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Wales Online
Wales Online
Stephanie Colderick

Clare Balding's cancer battle, wife and Gogglebox appearances

Popular TV presenter and sports broadcaster Clare Balding is about to kick off BBC coverage of the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games when she presents the opening ceremony.

The 51-year-old is best known for presenting a variety of different sports programmes, from swimming to horse racing to Commonwealth Games and Olympics, with her enthusiastic passion making her a hit with the viewers.

Clare was born into a very sporty family with her dad, Ian Balding, training successful racehorses for members of the Royal family including the Queen, so unsurprisingly Clare originally wanted to be a jockey.

She attended the independent private school Downe House in Berkshire, where she met and became firm friends with future comedian Miranda Hart. The pair had gone on to work together for many different projects including the TV show Miranda Meets... where Clare appeared as a guest and drew their dogs to raise money for charity.

In 2009, Clare publicly announced she had thyroid cancer, cancer on the throat, and went through radioactive iodine treatment to prevent the cancer from spreading. She noticed the lump on her throat while watching herself on TV.

She also had her thyroid gland removed and adopted an attitude of keeping calm and carrying on to deal with the disease. She did admit she was worried about any effect on her voice, as her career depends on it, and in 2011 she received the all-clear.

The TV presenter is married to Alice Arnold and the pair met around 1999 when they were both working for the BBC before Clare had come out as gay. In 2002, Clare publicly told the wider world about her sexuality and her and Alice started dating.

Clare and her wife Alice Arnold are part of Celebrity Gogglebox (Channel 4/screengrab)

Alice also worked in the media, as a journalist for the BBC, which gave the couple something in common, and although Alice said she did not find Clare attractive at first their love soon grew.

In 2006, they entered into a civil partnership together and in 2016 when gay marriage was legalised they had an official wedding ceremony and back-dated their marriage to 2006.

Now the couple live together in a luxury area of London, with their neighbours including Phillip Schofield and Colin Firth, and have starred on Celebrity Gogglebox.

Clare first appeared on TV in 1995 when she presented the highlights of Royal Ascot and before that she was a BBC National Radio trainee.

From here her career grew and she has now presented a number of Olympic Games, Paralympic Games, Crufts from 2004 and is one of the presenters for BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Read next:

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How Cardiff looked when it hosted the Commonwealth Games in 1958

The full list of every Welsh athlete competing at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham

Alex Jones announces she's taking a break from BBC's The One Show

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