Countdown: Clare Balding pays tribute to Emma Raducanu
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Clare Balding has taken to Twitter to respond after it was announced earlier today that Sue Barker is stepping down from her role of presenting this year’s Wimbledon. This year will be her last presenting the tennis from SW19 as she said she feels the “timing is right”.
I’m really sad Sue is stepping down and will miss her terribly
In view of her 691,000 followers, Clare reacted to her BBC colleague’s announcement.
Clare wrote: “I’m really sad Sue is stepping down and will miss her terribly.
“We had so much fun working together on various Olympics, Commonwealth Games, tennis, racing and Sports Personality of the Year.
“Thank you Sue for your leadership and friendship – you were the captain we all followed,” she penned.
The BBC star was responding to a tweet from the BBC Press Office earlier today.
It read: “After an incredible 30 years at the helm of live sports broadcasting for the BBC, Sue Barker has taken the decision to step down from her role at the end of this year’s Wimbledon tournament
In her statement, Sue had written: “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,” she ended.
Following Clare’s touching tribute, fans of the pair were quick to take to the comments to have their say.
Twitter user @AmandaSweetland replied: “I really hope the @BBCSport give her a brilliant send off, she deserves a warm and heartfelt thank you from the BBC and from us as viewers and tennis fans.”
@stygian66 added: “Lovely words Clare. Sue is an institution that will be missed.
“Not the right time to think about replacements but Marion Bartoli would be perfect.
“She is invested in Wimbledon, is so knowledgeable and is such a nice person,” they wrote.
While @GrahamTeessider chipped in: “In that case I will be watching even more Wimbledon coverage than usual this year to get the maximum value out of Sue.
“Can’t think of anyone who could replace her as leas presenter, certainly not Tim Henman or Andrew Castle.”
Tim Davie, Director General of the BBC said: “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.
“Her contribution to tennis, the BBC, sports presenting and for blazing a trail for women in broadcasting cannot be overstated.
“We are looking forward to her leading our coverage, with all the style, warmth and knowledge she has displayed for the last 30 years, and we will say farewell with heavy hearts at the end of the tournament.”
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