Crufts host Clare Balding stopped speaking to grandmother following ‘disgusting’ comment about her sexuality

Clare admitted it was a 'difficult time'

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Clare Balding, host of Crufts, has previously opened up about how a family member reacted to her sexuality.

The 53-year-old broadcaster and Alice Arnold entered into a civil partnership in September 2006. They then married in April 2015.

But back in December 2013, Clare revealed how her relationship elicited a strong reaction from a close relative.

Indeed, sports presenter Clare admitted a particular comment led to a family rift for several months.

Clare Balding looks concerned
Clare Balding’s nan had a view on her sexuality (Credit: BBC iPlayer)

Crufts host Clare Balding on sexuality reaction

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, Clare recalled how her grandmother reacted when she realised Clare is gay.

The Crufts host noted the moment caused a “difficult time” between the two – and a lingering silence for half a year.

Clare explained said she decided to tell her nan about her sexuality after she was pictured at a film premiere with partner Alice, a former continuity announcer.

Clare noted the experience was “kind of weird” because although her parents were aware of her sexuality, she had not yet come out to her grandmother.

I said: ‘Grandma I need to talk to you.’

She told Desert Island Discs host Kirsty Young at the time: “I said: ‘Grandma I need to talk to you.’ And she said: ‘Yes I should think you do.'”

Clare went on: “I said: ‘Have you seen the paper?’ and she said: ‘Yes and I think it’s disgusting.'”

However, Clare sought clarification from her grandmother about exactly what she meant.

Clare Balding makes her point
Clare Balding and Alice Arnold married in 2015 (Credit: BBC iPlayer)

Clare’s radio account continued: “I said: ‘What do you mean? The invasion of my privacy or my lifestyle choice?’ and she said: ‘Both’.

“I didn’t talk to her for about six months after that which was pretty difficult.”

Crufts is on Channel 4 today (March 9) at 3.30pm.

Read more: Clare Balding on how she turned shoplifting scandal into a positive in her life

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Robert Leigh
Freelance writer

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