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VETERAN NBC anchor Al Roker has presented the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade since 1995.

He traditionally hosts the festive event alongside Today show co-stars Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie.

5Today show fans are concerned that veteran anchor Al Roker could miss this year's Thanksgiving ParadeCredit: Getty 5The star has fronted the coverage broadcasting the festivities since 1995Credit: Getty

But, this year, the star's appearance at the New York City parade is in doubt after he was rushed to hospital with blood clots.

Roker’s health has sparked fears among worried fans that he could be forced to watch the Macy’s parade from the sidelines or on TV instead of fronting NBC's coverage.

It would see his long presenting streak come to an end.

One concerned Twitter user said: "If Al Roker isn't doing the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade this year, what is even the point of having Thanksgiving at all."

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While others claimed the holiday would have "no meaning" if Roker missed the event.

Today show bosses have not yet confirmed whether Roker will appear or skip the parade.

His co-star Sheinelle Jones appeared to hint that Dylan Dreyer could fill in for the anchor amid his absence.

Earlier this month, Roker was mysteriously absent from the morning show for two weeks before it emerged that he had been taken to hospital.

A source close to the anchor told the U.S. Sun that he hadn’t “been feeling well”.

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They added: “He's been off the air for almost two weeks, it's been an ongoing issue [that] he's been dealing with. 

"He's such a wonderful and energetic guy, so it's hard to remember that he's 68 years old.”

Roker’s wife Deborah Roberts, 62, told fans that he had been feeling “under the weather” but was “ok”.

In an Instagram post on November 18, Roker said that he suffered from blood clots in his leg and lungs.

He said: "So many of you have been thoughtfully asking where I’ve been.

"Last week I was admitted to the hospital with a blood clot in my leg which sent some clots into my lungs.

"After some medical whack-a-mole, I am so fortunate to be getting terrific medical care and on the way to recovery.

'THOUGHTFUL FANS'

"Thanks for all the well wishes and prayers and hope to see you soon. Have a great weekend, everyone

Fans and friends flooded the comments section with their prayers and good wishes as they urged Al to make a speedy recovery.

Guthrie commented: "You’re the strongest person we know. We miss you and will see you soon!!"

Morning show host Kotb also wrote: "Al Roker-- hurry back to us... counting the days xoxoxo."

Craig Melvin said: “Love you brother… can’t wait to have you back.”

Jenna Bush Hager penned: “Love you Al! Hurry home. You are missed and loved beyond nature."

And, Carson Daly said: “We need him back. He inspires me every day because when I wake up I see him on his treadmill.

“He’s walking here to work. I’m like ‘All right, now I got to exercise.”

'INSPIRATION'

Academy Award-winning actress Octavia Spencer also checked in on Roker’s well-being.

She said: “You're an inspiration to us all and definitely one of the most resilient."

Roberts, who is Roker's wife of 20 years, replied: “He is indeed.”

She recently shared some heartwarming snaps of her husband and their kids.

In one selfie, she and Roker were seen beaming in the backyard of their home.

The second image featured a rare photo of the couple and their kids on their daughter's graduation day.

Roberts captioned the post: "You are the shining sun and star in our family, Al. Love you so much. Can’t wait til you’re feeling like your old self."

She also shared a snap of the pair sitting in their garden, captioning it: “Love is the best healer.”

During his recovery, Roker wished President Joe Biden a “very happy” 80th birthday and paid tribute to his pal Jay Leno who suffered burn injuries.

Roker said: “Here’s to a speedy recovery to our friend, Jay Leno, who is one of the most genuine and generous folks on the planet. Get well soon, Jay.”

Weeks before being hospitalized, the anchor revealed how much he was looking forward to the Thanksgiving holiday.

He said he was looking forward to reuniting with his son Nick, 19, who is at college.

Roker told Hello: "This Thanksgiving will be a little sweeter because Nick has been away from home for college and I know he’s looking forward to some home cooking and hanging out with his family.

