Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Balding honoured for Olympics work

Clare Balding has been honoured for her TV work on the Olympics

Clare Balding has accepted an award "on behalf of all women in sports television" when she was honoured for her role as presenter during the London Olympics.

Speaking at the 22nd Sky Women in Film and Television awards, she said: "I hope that in the future you're going to see female anchors working together, you'll see female commentators which is the next big breakthrough.

"There are one or two who do commentating but very few. Obviously sports presenters, you see women who've done phenomenally well; Hazel, Gabby, Sue, Mishal Husain, all of us working together I hope knowing our stuff, and I think that's what we've been valued for. I take the award on behalf of all of the women in sports television."

Balding won the ITV Studios Achievement of the Year for her presenting during this summer's Olympic and Paralympic Games. The London Olympics were the most watched TV event in UK broadcasting history.

Balding said she thought honouring women for their achievements in film and television was "hugely important".

She continued: "I think it's important for young girls who are, I hope, watching us and thinking 'that's a job I want to do' to know that warmth, humour, intelligence, doing your homework; that's what matters. I'm not getting this award because of what I look like, or my dress sense - we all know that."

Actress Olivia Colman received the MAC Best Performance Award for her various roles throughout the year, which included playing Carol Thatcher in The Iron Lady. She was presented with the award by her Peep Show co-stars David Mitchell and Robert Webb, who said he was excited to be at the event to "give Olivia Colman a prize for being generally terrific; I think that's the category".

Colman said: "To be recognised by your sisterhood, fellowhood, is lovely. It doesn't really get much better than that, it's really really nice."

Guests included Dame Julie Walters, who presented drama producer Ruth Caleb with this year's EON Productions Lifetime Achievement Award. Caleb produced Pat And Margaret, which starred Walters and her comedy collaborator Victoria Wood.

Walters claimed women in the industry have a harder time than men. She said: "We struggle, as opposed to men, who don't struggle quite so much. We have to support one another, and this is a way of getting together and networking, and it's a brilliant organisation."

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