THIS year’s Wimbledon championships will be the last fronted by BBC’s longstanding presenter Sue Barker.
Barker, 66, announced earlier this month that she was stepping down from her presenting role after 30 years covering SW19 action.
BETFAIR: GET £30 IN FREE BETS*
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 11/10 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.
Tim Henman is also a short price at 6/4 to lead the coverage, with Annabel Croft just behind at 7/4 with Betfair.
The pair currently feature prominently in the BBC coverage, with both having studio preview slots alongside commentary duties.
Billie Jean King is another thought to be in the mix and is 2/1 with Betfair to take the hotseat.
She is also involved in the current BBC coverage and could be the big star name to take the coverage on.
Current commentators John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova are again big personalities in the current show’s format.
The pair are 3/1 with Betfair to move to centre stage and lead the championships for the channel.
Tracy Austin is 5/1 to be the next presenter, while Paddy McGuinness – who replaced Barker as the face of A Question Of Sport – is in at 12/1.
BETFAIR: GET £30 IN FREE BETS*
FREE BETS AND SIGN UP DEALS – BEST NEW CUSTOMER OFFERS
Commercial content notice: Taking one of the bookmaker offers featured in this article may result in a payment to SE. 18+. T&Cs apply. Begambleaware.org
Remember to gamble responsibly
A responsible gambler is someone who:
- Establishes time and monetary limits before playing
- Only gambles with money they can afford to lose
- Never chase their losses
- Doesn’t gamble if they’re upset, angry or depressed
- Gamcare – www.gamcare.org.uk
- Gamble Aware – www.begambleaware.org
For help with a gambling problem, call the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133 or go to www.gamstop.co.uk to be excluded from all UK-regulated gambling websites.
*Place a min £10 bet on the Sportsbook on odds of min 1/2 (1.5), get £30 in Free Bets. Rewards valid for 30 days. SMS verification required. Only deposits via cards will qualify. T&Cs apply. Please Gamble Responsibly 18+ begambleaware.org