Balding honoured for presenting Olympics

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Clare Balding accepted an award “on behalf of all women in sports television” yesterday as she was honoured for her role as presenter during the London Olympics.

Speaking at the 22nd Sky Women in Film and Television awards, she said: “I hope that in the future you’re going to see female anchors working together, you’ll see female commentators which is the next big breakthrough.

“There are one or two who do commentating but very few. Obviously sports presenters, you see women who’ve done phenomenally well; Hazel, Gabby, Sue, Mishal Husain, all of us working together I hope knowing our stuff, and I think that’s what we’ve been valued for. I take the award on behalf of all of the women in sports television.”

Balding won the ITV Studios Achievement of the Year for her presenting during this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Balding said she thought honouring women for their achievements in film and television was “hugely important”.

She added: “I think it’s important for young girls who are, I hope, watching us and thinking ‘that’s a job I want to do’ to know that warmth, humour, intelligence, doing your homework; that’s what matters. I’m not getting this award because of what I look like, or my dress sense – we all know that.”

Actress Olivia Colman received the MAC Best Performance Award for her various roles throughout the year, which included playing Carol Thatcher in The Iron Lady. “To be recognised by your sisterhood, fellowhood, is lovely. It doesn’t really get much better than that, it’s really really nice,” she said.

Guests included Dame Julie Walters, who presented drama producer Ruth Caleb with this year’s EON Productions Lifetime Achievement Award.

Caleb produced Pat and Margaret, which starred Walters and Victoria Wood.