV screens for the duration of the Olympiad.

Gary Lineker, Sue Barker and Clare Balding will be swapping most of the nervous banter, and getting very excited about equestrians, rowers and gymnasts whom we happily ignore for the four years between Olympics.

Lineker, who has previously limited his sports duties to football and golf, will anchor the main evening broadcasts, with Sue Barker offering cosy afternoon sessions, and Balding in charge in the mornings, with help from Jake Humphrey and Hazel Irvine. Balding will host the equestrian events, diving and swimming, with Humphrey looking after cycling at the velodrome.

It looks like a substantial team from the BBC. The squad is augmented by Jonathan Edwards, a pundit who is never afraid to be critical, or to mention his own world-beating triple-jump performances, and by John Inverdale, a presenter who always seems on the verge of turning into Alan Partridge.

The BBC has not yet confirmed the presence of the man who has made its athletics coverage riveting viewing at past competitions, Michael Johnson. Johnson was recently seen on Channel 4’s coverage of the World Championship Athletics, but their presenters were so comically shambolic that the great man may be relieved to return to the comfortable professionalism of the BBC.

The Games will be broadcast live on BBC1 and BBC3, with Olympics news starting from 6am, and coverage continuing through until midnight, with Gabby Logan hosting the late shift.

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