The BBC sports presenter has triumphed during the London Olympics with her peerless combination of knowledge, professionalism, enthusiasm and emotion.
Clare Balding carrying the olympic torch
She knows her stuff, particularly in anything horsey (my technical term for the equestrian disciplines) and has a passionate connection with the competitors – many of whom regard her as a good friend, someone who feels the triumph and tragedy with them. She’s not just doing her job, reading off an autocue and asking scripted questions of the studio guests, she really cares.
This is probably because she knows how it feels – she was a leading amateur flat jockey in the late 80s and early 90s. She’s also prolific tweeter and has handled a certain amount of nastiness from certain sectors of the media who I won’t deign to name here with class, dignity and humour.
Oh and lest you need more evidence of Clare’s brilliance, the song she’d like to have played at her funeral is THE BLACK BEAUTY THEME TUNE. I rest my case.
Picture Credit: Rex Features