“And we are looking forward to hanging out with him."

The anchor said he hoped to front the parade's coverage before enjoying the rest of the day with the family.

This year's parade is set to feature more than two dozen floats, 16 giant balloons, and a handful of star-studded performances.

Mariah Carey announced on Instagram that she will be opening for Santa Claus at the parade.

She said that her childhood dream is "coming to life".

A-listers such as Paula Abdul, Jordin Sparks, and Sarah Hyland will also make an appearance.

Roker revealed that after the parade, his family tends to eat at one of their favorite restaurants before "passing out" at home.

He said: "I still try and make my mother’s sweet potato Poon each year, which is basically a crustless, sweet potato pie with a marshmallow topping."

He revealed that the trick isn't to let the marshmallows catch fire.

HEALTH SCARES

Roker’s health battles come just months after he tested positive for coronavirus.

He revealed it was why he was absent from viewers' screens amid Hurricane Ian.

Roker reassured fans by saying that his symptoms were not very apparent.

In November 2020, Roker revealed that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Addressing his health battle, he told viewers: “It's a good news-bad news kind of thing.

"Good news is we caught it early. Not great news is that it's a little aggressive, so I'm going to be taking some time off to take care of this."

He revealed that he underwent an operation and paid tribute to his surgeons.

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Roker had his prostrate removed along with some surrounding tissue and lymph nodes during a five-hour procedure.

He has confronted previous health scares including a back operation and a hip replacement.

5Roker, right, was hospitalized after suffering blood clotsCredit: Instagram 5Fans have questioned the meaning of Thanksgiving if Roker is absentCredit: Getty 5It's not known if Roker will appear at this year's parade. Pictured: a Minion balloon is being inflated ahead of the event.Credit: Getty Topics
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World Cup 2022 fixtures: What dates do England play? Kick-off times for knockouts and final plus results

TIME to be excited football lovers as the World Cup knock-out rounds is upon us - and SunSport is here to bring you the ENTIRE fixture list including England's encounters.

The Three Lions secured last-16 qualification in style by humiliating Brit rivals Wales in their final Group B clash.

1Marcus Rashford's double inspired England to a convincing win over Brit rivals WalesCredit: Getty

And Gareth Southgate will be hoping his side can navigate past African Cup of Nations champions Senegal when England face them in the next round.

Reigning champions France, favourites to win the tournament Brazil Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal and Lionel Messi's Argentinian squad have all taken up their positions in the last-16 too.

But four-time winners Germany and Belgium's golden generation were both eliminated.

Find out the ENTIRE fixture list below...

What are the most important dates for the World Cup?
  • The group stages got underway on Sunday, November 20.
  • Round of 16 takes place from December 3 - December 6.
  • Quarter-final stages begin on December 9 - December 10.
  • Semi-finals are taking place on December 13 - December 14.
  • The World Cup final will be on Sunday, December 18.
World Cup full fixture dates

The fixture list has been revealed for the World Cup 2022, following the big draw.

Group stage

Sunday, November 20

  • Group A: Qatar 0-2 Ecuador

Monday, November 21

  • Group A: Senegal 0-2 Netherlands
  • Group B: England 6-2 Iran
  • Group B: United States 1-1 Wales

Tuesday, November 22

  • Group C: Argentina 1-2 Saudi Arabia
  • Group D: Denmark 0-0 Tunisia
  • Group C: Mexico 0-0 Poland
  • Group D: France 4-1 Australia

Wednesday, November 23

  • Group F: Morocco 0-0 Croatia
  • Group E: Germany 1-2 Japan
  • Group E: Spain 7-0 Costa Rica
  • Group F: Belgium 1-0 Canada

Thursday, November 24

  • Group G: Switzerland 1-0 Cameroon
  • Group H: Uruguay 0-0 South Korea
  • Group H: Portugal 3-2 Ghana
  • Group G: Brazil 2-0 Serbia
World Cup 2022

Everything you need to know about the World Cup

World Cup 2022 LIVE: Latest news and updates from Qatar

World Cup schedule: What are the kick-off times for ALL matches?

