Sports presenter Clare Balding will present Channel 4 racing from 2013, in a move which will see her work on the big races such as the Derby and the Grand National, which the channel has taken over from the BBC.
The BBC, who relinquished their Horse Racing rights earlier this year, will still utilise Clare for some of their sports programmes (including rugby league) as well some non-sports programming. Balding has previously filled in presenting Countryfile.
Balding has been freelance for a few years which has seen her, while still presenting for the beeb, also host Crufts for Channel 4 and athletics earlier this year. She will be the main presenter for Channel 4′s Paralympic coverage later this month. She was used on the BBC’s Olympic coverage again this year, she featured on swimming and equestrian events as well as in the main studio, and she received wide acclaim for her fantastic work.
Channel 4 also announced they are partnering with IMG to produce around 90 days of horse racing coverage.
Channel 4 chief creative officer Jay Hunt said: “Clare has shown over the last two weeks at the Olympics why she is rightly acclaimed as one of the UK’s leading broadcasters and I’m delighted that, in addition to presenting the London 2012 Paralympic Games on Channel 4 this autumn, she will lead our horseracing coverage from 2013.”
“With the expertise of IMG Sports on board, I’m hugely excited about the future of racing on Channel 4.”
In another plus for the channel, Channel 4′s racing coverage will be headed up behind the scenes by BBC Sport senior programme editor Carl Hicks, who played a big role in the corporation’s Olympics coverage who will join IMG Sports Media as executive producer.