Friends of Jemima Goldsmith insist she and Gary Lineker aren’t a couple and just ‘good friends’ after they were spotted laughing and joking during meal with a female pal in Notting Hill

Match Of The Day presenter Gary Lineker has enjoyed a cosy dinner date with Jemima Goldsmith, with the pair spotted laughing and joking at a Notting Hill restaurant. 

The pair appeared to be having fun on an evening out in west London with a female friend, as Lineker emerged on to the street carrying boxes of leftovers.

Former England football captain Lineker, 63, was pictured heading to a waiting car, wearing a white shirt and jeans – while Jemima, 13 years younger than him, walked close by and giggled while keeping her head down. 

She was wearing a simple white T-shirt tucked into black wide-legged trousers and a blazer. 

The group had been seen spending several hours in the bistro, eating and drinking wine before the pair left, with Lineker carrying two take-out boxes of food. 

A friend of Jemima said of the pairing between Lineker and Goldsmith: ‘Jemima has known him for years and never known him to date anyone. 

‘They aren’t a couple but they’ve been good friends for a long time now. He’s not interested in dating and hasn’t been for years.’

Gary Lineker and Jemima Goldsmith were seen leaving a bistro in Notting Hill, west London

Match Of The Day host Lineker and Jemima Goldsmith were with a female friend

Match Of The Day presenter Lineker has four sons with his first wife Michelle Cockayne, who he married in 1986 before they divorced 20 years later.

He then wed model Danielle Bux in September 2009 but the couple announced they were divorcing in January 2016 – with reports suggesting a key factor was Lineker not wanting to have any more children.

Jemima, daughter of late financier Sir James Goldsmith, married cricket legend and former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan in 1995 before their divorce in 2004.

They have two sons together – Sulaiman Isa, born in 1996, and Kasim, born three years later. 

She has since been in high-profile relationships with comedian Russell Brand and actor Hugh Grant.

Lineker is said to have attended a 50th birthday party held by Jemima at her country home. 

And the ex-footballer looked happy today, pictured beaming as he appeared at the Hay Festival in Powys, Wales, for an on-stage talk with historian David Olusoga.

Lineker and friends emerged on to the street in Notting Hill after their restaurant outing

Jemima Goldsmith (pictured) had been seen spending several hours with Lineker and a friend

Former England and Tottenham Hotspur footballer Lineker appeared in fine form

Gary Lineker was seen smiling today at the Hay Festival in Hay-on-Wye in Powys, Wales

He discussed his career in an on-stage talk today with historian David Olusoga

Hay Festival organisers promised those attending the Gary Lineker event ‘a wide-ranging discussion of his career in sport, media and storytelling’

The ex-England skipper has earlier this week been fending off a backlash after he and Alan Shearer were scrutinised over their interview with Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag following Saturday’s FA Cup final.

United confounded expectations by beating Premier League champions Manchester City 2-1 at Wembley, potentially saving ten Hag’s job after reports last Friday he would be fired after the match.

Shearer had suggested before the final that the Dutchman could have few complaints if he was sacked after guiding United to their worst-ever Premier League finish, in eighth place.

Viewers tuned into a a tense post-match interview on Saturday, with Lineker and Shearer grilling Ten Hag on his future and his team’s performances this season.

Discussing the fall-out with Shearer on The Rest Is Football podcast, Lineker said: ‘People took a bit of umbrage to our questioning and your answer to Erik ten Hag.

‘He came over and he didn’t seem very happy right from the start. I think he also had a pop at Roy Keane, so he obviously had something in his mind when he came over.

‘I asked the question, ‘Do you think you’ve been unfairly treated by pundits, and even us?’

‘Obviously, it’s our job to be critical on occasion, we have to say what we think.’

Lineker, who played for Tottenham Hotspur, Everton and Barcelona, has previously faced controversy for his political interventions which critics claim are breaches of the BBC’s impartiality rules.

In January he said he received threats after he retweeted and later deleted a post on social media calling for Israel to be banned from international sporting events, including football – leading to him being hailed by Hamas’ mouthpiece news agency.

But speaking to news site Zeteo this month, he said: ‘There is a lot of heavy lobbying on people to be quiet so I understand why most people refrain but I’m getting on a bit now, I’m fairly secure and I can’t be silent about what’s happening.

‘I think it’s just so, so utterly awful and now they’re talking about, “Oh, it looks like it’s happening, going into Rafah”, where they’ve sent everybody down there.

‘So I don’t see how you can be – it’s not anti-Semitic to say that what Israel is doing is wrong. I just can’t see how everybody doesn’t see it that way now.

Gary Lineker, 63, and Jemima Goldsmith, 50, were pictured outside a Notting Hill bistro

A female friend was seen waving as the group emerged outside the restaurant in west London

Gary Lineker was married to first wife Michelle between 1986 and 2006 – they are pictured here at the FIFA 100 Best Players Awards at London’s Natural History Museum in March 2004

The former footballer is seen here with his second wife Danielle Bux at the Serpentine Gallery in London in July 2015 – they were married between 2009 and 2016

Pakistan cricket legend Imran Khan and Ms Goldsmith, pictured here leaving Richmond Registry Office after their civil wedding ceremony in June 1995, were married for nine years

She later dated the actor Hugh Grant, with the pair seen here in Richmond in October 2006

‘But whatever the cause, whatever started it – we all know that the history of this area of the world goes way before October 7th. But it’s truly dreadful what’s happening.

‘And I cry on a regular basis when I see certain images on social media.’

Last December, a Tory MP reported Lineker to the BBC after the Match of the Day host launched a series of taunts against Tory politicians.

The BBC’s chairman, Samir Shah, told MPs the online attacks appeared to have breached the corporation’s social media guidelines.

Lineker was suspended by the BBC in March last year after refusing to apologise for a tweet in which he compared language around the Government’s small-boats policy to that used in Nazi Germany. 

He returned to work after fellow BBC pundits including Shearer, Ian Wright and Jermaine Jenas refused to appear on Match Of The Day in solidarity with him. 

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