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Clare Balding - Live webchat on Monday 9 July, 1.30 - 2.30

(152 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 05-Jul-12 09:42:26

We're delighted that Clare Balding is joining us for a live webchat next Monday 9 July at 1.30pm. Clare has been a presenter, writer and broadcaster for more than 15 years. Since becoming the face of the BBC's racing coverage in 1998 she's become known as one of Britain's leading sports presenters, and has gone on to work on four Olympic Games, three Paralympics and three Winter Olympics. From horse racing to rugby league, swimming to golf or to tennis, she is renowned for being able to turn her hand to any sport.

Since 2010 Clare has hosted Crufts for the BBC, and on More4, and has become established as one of the UK's leading presenters of live major events, such as the Lord Mayor's Show and Trooping the Colour. Clare will be presenting on the London 2012 Olympics for the BBC and hosting the Paralympics for Channel 4.

This September, Clare will release My Animals and Other Family, a funny and tender memoir of her early years, the pets and animals around her and the life lessons they taught her.

Put the date in your diary to join Clare next Monday, 9 July at 1.30 pm or post your question in advance on this thread.

edam Mon 09-Jul-12 13:14:01

Not into sport but agree with everyone else, I really like Claire. Very funny on panel shows and one of a very rare species, women on TV who don't fit the blonde/20-something/eye-candy stereotype. (Not that she's not pleasant-looking, but TV bosses seem to demand women fit a certain 'type' to get on screen.)

So, Claire, what do you think about the double standard in TV, where older women, especially, are under-represented? What did you make of the Miriam O'Reilly case? Do you think there will ever come a day when a woman who looks as, um, characterful as Adrian Chiles will be allowed on our screens? What could be done to widen the pool of female talent beyond Barbie look-alikes?

GetOrfMoiiLand Mon 09-Jul-12 13:15:42

I know absolutely bugger all about sport but I was deeply impressed at how you dealt with that ghastly little AA Gill. His confusion (he thought because he said generally nice things about your TV show you should have sucked up the homophobic insult) was telling. You were brilliant.

thestringcheesemassacre Mon 09-Jul-12 13:24:09

What Olympic event are you most looking forward to watching?

Do you think Team GB will win eventing gold?

(I know I've asked more than one, but I do love Clare)

GrumpyOldHorsewoman Mon 09-Jul-12 13:27:43

Another Racing 'Professional' here.

Without gushing, you do a superb job on the BBC (not sure I'd be quite so patient with Willie!), but now the party's over, do you intend to continue a role within racing or are you a BBC devotee? Channel 4 present a good show (between all the adverts), but some of their presenters are of a distinctly higher calibre than others - have you been approached by either them, ATR or RUK and would you ever consider it, or do contracts not permit it?

On a sneaky 2nd question kind of note, did Jilly Cooper have much to impart (or you to her) when you were sat together at the Darley lunch last year??

ChoccyJules Mon 09-Jul-12 13:28:11

Hi Claire,
Fellow TC survivor here, can I ask do you find energy etc generally well-balanced these days or is it an ongoing day to day moveable feast (as the after-effects seem to be to me)?

ClareBalding Mon 09-Jul-12 13:29:15

Hello,

It's Clare here. Just getting the webchat magic explained to me and will be answering your questions imminently!

xx

ClareBalding Mon 09-Jul-12 13:31:18

ChoccyJules

Hi Claire,
Fellow TC survivor here, can I ask do you find energy etc generally well-balanced these days or is it an ongoing day to day moveable feast (as the after-effects seem to be to me)?

It's funny but I don't think my energy levels have been affected that badly but it's hard to tell as I was so like Tigger before I had Thyroid Cancer that my parents thought I was on something (you know how parents are). I do feel tired some days but then given the hours I work, I would with or without no thyroid. I'm pretty good at remembering to take the tablets and am on 200mg a day which is meant to do the trick. So far so good.

