Balding to front racing shows for C4

Sports presenter Claire Balding is to be the main host of Channel 4’s horseracing coverage – but says she will continue to work for the BBC.

The broadcaster, who has been one of the key figures in the corporation’s Olympics programming, will front C4’s racing shows from next year.

However she stressed she will continue with the BBC despite the switch of channels for her beloved sport.

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Earlier this year, when the BBC lost the rights to horseracing under a new four-year deal, she said she was going to bide her time over her next move. “I’m not rushing into any decisions about what I will do in the future,” she said.

But Channel 4 yesterday confirmed she will be the lead presenter of its coverage which includes the Cheltenham Festival, the Grand National from Aintree, Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood.

Balding – herself a former amateur jockey – has been one of the main faces during London 2012, presenting swimming coverage and equestrian events among her duties.

Channel 4 said yesterday: “Her expertise and warmth will bring a new audience to the programmes working alongside a combination of familiar and new talent to be announced later in the year.”

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Balding has already been announced as one of the presenters for C4’s Paralympics coverage.

She said: “I’m delighted that this agreement means I am able to broadcast racing for Channel 4 and combine it with expanded and varied programming at the BBC.

“I love my job and I can’t believe how lucky I am. I thrive on being challenged and pushed out of 
my comfort zone and I’m incredibly excited at what the future holds.”