Clare Balding speaking on Loose Women
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Clare Balding on ‘misjudged’ comment about jockey who later died: ‘Very difficult to talk about’

Clare said she really didn't mean any harm

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Clare Balding – who hosts Wimbledon coverage on BBC – once made a “misjudged” comment to a jockey for which she was criticised.

The jockey in question later died – meaning discussing the incident is “very difficult” for the star, as she revealed during an interview back in April.

Clare Balding on GMB
Clare came under fire in 2009 (Credit: ITV)

Clare Balding on ‘misjudged’ comment about jockey

In April 2024, Clare did an interview with The Telegraph. During the interview, Clare reminisced on a “misjudged” comment she made to the jockey, Liam Treadwell. Treadwell had just won at the Grand National when Clare made fun of his teeth.

She asked the Irishman whether he was going to use his prize money on having his teeth repaired.

“He [Liam] hasn’t got the best teeth in the world, but you can go and get them done now if you like,” she told Liam at the time.

The BBC received 2,000 complaints about Clare’s comment. Clare later explained that she thought he’d had his teeth kicked out by a horse – hence why she bought them up.

Treadwell cheerfully forgave Clare – and even thanked her when a doctor offered to fix his teeth for free (an offer he took up).

Liam Treadwell during an interview
Liam died in 2020 (Credit: YouTube)

Clare Balding on Liam Treadwell

“I did an awful thing and I genuinely didn’t mean any harm. I was probably just trying to be funny and I misjudged it completely,” Clare told the Telegraph.

Sadly, Treadwell died in 2020 following an accidental drug overdose. He was just 34 years old.

At the mention of Treadwell’s death, Clare is said to have grown emotional during the interview.

“You know, obviously, what’s happened since makes it very difficult to talk about. Liam’s mum and I are in touch fairly regularly. Sorry, I just can’t believe he’s not here,” she said.

Clare Balding and Alice Arnold smiling
Clare and Alice tied the knot in 2006 (Credit: SplashNews.com)

Clare on her grandmother’s ‘disgusting’ comment

In 2013, Clare revealed how her relationship with her grandmother grew strained after she made a comment about her sexuality.

Speaking on Desert Island Discs, Clare explained she decided to tell her gran about her sexuality after being pictured at a film premiere with her now wife, Alice Arnold.

“I said: ‘Grandma I need to talk to you.’ And she said: ‘Yes I should think you do’,” she said.

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

“I said: ‘What do you mean? The invasion of my privacy or my lifestyle choice?’ and she said: ‘Both’,” she then said.

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

Read more: Clare Balding recalls being ‘fat-shamed’ by Anne Robinson on TV show

Wimbledon coverage airs on Sunday July 14 from 1pm on BBC One.

clare balding asks shocking question during Liam Treadwell interview

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Robert Emlyn Slater
Senior Writer

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