ClareBalding Mon 09-Jul-12 13:33:03

GrumpyOldHorsewoman

Another Racing 'Professional' here.

Without gushing, you do a superb job on the BBC (not sure I'd be quite so patient with Willie!), but now the party's over, do you intend to continue a role within racing or are you a BBC devotee? Channel 4 present a good show (between all the adverts), but some of their presenters are of a distinctly higher calibre than others - have you been approached by either them, ATR or RUK and would you ever consider it, or do contracts not permit it?

I'm freelance so in theory anything is possible but it's all up in the air at the moment. Luckily, it seems that quite a lot of projects are in the pipeline for next year and I'm going to be more Countryfile filming, which hopefully might include some racing stories.

On a sneaky 2nd question kind of note, did Jilly Cooper have much to impart (or you to her) when you were sat together at the Darley lunch last year??

Oh yes.....!

ChoccyJules Mon 09-Jul-12 13:33:38

Thank you, frankly I was never like Tigger before so maybe theat's the difference!

tribpot Mon 09-Jul-12 13:37:21

Thank you for doing such a great job, Clare! You rock.

<apparently easy question> What are your favourite biscuits?

ClareBalding Mon 09-Jul-12 13:38:20

thestringcheesemassacre

What Olympic event are you most looking forward to watching?

Do you think Team GB will win eventing gold?

(I know I've asked more than one, but I do love Clare)

I'm going to be presenting the swimming for the first week which sadly clashes with the eventing so I won't get up to Greenwich until the dressage and show-jumping starts (good chances of medals in both). I will be keeping a keen eye on the Eventing as they're all my friends and really hope they can win gold. I'm looking forward to the whole thing getting started because there's a genuine highlight every day from Mark Cavendish in the road race on day one through to the modern pentathlon on the final weekend. I should be lucky enough to see a British gold medal - Becky Adlington, Fran Halsall, Kerrianne Payne, are a few with real chances

ClareBalding Mon 09-Jul-12 13:40:23

GetOrfMoiiLand

I know absolutely bugger all about sport but I was deeply impressed at how you dealt with that ghastly little AA Gill. His confusion (he thought because he said generally nice things about your TV show you should have sucked up the homophobic insult) was telling. You were brilliant.

Thank you. I take most insults on the chin (it's big enough!) but when it's an attack that affects other people as well as me, I think it's important to stand up and say "That's enough." I tried to do so without losing too much dignity - also important.

ClareBalding Mon 09-Jul-12 13:42:03

tribpot

Thank you for doing such a great job, Clare! You rock.

<apparently easy question> What are your favourite biscuits?

Thank you. You know the biscuits you get in a collection tin that are like a rolled up funnel? They're crunchy & really yummy. I could eat about 100 of them

rhetorician Mon 09-Jul-12 13:43:00

hello - ignore my previous silly questions; I wondered if you had any views on how to get girls into sport (some statistic about them only moving for something like 3.2 minutes a week!) or activity? for so many teenaged girls it seems resolutely uncool and unfeminine to get sweaty and hot?

MirandaLadyA Mon 09-Jul-12 13:45:55

Hi Clare smile Big fan of yours.
If you had to commentate one sport for the rest of your life what would it be?

ClareBalding Mon 09-Jul-12 13:46:46

edam

Not into sport but agree with everyone else, I really like Claire. Very funny on panel shows and one of a very rare species, women on TV who don't fit the blonde/20-something/eye-candy stereotype. (Not that she's not pleasant-looking, but TV bosses seem to demand women fit a certain 'type' to get on screen.)

So, Claire, what do you think about the double standard in TV, where older women, especially, are under-represented? What did you make of the Miriam O'Reilly case? Do you think there will ever come a day when a woman who looks as, um, characterful as Adrian Chiles will be allowed on our screens? What could be done to widen the pool of female talent beyond Barbie look-alikes?

I just think we need more women on TV and if there were more out there, we'd have more of a cross-section of looks. I think it's a fault of our society that we judge women so heavily on looks at the expense of talent, intelligence and wit. We should all take it upon ourselves to change that view and one by one, we can change the world.

