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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.

NaturalNatures Sat 07-Jul-12 20:52:54

Hello Clare, I think you're great too and would have asked MmeLindors question so....

How difficult is it being a woman in your line of work?

40notTrendy Sat 07-Jul-12 21:09:33

Clare, also a fan here. You are so professional and warm with wonderful personality. I always feel like we are in safe hands when you are presenting or commentating, I particularly thought the way you handled the boat race was excellent, you got to heart of what was happening with such poise and respect.
I'd like to know if there's anything you would love to be part of but haven't yet?

CaveMum Sat 07-Jul-12 21:25:47

One more question grin

Give us the name of a two year old your brother trains that we should all follow this year wink

LoveAndOtherIndoorSports Sat 07-Jul-12 21:30:42

Hello Claire

I just mentioned this webchat to the DH and DDs (14 &16) who all said at the same time

'oh I like her' grin

Anyway. DD1 wants your job.
She wants to know....

How much do you really know about the sports or events you cover? Or do you do a bit of cramming and wing it?

Sharpkat Sat 07-Jul-12 22:45:37

A question for Clare as I cannot make the webchat on Monday: to what extent do you think your father's career influenced you? Did you ever consider doing something totally different?

I have a similarish background to you and was always determined to break away from the family which I have done. I just wondered if you had ever dreamt of a completely different career.

Devora Sat 07-Jul-12 23:06:35

Ooh Clare, can you give us some gossip on the Tatler lesbian ball? Do you think this idea might spread to other titles so that us unposh lesbians can get a look in? [pictures self at, um, Easy Living lesbian ball, swapping tips on how to do the shabby chic look in a 30s semi.]

thestringcheesemassacre Sun 08-Jul-12 11:25:11

Clare, if you could only watch/commentate on one sport for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Also black caviar or frankel? Which horse do you rate the best?

LaGuerta Sun 08-Jul-12 15:51:27

Hi Clare. I'm another fan (and Newnhamite) and have long said that you would be on my invitee list if I held a fantasy dinner party where I could invite anyone dead or alive blush.

I have really enjoyed the 5 live tennis coverage and was wondering who you enjoyed working with the most? Nick Bollettieri's "today is history" line to Heather Watson was brilliant.

intravenouscoffee Sun 08-Jul-12 20:06:07

Ooh, very excited. But can't make the webchat so will pre post a question.

Do you think womens' sporting events will ever attract the same attention as mens'?

For the record I'm not really sporty myself but am attempting to cultivate an interest so that DD doesn't grow up thinking sport is a 'boy thing'.

Love your commentating, think you're great. smile

rhetorician Sun 08-Jul-12 21:05:17

without wishing to rake up the AA Gill saga all over again (I really really don't), do you think that it's harder to be a lesbian in a public position than a gay man? (ps - good friend of mine worked with you on the SPort and the British series and thought you were fab!)

snice Sun 08-Jul-12 22:46:01

Hi Clare
Yet another fan here. Is there a sport that you are longing to get a go at commentating on? And are you cramming madly for any obscure Olympic events that have fallen to you to 'do'?

LineRunner Sun 08-Jul-12 23:51:28


Teethgate - is it all over now?

LottieJenkins Mon 09-Jul-12 08:18:58

Hi Clare. What are your views on The Grand National fences? I grew up next door to Geoff Hubbard and all his lovely horses. I was devastated when Strong Promise was killed at Aintree shortly after Mr Hubbard died. sad

DuelingFanjo Mon 09-Jul-12 10:04:31

Hi there

I would just like to apologise for once writing a snotty letter complaining about you covering the darts championships. On reflection I was a bit mean and have often worried that I may have upset you. Hope not and sorry.

R4 Mon 09-Jul-12 10:08:06

Another haven't-got-a-Q-but-just-wanted-to-say-you're-fab here. I love Ramblings and all it conveys: I really feel that I have climbed that hill with you and got slightly out of breath, stopped for the view and earned that pint / thermos of tea at the end. You always seem to draw the best out of your hosts - not in a Meedja Personality 'I am indiscriminately excited by everything and vacuously love everyone' sort of way - and find them genuinely interesting.

Oooh, thought of a question. What do you think of the media hype around Wimbledon, all this 'we haven't had a British champion since 1936'. Why all the attention on the Men's Singles? Why do we brush Virginia Wade's achievement to one side? Why were the Sunday papers full of pre-prepared pieces on what Murray might do and pretty much ignored what Marray had done?

champagnesupernova Mon 09-Jul-12 10:53:29

Hi Clare
Cant be here later but just wondered are you a Mumsnetter? I imagine you to be. Fave biscuit??

champagnesupernova Mon 09-Jul-12 10:55:16

Oh and (hopes MNHQ don't notice an extra question)
Saw you at the jubilee getting very wet but still enjoying yourself.
What is the best/coolest event you have done through work?

mendipgirl Mon 09-Jul-12 12:01:55

I love Clare. You are always so enthusiastic but knowledgable as well.

My question:

which sport do you like commentating on the most? I bet it will be horse racing but I think you are wonderful at the tennis...I'd rather listen to you than watch the TV!!

all4u Mon 09-Jul-12 12:20:06

Clare you should have been given a main presenter role for the Jubilee River Pageant not stuck on one boat! When the viral pandemic hits us (as all experts agree it will sooner or later and probably sooner) I think you should be the intelligent trustworthy anchorperson for the vital PR information/advice role (hopeless task though it will be given the lack of public preparedness the civil service has decided on!) sad

MrsKwazii Mon 09-Jul-12 12:51:56

Hello Clare, just want to add my voice to the chorus of what an impressive broadcaster you are. I think that you and Sue Barker are simply excellent, talk sense and are fantastic female role-models in a very male-dominated profession.

How do you think that we as parents can encourage girls to take up sport? I am not particularly sporty myself but would like to encourage my daughter to give things a go and find something she enjoys. The emphasis on male teams is so pervasive in society - the disregard for women's football and cricket when we have excellent teams is very disheartening for instance. Do you think that broadcasters have a role to play in this?

recall Mon 09-Jul-12 12:58:46

I think you are great Claire, you have a way of interviewing and discussing people that is really intimate like they are all old family friends, you bring a real personal touch to it. You are a national treasure ( gush) blush

recall Mon 09-Jul-12 13:00:20

all4u what viral pandemic ????? shock shock shock

aristocat Mon 09-Jul-12 13:00:57

Another fan of yours here too smile

Except for Racing, which is your favourite sport?

NomenOmen Mon 09-Jul-12 13:05:31

Hello Clare.

I would like to repeat all the enthusiastic praise: you are one of a very few presenters on television or radio whom I always enjoy watching or listening to. You have a great talent.

I would also like to echo Mme Lindor's sentiments about the scandalous way in which women in sport (and other arenas, of course!) are represented - or not represented, as the case may be. I'd be interested to hear you comment more on this.

My question, however, is about how you see your role: do you feel under pressure to fulfil certain expectations and to meet certain standards as a woman and a lesbian which your male peers - straight or not - simply don't have to? I think you are - deliberately or not - an excellent role model, but I imagine that could become a tiresome burden at times!


AbigailAdams Mon 09-Jul-12 13:12:01

Hi Clare.

How do you cope with the casual sexism and homophobia in sport in general and especially sport in the media?

Love your work btw (another Twitter stalker follower here).

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