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Balding puts on style for BBC prime-time slot

Clare Balding is best known for presenting sporting events. Picture: PA

Clare Balding is best known for presenting sporting events. Picture: PA

Sports presenter Clare Balding fears she will be judged on her appearance as she “glams up” to host a new Saturday night BBC1 show.

Balding, 41, who won accolades for the way she covered the Olympics and Paralympics, is set to present prime-time entertainment show Britain’s Brightest.

She told the Radio Times: “I’m putting myself into a different genre – I’m therefore saying to the public, ‘Can you accept me in a completely different format?’ and that is risky. And obviously because it’s Saturday night, I’ve got to glam up a bit.”

Balding was interviewed while filming the series, wearing six-inch heels.

“I’m not running in them, am I? Mainly, I’m just walking three steps and stopping,” she said.

Balding will also be hosting Good Morning Sunday on Radio 2, replacing Aled Jones on the weekly faith programme.

Asked whether she had a faith, she said it was “not significant” adding: “I’m very interested in other people’s faith and I think that’s what matters.” Balding said that her new “national treasure” label would not last, and she added: “I think ‘ambitious’ is one of those adjectives used for women in a derogatory way – and, yet, I think ambition is crucial in life – you have to know what you might be capable of and push yourself slightly beyond it.”

She told the magazine: “You come across words all the time that are everyday sexism. I was described as competently bossy and bossily competent by a male journalist and I thought, ‘Gosh, bossy is never used of a man ... A man would be called assertive or confident or quick or bright’.”

 

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