ClareBalding Mon 09-Jul-12 13:47:37

Saltire

I like her too, except sometimes her choice of hats at Ascot are a bit erm...well. The one she wore on the last day, sorry but it was awful.

I'm not asking a question though, mine always get ignored grin

Hello.... Just so you know I'm not ignoring you..

x

tribpot Mon 09-Jul-12 13:48:29

Okay, I'm gonna ask another as my biscuit question was just an ice-breaker based on Clare's tweet about being nervous.

Yesterday, Sue Barker referred to 'The First Minister of Scotland, Sir Alex Ferguson' (I'm not quite sure which of these two people she actually meant as they were both present at Wimbledon). What's the biggest gaffe you've made on live telly?

Hi Claire

Love you too!

How do refrain from beating Willie Carson over the head when he keeps interrupting you?

And is Frankel the best horse you have ever seen?

CaveMum Mon 09-Jul-12 13:50:48

Harking back to my Frankel request oop thread, where does he rank in your all-time greats list? Better than Dancing Brave? Better than Sea the Stars? Or do you have to say Mill Reef was better, for obvious reasons wink

Personally I'd say he's the greatest. I loved Sea the Stars, cried after his Arc win, but Frankel just has the X factor grin

ClareBalding Mon 09-Jul-12 13:51:13

Popilol

Another huge Clare fan here - she rocks! Multiple and potentially endless questions:

Do you find it strange referring to / interviewing your brother?

Do you have a stylist / adviser? (So many great outfits but just loved the coat worn on the Jubilee river pageant barge and e-mailed the designer to ask about UK stockists!)

Think there is a book due out in September - is it an autobiography?

This is meant as a compliment so please don't take it the wrong way - my husband and I have a standing joke that Clare Balding, Aled Jones and Steve Rider are the same person (think it's the hair!) and you never see them together at the same time - have you ever been together with any of the others?

The Sue Barker sketch with Miranda for Comic Relief was brilliant - any others planned?

There are a lot of questions here so I'll try to take them on:

1. It's fun but also a little strange interviewing Andrew
2. I have a great designer called Claire Thorogood who has helped me blitz my wardrobe & has made some great things for me.
3. The book coming out in September is called My Animals and Other Family It's a memoir about my childhood with every chapter being loosely based on a different animal.
4. Aled & I joke a lot about being one and the same but I didn't realise Steve was our big brother!
5. I hope so...

MirandaLadyA Mon 09-Jul-12 13:51:48

Miss Balding, Clare if I may :D
Thank you for tweeting me a few times on the power of twitter.
my question.
What is your favourite cheese!!!!

GrumpyOldHorsewoman Mon 09-Jul-12 13:52:40

Thanks - as an evangelical promoter of racing, I hope we do see some more racing stories on Countryfile. I'd like more people outside the business to know how much we love and cherish our horses who enjoy the best attention and finest quality of life, as I feel we suffer a bit through a wilfully ignorant press. My daughter got a Twitter message after the Grand National this year from someone who said they thought it was disgusting that all the horses got put down after the race! We need a voice of reason to explain...

ClareBalding Mon 09-Jul-12 13:53:16

rhetorician

hello - ignore my previous silly questions; I wondered if you had any views on how to get girls into sport (some statistic about them only moving for something like 3.2 minutes a week!) or activity? for so many teenaged girls it seems resolutely uncool and unfeminine to get sweaty and hot?

This is going to be my big mission for the next ten years. I want to make sure that more girls have access to regular sport in schools and that more women keep doing it in later life. I think we are paying the price of taking sport out of the school curriculum and it affects girls for the rest of their lives. Of course boys suffer too but my challenge will be to get a higher profile for women's sport, which I will then work towards feeding down to school sports.

CaveMum Mon 09-Jul-12 13:53:25

Spooky x-post there fecking grin

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