Clare Balding fears being judged for appearance on new show

07:06 28 December 2012

Clare Balding who fears she will be judged on her appearance as she "glams up" to host a new Saturday night BBC1 show. File picture: Ian West/PA Wire

Clare Balding who fears she will be judged on her appearance as she "glams up" to host a new Saturday night BBC1 show. File picture: Ian West/PA Wire

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

The 41-year-old 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. You know, there will be a few people who go, ‘Oh, I don’t like what she’s wearing’.”

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.

When the interviewer said they look a “dominatrix”, she responded: “Dominatrix! Don’t you dare write that!”

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 .... five years ago that would have really upset me - now I just think, ‘Hmm - probably his failing, not mine. Move on’.”

Asked whether she would ever consider hosting a chat show, Balding, whose civil partner is Radio 4 newsreader Alice Arnold, said: “I don’t know whether a chat show isn’t pushing it too far.”

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Frankie Bridge may not have lifted the glitterball trophy, but she’s living the dream – both on and off the dancefloor.

Read more

TV presenter Caroline Flack jumped for joy as she and Pasha Kovalev lifted the glitterball trophy after becoming ballroom victors.

Read more

It’s 30 years since the film came out and it’s still utterly watchable, even for the cast.

Read more

Promoted content

We've got a great selection of Secret Santa presents and stocking fillers for under a tenner...  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Office Secret Santa: it’s a Christmas ritual that everyone dreads, but no-one wants to seem like a Scrooge by saying no. Never fear, London24 is here to make buying gifts for Dave in Accounts simple and stress-free, with a selection of presents for under a tenner

Money saving Christmas gifts to add to your shopping list!

It’s nearly time to go on the hunt for Christmas presents, stuck on what to get for your nearest and dearest? We’ve picked out a selection of great deals to get you started and to help you save some pennies!

Top Stories

Quizzes

It's been a crazy year...

2014 is almost over, and we’re looking over the last 12 months of headlines all misty-eyed.

Read more
Rockin' Santa!

If the answer is yes then test your knowledge of Christmas songs with our quiz.

Read more
Can you name this former Tottenham player? Try our quiz and see if you can get 15 out of 15!

This fun new Tottenham quiz will test even the most devoted Spurs fans’ knowledge...

Read more