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Clare Balding gets Wimbledon radio job as John Inverdale gets the boot

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: May 23, 2014

  • John Inverdale has been overlooked for the big Wimbledon slot

  • John Inverdale has been overlooked for the big Wimbledon slot

  • John Inverdale has lost his spot presenting Radio 5Live's Wimbledon coverage, with the spot being handed to Clare Balding

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Clare Balding is to return as the host of Radio 5 Live's Wimbledon coverage, replacing John Inverdale, who sparked a row last year with an on-air gaffe.

Bristol-educated Inverdale caused a storm when listeners heard him say Marion Bartoli – who went on to be women's champion – was "not much of a looker".

Balding had previously been the station's Wimbledon host but the in-demand presenter was unable to front the coverage due to other commitments.

Inverdale, who went to the exclusive Clifton College, will continue to work on the BBC's tournament coverage with highlights on TV.

A spokeswoman for the station said: "We have a wide team of talent that work across TV and radio at Wimbledon and John is very much a part of this again this year, and will present the daily highlights programme on BBC2, Today At Wimbledon. Clare Balding reprises her presenting role on Radio 5 Live, which she has done before. Due to other commitments Clare was not part of the Wimbledon team last year."

Inverdale told in an interview earlier this week how a bout of hay fever and efforts to fill airtime had been behind his comment last year.

Inverdale, 56, told Radio Times magazine this week: "I was feeling so ill that day, I had terrible hay fever and all I could think of was that I wanted to go home to bed.

"I had Andy Murray in the final the next day, I knew I had to be on form. Your mind is going all over the place."

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  • StanStill  |  May 24 2014, 7:26AM

    Inverdale, 56, told Radio Times magazine this week: "I was feeling so ill that day, I had terrible hay fever and all I could think of was that I wanted to go home to bed. "I had Andy Murray in the final the next day, I knew I had to be on form. Your mind is going all over the place." It's taken you a long time to think up that excuse John. I just think you were being condescending, one thing is for sure, she is better looking than you.

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