The Olympic Rings in Tokyo

Credit: Getty

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is here! But unless you are in Japan, your chances of seeing any of it are… slim. Very slim.

But do not despair, for we have glad tidings of great joy: all the UK television coverage, with start times, presenters, pundits and all the rest is detailed below.

What is it?

It’s the Olympics! Invented by Ancient Greece, and held in the modern age every four years usually – more about that below). This time, it is in Japan, and the world is preparing for Tokyo Olympics 2021.

What events are coming up first?

On Wednesday, July 21, all hail the women’s softball opening round, which has the honour of being the first event in the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games. That starts at 1am UK time.

Later that morning, there is also women’s football first round matches, and the GB Team are in action at 08:30 against Chile.

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When is the Olympics Opening Ceremony?

The Tokyo 2021 Olympics Games opening ceremony is on Friday, July 23, at 12 noon UK time and it goes on until 3pm UK time.

Stadium at Tokyo Olympics

Credit: Reuters

What times of day will the events be on in the UK?

This is a good question and unfortunately it has a less than ideal answer, unless you really like staying up late, or have insomnia.

There is more detail here of key events, British hopefuls and medal chances.

But broadly speaking, the time difference in Tokyo – which is eight hours ahead of the UK – is going to mean some punchy starts for fans in the UK. But that’s fine! Olympics!

Most events will be between midnight UK time and about 3pm BST.

How can I watch on TV in the UK?

If you have BBC TV, then truly, these are the good times. The BBC will be putting on huge amounts of coverage, and the Games are also being shown on Eurosport, for the hardcore.

Eurosport is a subscription TV channel. It costs £6.99 per month if you pay for a month. You can get an annual pass for £39.99 and literally watch all the downhill skiing you could ever wish to see.

How can I livestream the Olympics online?

You can stream the Olympics online on BBC iPlayer app or also on the BBC website.

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How much coverage will be on the BBC?

The BBC is broadcasting 350 hours of Olympics coverage on television. There will also be extensive coverage of the Games on Radio 5 Live.

Will the BBC be big in Japan?

Obviously, the national broadcaster will have a team in Japan but the days of them taking a cast of thousands are over for now. Because of Covid. The shadow of which, you have to say, hangs over the Games.

They will instead present from a studio in Salford, with virtual reality backdrops of Japan.

Who will be on pundit duty for the BBC?

The BBC’s team of pundits features Jessica Ennis-Hill, Michael Johnson, Chris Hoy, Katherine Grainger, Nicola Adams, Rebecca Adlington and Victoria Pendleton.

And who will be the BBC presenters? 

Plenty of familiar faces…

JJ Chalmers will host from midnight-05:00 BST.

Dan Walker and Sam Quek will host BBC Breakfast from 05:00-09:00, so if you want to catch up on the overnight action and for some reason cannot stay awake for air pistol shooting on a weekday, then this is your option.

Hazel Irvine and Gabby Logan will be at the controls from from 09:00-15:00, followed by Jason Mohammad from 15:00-18:00.

Clare Balding and Alex Scott then host on BBC One from 19:30-21:00. There will then a highlights show daily on BBC Two, from 21:00-22:00.

Good to see Clare finally get a go on the telly, she’s never on, is she? 

And better than all that

We will have live blog coverage of literally every hop, skip, jump, punch, hit, kick, lift, pedal and push on this website, via our unbeatable, unbeaten, gold medal standard live blogging.

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