Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Special TV award for Balding

Clare Balding is to be given the 'Special Award' at the TV Baftas next month

Broadcaster Clare Balding is to be honoured at the TV Baftas next month in recognition of her on-screen achievements.

The presenter, who became something of a national treasure after her prominent roles at the Olympics and Paralympics last summer, will be given the "Special Award".

The award recognises an important personal contribution on screen in the area of factual TV and was last given in 2006 when Jamie Oliver was the recipient. Others to have collected it over the years have been Jon Snow, Andrew Marr, Jeremy Paxman and Kate Adie.

Clare, 42, said of the award: "I am in complete shock. I can't believe I've been given such an extraordinary honour and I am totally delighted. I may not stop smiling until the night."

She will collect the prize on May 12 at the event which is formally called the Arqiva British Academy Television Awards, and staged at London's Royal Festival Hall.

Clare made her TV debut in 1995 introducing the highlights at Royal Ascot and has worked on five Olympic Games, four Paralympics Games, coverage of Crufts and is now on the presenting team for Channel 4's racing commitments.

And after winning admirers for her handling of the Olympics, she has since hosted a Saturday night quiz show Britain's Brightest, and now presents a Sunday morning faith show for Radio 2.

Andrew Newman, the chairman of Bafta's television committee, said: "Clare's body of work over the last 13 years speaks for itself, but it was through her expert coverage of the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games that Clare became a national treasure, who with her warmth and charisma helped bring the country together as we celebrated in Team GB and Paralympic GB's success.

"She is a trusted and intelligent live presenter with an ability to transcend genre."

The Baftas will be hosted by Graham Norton and broadcast by BBC One.

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