THIS year’s Wimbledon championships will be the last fronted by longstanding BBC presenter Sue Barker.
Barker, 66, announced earlier this month that she was stepping down from her presenting role after 30 years covering SW19 action.
Sue Barker will stand down from Wimbledon coverage after this year’s championships
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The former Wimbledon semi-finalist has anchored the coverage since 2000, having first joined the team seven years earlier.
Betfair have Clare Balding as the short-priced favourite to take the reins as the main face of the championship’s coverage.
Why is Sue Barker leaving?
Barker revealed the hours were becoming very tough and challenging as she worked through her sixties.
She believes this year – her 30th championships – was the right time.
A statement from Barker said: “What a wonderful time I’ve had working on some of the biggest sporting events around the world.
“I will miss it terribly but after 30 years I feel the time is right for me. I’ve worked with the best of the best.”
What do the odds say?
Balding is part of the coverage currently and hosts the nightly ‘Today at Wimbledon’ highlights package that runs through the tournament.
Having done that job since 2015, she would appear the most likely to make that step up to front the coverage and is 2/1 with Betfair.
Reports claim insiders at the BBC and within tennis see Balding as the prime candidate to take over – and become only the fifth lead presenter at Wimbledon for 50 years.
Former cricketer Isa Guha is also a short price at 5/2 to lead the coverage, with Eilidh Barbour just behind at 6/1 with Betfair.
Tim Henman and Annabel Croft are further behind, locked together at 8/1. The pair currently feature prominently in the BBC coverage, with both having studio preview slots alongside commentary duties.
Gabby Logan is another thought to be in the mix and is 10/1 with Betfair to take the hot-seat.
Former BBC Breakfast host Dan Walker follows at 12/1 having recently jumped ship to join Channel 5 News.
Outsiders in the market at Richard Madeley at 25/1 and Piers Morgan, who is available at 33/1.
Betfair spokesperson Sam Rosbottom said: “With Sue Barker set to leave her role as the BBC’s lead presenter this year, Clare Balding is the 2/1 favourite to succeed the beloved host.
“Former cricketer Isa Guha follows behind Balding at 5/2, while other contenders include Eilidh Barbour at 6/1 and Tim Henman and Annabel Croft, who are both 8/1.
“Meanwhile, Piers Morgan is 33/1 to be the next face of the BBC’s Wimbledon coverage.”
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