The BBC has dropped John Inverdale as the host of its nightly Wimbledon highlights programme, with Clare Balding replacing him on the primetime BBC2 tennis slot.
Balding will present a revamped highlights show called Wimbledon 2Day, including a live audience and celebrity guests as well as the regular match highlights. Inverdale will work as one of the BBC’s commentators.
Inverdale caused controversy in 2013 when he said on BBC Radio 5 Live that French tennis champion Marion Bartoli was “never going to be a looker”. The BBC apologised for the incident, and Inverdale and Bartoli later presented together during the French Open for ITV.
Earlier this year the 57-year-old broadcaster had to apologise again after a “slip of the tongue” during Radio 5 Live’s Cheltenham Festival coverage led to him saying the c-word live on air.
In 2014, Balding fronted 5 Live’s coverage of Wimbledon (the role Inverdale had previously fulfilled for the BBC), before her promotion to this year’s prime time highlights slot on BBC2, airing every night throughout the tournament.
Coverage begins on Monday 29th June, with Sue Barker once again acting as the BBC’s main Wimbledon anchor and former US champion Andy Roddick joining the line-up of experts. Seven-time Grand Slam champion Justine Henin has also been added to Radio 5’s team of experts.