Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Balding: My secret to TV success

Clare Balding says she doesn't want to hide who she is

Clare Balding believes she has an advantage over her female colleagues - because she doesn't pose a threat to women viewers.

The BBC sports presenter told the Radio Times that the way women watch TV benefited the racing presenter.

She said: "Women are funny the way they watch telly, because they don't like women who they think might nick their husband.

"Seriously! They watch someone in a little tight leopardskin dress and they think, 'Oh, I don't like her.' And the husband is going, 'She's fantastic!'

"But then I come on and they're all right with that. It's fine. And that could be hugely to my advantage. I hope so."

Clare, who is a lesbian, said: "Obviously there are certain people who don't approve of my lifestyle choices.

"But actually, I think for the most part people are accepting... personally I'm a much better broadcaster for not hiding who I am.

"Not necessarily trumpeting it, but not hiding it. I'm not lying any more - and I did lie, for about six or seven years."

And Clare said she was happy not to have been picked as the main face of the Olympic Games. Asked why she would not be the main presenter, she said: "I don't know. It's not my decision. They haven't told me what I'll be doing, but I'm pretty certain I'll be at the swimming, and that's great. I'm really happy with that. And the diving, hopefully."

Asked why she had not been chosen, she said: "Because there will be people ahead of me... I am slightly - as we all are - a victim of fashion."

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