After three decades at the helm, Sue Barker is leaving her role as live sports broadcaster for the BBC.
The legendary presenter, who has fronted a range of major events across the BBC including Wimbledon, the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, World Athletics Championships, the London Marathon, the Grand National, Royal Ascot and Sports Personality of the Year, will be taking a step down after this year's Wimbledon tournament which starts later this month.
Over the last 30 years Sue has become a much-loved British broadcasting institution and, as the BBC’s Wimbledon host since 1994, Sue’s as much a fixture at SW19 as the punnets of strawberries and the creeping ivy on the court walls. Speaking of her love of Wimbledon last year, Sue told us: "I live and breathe Wimbledon, that’s what I grew up loving. I get goosebumps every time I walk through the gates."
But Sue's time on our screens is now set to come to an end later this year. Speaking of her departure, Sue says: “What a wonderful time I’ve had working on some of the biggest sporting events around the world. I will miss it terribly but after 30 years I feel the time is right for me. I’ve worked with the best of the best.
Tim Davie, Director-General BBC added: “Sue Barker has been the face and voice of Wimbledon for three decades. Many of our viewers will not know of a summer in SW19 without her. She is a consummate professional, an outstanding presenter and a wonderful colleague, loved by current and former players, all of us at the BBC and audiences across the UK and beyond."
Barbara Slater, Director BBC Sport said of Sue's departure: "Sue is a national treasure and we'd have loved for her to continue in her role for many years to come. We do of course respect her decision and understand why, after 30 years of leading Wimbledon presentations, she's ready to make this year her last. We thank Sue for the remarkable contribution she has made to sports broadcasting during what has been a truly extraordinary and illustrious career."
Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia.
After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and whattowatch.com writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off.
She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz!
As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.
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