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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Liam Prenderville

Sue Barker accidentally reveals Wimbledon replacement after quitting BBC

Sue Barker has seemingly accidentally revealed her replacement on BBC's coverage of Wimbledon.

Former tennis player and commentator Barker, 66, has fronted the coverage for 30 years but emotionally announced she would be bidding farewell earlier this year.

Barker was presented with the lifetime achievement at the Action Women Awards on Wednesday by fellow broadcaster Clare Balding, who looks set to succeed her from 2023. While speaking to Balding on stage, she admitted: "I just want to say, leaving Wimbledon, it’s incredibly… I’ve loved it all my life.

“I know I’m leaving it in the safest hands, it’s absolutely wonderful to leave it with Clare. But also Claire, this year at Wimbledon, myself, you and Isa Guha. To have three women presenting Wimbledon for the first time ever.”

A red-faced Balding didn't comment on Barker's blip although she has been the hot favourite to resume the role when Wimbledon kicks off again next summer.

The presenter has fronted BBC's Today At Wimbledon highlights programme in recent years and is something of an all-rounder within the channel's network.

Balding has previously been an integral figure in the BBC's Olympic coverage as well as the Boat Race and Sports Personality of the Year, and hosts her own sports chat show. The likes of Lewis Hamilton, Robbie O'Sullivan and Mike Tyson have all appeared on The Clare Balding Show since it was aired in 2015.

Former Question of Sport host Barker bid an emotional farewell to Wimbledon this year following Novak Djokovic's win over Nick Kyrgios in the men's final.

Clare Balding looks set to succeed Sue Barker (BBC / Paul Cooper)

Discussing her final moments on Centre Court, she told Balding: “I remember all the champions were there and I was really crying because the more they cheered, the more I cried.

"And I looked over at Roger Federer and I remember every time I’ve interviewed and I always ask him ‘What is the best moment of your career?’

“He said ‘Winning my first Wimbledon, it’s what I dreamed of.’ And he said ‘But you made me cry and all I have is I’m blubbing and that’s all my memory.’ And I looked at him and I thought I’m not going to do a Roger."

BBC celebrated 85 years of Wimbledon last year and they have an agreement in place for TV rights for the famous competition at All England Club until 2024.

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