Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Balding nervous about new role

Clare Balding will present Saturday night entertainment show Britain's Brightest

Clare Balding fears she will be judged on her appearance as she "glams up" to host a new Saturday night BBC One show.

The 41-year-old sports presenter, 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. You know, there will be a few people who go, 'Oh, I don't like what she's wearing'."

Clare 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 bit "dominatrix", she responded: "Dominatrix! Don't you dare write that!"

Clare 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."

Clare 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."

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

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