Clare Balding opened up on health difficulties: ‘I’ve lost 90% of my hearing’

Gogglebox: Clare Balding teased by wife over quiz shows

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Clare Balding will appear on Celebrity Catchphrase this week, competing against Ade Adepitan and Robert Webb on the show hosted by Stephen Mulhern. Clare currently hosts her own sports chat show called The Clare Balding Show, which airs on BT Sport and BBC Two. She has also been a key figure of the BBC’s sports coverage for years, hosting big events such as Wimbledon and the Olympics. In October 2020, the sports presenter revealed she has lost much of her hearing, saying she only has “about 10 percent” of it remaining.

Clare opened up about her hearing loss during an episode of the Dave panel show, Mel Giedroyc: Unforgivable.

She said: “I really need to get my ears done. I’m at about ten percent and I guess the rest. My wife keeps saying to me, ‘Stop shouting!’ because I’m clearly over-projecting because I can’t hear myself.”

In response to Clare’s comment, 52-year-old host Mel added: “I hear about 60 percent.”

Clare also revealed last year that her father never believed she would make it to the top in sports media.

She told the Paul McKenna podcast that her father had doubts she would succeed in the industry because she is a woman.

She said: “I was very angry at my parents for their lack of acknowledgements for women’s achievements and that made me really determined to do the things that maybe they thought women couldn’t do.

“I remember when I first presented Grandstand on the BBC my father being absolutely flabbergasted. He didn’t realise that was something any woman could do let alone me.”

She continued: “I remember the very first award I ever won was the RTS award for a sports presenter. I went to the dinner and was nominated but thought ‘I’ve got no chance [of winning]’.

“I told dad that I was up against Steve Rider, who is the loveliest man, and another very famous man. It wouldn’t have been Jeff Stelling… but someone of that stature.

“My father just went ‘You’ve got no chance, not against them’. And then I won and you just sort of think ‘this is quite surprising’ – to my father certainly.

“Other people might have been a little more open-minded, but you know. So that was a big drive to do something, not to make him proud – although I’m sure that was there too – but to be different from anyone else and nobody else in the family worked in the media.”

Clare has previously stated that she refuses to work on men’s football matches as it can be “toxic” for female hosts.

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The BBC veteran said in November 2020 that female broadcasters suffer “vile abuse” when they offer opinions on male matches, which she blames for “the worst of tribal behaviour”.

She said: “Any woman who pops up on a football programme offering expertise, or in the role of presenter, will be opening the door to such vile abuse on social media.”

Clare told the Creative Forum that when Alex Scott joined the BBC team for football coverage “it was: ‘We have one woman, we can’t have two’.”

She added: “You’re fighting another woman for that one chance.”

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