JOHN Motson has renewed his BBC contract until 2052, in line with the Corporation’s policy to ensure everything remains exactly the same.
There were fears that the football commentator might retire at some point, leaving viewers vulnerable to the feeling that the world has changed since 1972.
But BBC insiders said that a Motson departure would be too great a shock for licence payers following the abrupt cancellation, after just 37 years, of Last Of The Summer Wine in 2010.
John Motson began at the BBC as a perky, ambitious young broadcaster who, over many decades has grown old, surly and harrowed by the creeping spectre of mortality. He must be addressed by staff as ‘Mr Motson’ at all times.
But according to the terms of his contract, ‘Motty’, as he is known to people he despises, is a ruddy-faced fellow in a sheepskin coat with a nerdy love of stats who has been 48 years-old since 1976.
The Corporation is particularly keen on retaining commentators over vast lengths of time in order to sedate their viewers with an illusion of continuity. Voice of tennis, Dan Maskell, is still on the BBC payroll 20 years after his death.
A BBC spokesman said: “Viewers like not being told every little thing that’s going on. The dead are very good at that.”
Experts say Motson may attempt to emulate Frank Bough, who was forced to fabricate a sordid cocaine-sex scandal to break his 400-year Grandstand contract.
But a BBC spokesman said: “Motson can enter a goat as far as we’re concerned. He’s going nowhere.”