Sue Barker, Clare Balding

Wimbledon: Sue Barker’s gushing words about replacement Clare Balding

Clare now hosts Wimbledon coverage

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Wimbledon icon Sue Barker once had some gushing words to say about her replacement Clare Balding.

Sue spoke about who would be fronting the BBC’s coverage of Wimbledon in 2023 at an awards ceremony in 2022.

Back in the summer of 2022, Sue presented the final Wimbledon tournament. Sue had been fronting the BBC’s coverage of Wimbledon for 29 years, beginning in 1993.

However, after 29 years, she hung up her microphone for the last time following the Men’s final back in July 2022.

In late 2022, the former tennis legend seemingly let slip who would be replacing her as the BBC’s Wimbledon presenter in 2023.

Sue Barker smiling at Wimbledon
TV’s Sue Barker hosted her final Wimbledon tournament in 2022 (Credit: BBC)

Sue Barker on Wimbledon

Sue won a Lifetime Achievement Award at the BT Sport Action Woman Awards in November 2022 – and in her acceptance speech spoke of her replacement.

“I just want to say, leaving Wimbledon, it’s incredibly… I’ve loved it all my life,” she said.

“I know I’m leaving it in the safest hands, it’s absolutely wonderful to leave it with Clare [Balding],” she revealed.

“But also Clare, this year at Wimbledon, myself, you and Isa Guha. To have three women presenting Wimbledon for the first time ever.”

Clare Balding
Clare Balding now hosts Wimbledon coverage (Credit: BBC)

Sue Barker slams BBC

Sue’s Wimbledon slip-up came not long after she hit out at the BBC for their handling of her exit from A Question of Sport.

The former tennis star hosted A Question of Sport for 24 years before she stepped down in September 2020.

However, during an interview on BBC Breakfast in September 2022, Sue revealed that she hadn’t stepped down.

Sue Barker speaking
The star hit out at the BBC in 2022 (Credit: BBC)

“It is such a shame because, I have to say, that the BBC had told us we were going,” she said.

“They wanted to refresh the programme and that is absolutely fine. Everyone has the right to do that. We don’t own the programme,” she continued.

She then went on to say that she had an “amazing 24 years” as the host.

“I think we regret the way it was handled, I think if we look back on it we could have handled it better. I think the BBC could have handled it better,” she added.

Read more: BBC viewers beg for Sue Barker to return as Andy Murray left tearful after Wimbledon surprise

Clare hosts Wimbledon 2024 coverage on Sunday, July 7 from 3pm on BBC Two.

An emotional Sue Barker wins the Lifetime Achievement Award | Action Woman Awards 2022

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Robert Emlyn Slater
Senior Writer