World Cup prize money - how much does the winner earn?

Who are the ITV pundits and commentators?

Who are the BBC pundits and commentators?

Meet England's World Cup wags, who are staying on a £1bn cruise ship

Friday, November 25

  • Group B: Wales 0-2 Iran
  • Group A: Qatar vs Senegal
  • Group A: Netherlands 1-1 Ecuador
  • Group B: England 0-0 United States

Saturday, November 26

  • Group D: Tunisia 1-0 Australia
  • Group C: Poland 2-0 Saudi Arabia
  • Group D: France 2-1 Denmark
  • Group C: Argentina 2-0 Mexico

Sunday, November 27

  • Group E: Japan 0-1 Costa Rica
  • Group F: Belgium 0-2 Morocco
  • Group F: Croatia 4-1 Canada
  • Group E: Spain 1-1 Germany

Monday, November 28

  • Group G: Cameroon 3-3 Serbia
  • Group H: South Korea 2-3 Ghana
  • Group G: Brazil 1-0 Switzerland
  • Group H: Portugal 2-0 Uruguay

Tuesday, November 29

  • Group A: Netherlands 2-0 Qatar
  • Group A: Ecuador 1-2 Senegal
  • Group B: Wales 0-3 England
  • Group B: Iran 0-1 United States

Wednesday, November 30

  • Group D: Tunisia 1-0 France
  • Group D: Australia 1-0 Denmark
  • Group C: Poland vs Argentina
  • Group C: Saudi Arabia vs Mexico

Thursday, December 1

  • Group F: Croatia 0-0 Belgium
  • Group F: Canada 1-2 Morocco
  • Group E: Japan 2-1 Spain
  • Group E: Costa Rica 2-4 Germany

Friday, December 2

  • Group H: South Korea 2-1 Portugal
  • Group H: Ghana 0-2 Uruguay
  • Group G: Cameroon 1-0 Brazil
  • Group G: Serbia 2-3 Switzerland
Last 16

Saturday, December 3

  • Match 49: Netherlands 3-1 USA
  • Match 50: Argentina 2-1 Australia

Sunday, December 4

  • Match 52: France vs Poland (3pm)
  • Match 51: England vs Senegal (7pm)

Monday, December 5

  • Match 53: Japan vs Croatia (3pm)
  • Match 54: Brazil vs South Korea (7pm)

Tuesday, December 6

  • Match 55: Morocco vs Spain (3pm)
  • Match 56: Portugal vs Switzerland (7pm)
Quarter-finals

Friday, December 9

  • Match 58: Winners of Match 53 vs Winners of Match 54 (3pm)
  • Match 57: Netherlands vs Argentina (7pm)

Saturday, December 10

  • Match 60: Winners of Match 55 vs Winners of Match 56 (3pm)
  • Match 59: Winners of Match 51 vs Winners of Match 52 (7pm)
Semi-finals

Tuesday, December 13

  • Match 61: Winners of Match 57 vs Winners of Match 58 (7pm)

Wednesday, December 14

  • Match 62: Winners of Match 59 vs Winners of Match 60 (7pm)
  • Third/Fourth place play-off

Saturday, December 17

  • Losers of Match 61 vs Losers of Match 62 (3pm)
Final

Sunday, December 18

  • Winners of Match 61 vs Winners of Match 62 (3pm)

Based on UK time zone

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The Qatar time zone is three hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time which means that games will be played earlier in the UK than locally.

FIFA have stated that the first two rounds of games will kick-off at 1pm, 4pm, 7pm and 10pm local time - 10am, 1pm, 4pm and 7pm UK time.

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However, the kick-off timings in the final round of group fixtures and knock-out ties will be at 6pm and 10pm local time - 3pm and 7pm UK time.

Leaving the final to be scheduled at 6pm local time - 3pm UK time.

Topics
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