London Marathon Events (LME) and the BBC, host broadcaster of the London Marathon since 1981, have agreed a new contract that extends the partnership for a further five years until 2026.

In addition to coverage of the London Marathon, the BBC will showcase London Marathon Events’ new initiatives, starting with the 2022 TCS Mini London Marathon that aims to encourage children to take part.

The BBC will also show coverage of other LME events, including The Big Half, the Vitality London 10,000 and the Vitality Westminster Mile, on its Red Button or other digital platforms.

Since the beginning of the partnership, which is one of the longest-standing in British sport, London Marathon has grown into the world’s biggest annual one-day fundraising event, raising more than £1bn for charity.

London Marathon Events event director Hugh Brasher said, “Our partnership with the BBC goes back more than 40 years and the support of the BBC has been key to the development of the London Marathon into one of the capital’s great days out that is so loved by millions.

“Together we have worked through many challenges over the years including, most recently, the Covid-19 pandemic, which led to elite-only races and the first virtual marathon in 2020 – the coverage of which was shortlisted for a BAFTA.

“We are delighted to continue our partnership and very excited about our new initiative to inspire and encourage physical activity. We are facing a national obesity and mental health crisis and getting active and taking regular exercise is key to addressing this.”

BBC Sport director Barbara Slater said, “The London Marathon is an iconic event in the UK’s sporting calendar and one that we are thrilled to continue broadcasting for another five years. We look forward to showcasing the elite athletes from the race, as well as the inspiring and touching stories of the thousands of charity runners who take part each year.”

The 2022 TCS London Marathon takes place on 2 October and then returns to its usual April slot on 23 April 2023.