All-round national treasure Claire Balding is to present a chat show on BT’s dedicated sports channel, in the latest in a series of big TV sport deals for the telecoms giant.
Balding, who was clutched to the nation’s bosom throughout BBC’s coverage of the 2012 Olympics, will host a show with the working title ‘Claire Balding Presents’, which BT describes as a “flagship show” for the nascent BT Sport channel.
Balding said: "I'd like to thank BT for giving me the opportunity to present my own magazine-style programme in which I can interview iconic sports stars and discuss newsworthy and stimulating topics.
"I'm enthused by BT's vision for sports coverage in the future and particularly their support of women's sport, an issue about which I feel very strongly. This is an exciting new venture for me and I can't wait to get started.”
Last year, BT, which sees sport as key to improving take-up for its YouView based pay-TV offering, bought the rights to 38 Premier League games per season in a £738m acquisition.
It has also signed deals for 69 live rugby union matches from the Aviva Premiership, games from the Heineken Cup and tennis from the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships.