JAN MOIR: Gary Lineker could can-can on TV in his hideous green T-shirt, eating a bag of Walkers cheese 'n' onion while shouting 'Vote for Keir' – and BBC bigwigs wouldn't bat an eyelid

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Until he stepped in front of a BBC camera in a ­hideous T-shirt a few days ago, few had any idea that Gary Lineker had his own menswear range at Next. But the second he did, fashion alarm bells shrieked out across the nation.

Why? Clearly, this was the kind of ­garment no stylish man would seriously consider unless he was being ­blackmailed, had lost his entire wardrobe in a house fire or was getting paid to wear the damn thing. Or receiving some kind of financial benefit, at the very least.

Look at it! The top boasts sleeves which somehow manage to be puffed, capped and short all at the same time — quite a design feat.

Even worse, it comes in a particularly awful shade of green that makes one think of municipal radiators or rancid pea soup. If it were a Farrow & Ball paint colour it would be called Dead Frog Breath and it is not doing the 63-year-old football pundit any favours, except ­perhaps ­economically, like I said.

Made of a chafe-tastic cotton-viscose-nylon mix, the garment from his Next X Gary Lineker range costs £16, which is less than a big box of the Walkers crisps he is also paid to advertise.

Gary Lineker presents the BBC¿s coverage of England¿s opening Euros game against Serbia while wearing a T-shirt from his own collection

Gary Lineker presents the BBC’s coverage of England’s opening Euros game against Serbia while wearing a T-shirt from his own collection

During the BBC’s coverage of ­England’s opening Euros game against Serbia on Sunday, the Match of the Day host first wore the t-shirt and then snazzily added a contrasting tonal jacket at half-time. This garment bore more than a passing resemblance to his own-brand linen ‘shacket’, which costs 45 of your English pounds, please. How on earth does he get away with it?

The BBC guidelines on conflicts of interest are clear. They state that ­presenters must not appear on air wearing clothing or using products or services which they have agreed/been contracted to promote, advertise or endorse — or in which they have a financial interest.

Following complaints that Lineker had broken those rules, the Beeb reminded presenters of their contractual obligations.

Even if Mr Lineker was breaking the BBC rules, it always seems that a different set of rules apply to him. He is untouchable, the sporting godhead, an unassailable Beeb asset who gets away with murder.

I’m not taking about his occasional skirmish with the BBC over impartiality or this latest transgression over ­advertising, I’m talking about his £55 ­herringbone trousers which come in a fit that Next describe as ‘relaxed and tapered’.

Those are qualities most of us look for in a scented candle, darling. Not in a pair of breeks which are apparently also ‘a stylish way to amp up your formalwear’.

The former footballer models items from his menswear range on the Next website

The former footballer models items from his menswear range on the Next website

Amp, ramp or camp? Slick, sick or ick? I have so many questions, not least of all what is going to happen to our hero, caught yet again in the penalty box of BBC regulations — but we all know the answer to that.

Absolutely nothing.

As ever, there will be no red card and not even a hint of a yellow, unlike the unfortunate undertone in his Next cream bubble textured polo shirt, which promises a fresh wardrobe update for just £24.

Gary could can-can in front of the cameras in his ‘premium laundered’ Next shorts (£24) eating a grab bag of Walkers cheese ’n’ onion while shouting ‘Vote for Keir!’ at the top of his voice and BBC ­bigwigs wouldn’t bat an eye. They never do.

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But back to the clothes, astonishing in themselves and not always in a good way. The Next X Gary Lineker collection, launched last year, features 62 pieces which are described as offering ‘timeless appeal and classic cuts’.

Even better, it has been ‘edited by the man himself’. The juice is loose! Move over Karl, Gianni, and Giorgio — here comes Gary with a range of high street polo shirts in shades of dried mud that only a man who wore shorts and knee socks for a living could love.

Is there no end to this man’s ­talents, no depth to his style?

Gary is the BBC’s highest earner, with a net worth reputed to be about £30million.

In an interview with GQ magazine a few years ago he revealed his fondness for Jack Davison bespoke suits, which start at £2,550 and take about 12 weeks to make. Are we now supposed to believe Lineker likes nothing better than the fastest of fast fashion, wandering around his £4 million London mansion in £32 faux suede trainers and a pair of elasticated- waist chinos for £22?

Lineker sits with a panel of presenters during the BBC's coverage of the match on Sunday

Lineker sits with a panel of presenters during the BBC’s coverage of the match on Sunday

Indeed, should someone for whom the wokester struggle is real be involved in the manufacture of clothes with the kind of low price point which suggests sustainability and the environment are not always the first consideration?

I do wish celebrities like Gary — those who define themselves by their radical thinking and outsized social consciences — would just acknowledge what this is: a money-making exercise in which he is selling his name and image. And to a company with which he has little connection and even less input on the design front. This is not a crime, but it is far from noble.

Over on the Next website, Lineker models most of the clothes himself, and there are moments when even he seems far from convinced. In many of the pictures he stares moodily into the middle distance, looking like a knitting pattern model with a touch of constipation.

‘I hope the chemist hasn’t run out of laxatives,’ is what he often seems to be thinking. ‘Anybody got any prunes?’ is the vibe.

The ambience switches from outfit to outfit. Sometimes Gary looks a bit ‘Bruno Tonioli Visits The Bank Manager.’ Sometimes he is a bit ‘Grandpa Visits A Strip Club On A Golf Weekend.’ In one shot he ­models an overcoat that makes his arms look unfeasibly long — perhaps that is the relaxed, tapered goalkeeper fit.

The Match Of The Day presenter showcases a terracotta polo shirt with black trousers for Next

The Match Of The Day presenter showcases a terracotta polo shirt with black trousers for Next

Anyway, it will be interesting to see what happens next. As host of the BBC’s coverage of the Euro 2024 tournament, will he slip back into one of his exquisite Davison designer suits after having his knuckles rapped? Or will he climb aboard another smart casual outfit from the green-gilled House of Gary?

Either way, perhaps the BBC shouldn’t worry too much. There can’t be many men out there who think to themselves: Do you know, what I really want is to look like a sixty-something, father-of-four divorcee from Leicester with a questionable goatee beard and a cotton stretch blazer.

A £99 blazer which Gary Lineker promises will become ‘your off-duty/on-duty ­staple’ is what policemen feel about their tasers, and not their leisurewear.

Whatever happens next, it is stretching the bounds of ­credibility — and those stretch seams, too — to make us believe that any of this was anything but an onscreen ­opportunist advertorial from a man who should know better, but never does.