Super Bowl half-time show 2018: when will Justin Timberlake perform, plus all you need to know

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For American football fans, the Super Bowl is the highlight of the year. For everyone else, the half-time show is usually more interesting. While the players take a break from playing rugby in armour, a mega-star takes to the stage and entertains everyone who couldn't care less about a touchdown.  We're here to give you a guide to what will go down, entertainment-wise, tonight.

How can I watch the Super Bowl on TV in the UK?

The match will be broadcast live on BBC One tonight, Sunday February 4, from 11:15pm to 3.50am.

Who is playing in the Super Bowl?

The New England Patriots will be playing the Philadelphia Eagles at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. For more details on the ins and outs of the match itself, check out this guide.  We're here for the music. 

Who is performing at the 2018 Super Bowl half-time show?

This year, Justin Timberlake will be making history as the first performer to appear at the half-time show three times. 

In 2001 he graced the stage as part of 'NSync, alongside Aerosmith, Mary J Blige, Nelly and his then-girlfriend Britney Spears. He was invited back in 2004 to sing with Jessica Simpson, P Diddy, Nelly (again), and Kid Rock – but it was the wardrobe malfunction with Janet Jackson that really stuck in people's minds. During a tricky dance move, he accidentally ripped off part of her costume, bearing her right breast to the world and garnering over half a million complaints. 

Timberlake's 2004 half-time performance with Janet Jackson was marred by her infamous 'wardrobe malfunction' Credit: DAVID PHILLIP

This third performance may be over a decade later, but people still remember #Nipplegate. We're sure Justin will be taking no chances with Bucks Fizz-style wardrobe changes this time around. 

What can we expect from Justin Timberlake's performance?

"Thirteen minutes of insanity," according to choreographer Marty Kudelka, speaking in a behind-the-scenes video about the Pepsi-sponsored show. 

"I don't worry about if things go wrong, because perfection is the death of greatness," Timberlake says, in an oblique reference to The Incident. 

He has certainly been teasing us. There will be something quite athletic going on, judging by an Instagram video posted last weekend that shows him limbering up then pretending to kick the camera operator in the face. Perhaps a hint that he's going to be singing Carl Douglas's hit Kung Fu Fighting? (Or maybe not.)

#Superbowl rehearsals are going well... @jumpman23 #SBLII

A post shared by Justin Timberlake (@justintimberlake) on

Will Pharrell make a surprise appearance?

Timberlake has been sharing a lot of love for Pharrell Williams and his band NERD on Instagram, praising their latest album and referring to the Happy singer, who produced and appeared in the video for Timberlake's recent single Supplies, as his "brother". Could Justin be planning to invite his brother on stage in Minneapolis? It's unlikely – but it would be amazing if he did. 

My brother

A post shared by Justin Timberlake (@justintimberlake) on

However, it wouldn't be surprising if country singer Chris Stapleton were to join Timberlake on stage. The pair performed together at the Country Music Awards in 2015, and the Grammy winner sang on Justin's single Say Something, which dropped last week. 

Will there be an 'NSync reunion at the Super Bowl?

In another Pepsi-produced short, Timberlake said "I really believe it's a place where there's nothing wrong with giving people what they want" – and what people want is an 'NSync reunion. However, former bandmate Joey Fatone (who now owns a hot-dog restaurant called Fat One's) quashed this rumour last week, pointing out to TMZ: "I'm here right now. If I was doing something, I'd be at rehearsals right now... there's your proof. Nothing [is happening with a reunion] and there's nothing wrong with that, he's doing his thing."

So perhaps Timberlake will do the opposite to what everyone expects and do the show without a guest star.  Recalling his joint performances with 'NSync and Janet Jackson, he said: "I am getting the opportunity to have the stage myself. I really am looking at it as my first time." 

What's all this about Prince?

The purple one grew up in Minneapolis, and died there at his Paisley Park studio. The Minnesota Vikings happen to play in Prince purple, and the singer even recorded a fight song, Purple and Gold, to be played at their games. Timberlake has always acknowledge Prince as one of his major influences, alongside Michael Jackson. Upon Prince's death in 2016, Justin said, "He's somewhere within every song I've ever written," so it would make sense for him to take this opportunity to pay homage to the late artist in some way.