Because the face of the BBC’s Wimbledon protection, she has been a cheerfully reassuring presence in our dwelling rooms each summer time for 30 years.
Now Sue Barker has determined it’s time to grasp up her microphone – so this yr’s championships, beginning on June 27, will probably be her final.
The 66-year-old presenter was supplied a three-year extension by the BBC to remain.
However after a number of months of cautious consideration, she has opted to retire whereas ‘nonetheless on prime’ of her sport having cast a profession as one of many nation’s main TV presenters,
‘Mainly I simply really feel the time is correct. It has been my dream job and I’ve cherished each minute of it, working with so many nice colleagues who I’m going to overlook a lot,’ she advised the Each day Mail.
Sue Barker with Novak Djokovic after he gained the Males’s Singles Closing in 2018 (left) and in 1999 (proper)
‘Once I began I by no means thought I’d handle 30 years. I had truly made up my thoughts to depart in 2017 as a result of the hours had been turning into very lengthy and fairly difficult. That will have been 25 years and appeared a superb time, however I’m so glad I made the choice to remain on. I am very joyful to be leaving with no regrets and alone phrases whereas I’m nonetheless on prime of the job, it simply looks like the suitable time to go and depart it to others.’
Miss Barker revealed that the demise of her mom aged 100 this yr was a key issue. ‘My mum was at all times so serious about my broadcasting profession and we’d communicate each night,’ she stated.
‘When one thing like that occurs it does make you reassess life, which is one more reason I feel that is the suitable time.’
In addition to Wimbledon, Miss Barker has fronted BBC protection of the Olympics, Commonwealth Video games and Grand Nationwide.
She co-presented protection of Prince Edward’s wedding ceremony to Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999 and for twenty-four years she hosted the Query of Sport quiz present, earlier than being changed by Paddy McGuinness final yr amid a row about ageism.
Sue Barker throughout the Garden Tennis Championships at Wimbledon in June 1998
Previous to turning into a trailblazer for feminine sportscasters, Miss Barker was a prime tennis participant.
She was as soon as ranked No 3 on the planet, successful the French Open in 1976 and reaching the semi-final at Wimbledon in 1977.
She famously dated Cliff Richard within the Nineteen Eighties. The singer has stated he got here near proposing. She is now married to panorama gardener Lance Tankard.
Miss Barker stated that, regardless of the controversial ban on gamers from Russia and Belarus over the conflict in Ukraine, ‘I nonetheless assume it’s going to be a fantastic Wimbledon’.
She seems to be ahead to turning into a spectator. ‘I positively will probably be going again to Wimbledon yearly – above all I like tennis,’ she stated. ‘In the mean time it’s troublesome to observe all of the matches I would like. I truly love the matches on the skin courts.’
Her many standout moments as a presenter embody seeing Andy Murray develop into Britain’s first male champion in 77 years in 2013 – and he or she gained plaudits for her skilful dealing with of an on-court interview in 2012, when Murray broke down after shedding the ultimate to Roger Federer. However Miss Barker added: ‘I do not need to look again an excessive amount of but on my time as a result of there’s nonetheless this yr to return, I’ve a job to do and I’m actually trying ahead to it.’
BBC director-general Tim Davie stated: ‘Sue Barker has been the face and voice of Wimbledon for 3 a long time. Lots of our viewers won’t know of a summer time in SW19 with out her. She is a consummate skilled, an impressive presenter and a beautiful colleague, cherished by present and former gamers, all of us on the BBC and audiences throughout the UK and past.’
How Sue Barker racked up 23 tennis titles and climbed to World No 3 after successful the French Open – earlier than turning into ‘the voice of Wimbledon for 3 a long time’
By Kaya Terry for MailOnline
Sue Barker has known as time on her function as a veteran BBC presenter of the Wimbledon protection following this yr’s match – after 30 years with the broadcaster.
The 66-year-old has been a trailblazer for feminine sports activities presenters and fronted most of the BBC’s legendary sports activities programmes over the past three a long time.
Barker, of Paignton, Devon, began taking part in tennis when she was simply 10 years outdated and commenced attending the All England Garden Tennis and Croquet Membership, which she sits on the board of alongside different Wimbledon stars.
A tennis-mad PE trainer took a celebration from her faculty to the legendary membership in Devon by minibus, going there and again in a day.
Sue Barker, of Paignton, Devon, (Pictured in 1981) began taking part in tennis when she was simply 10 years outdated and commenced attending the All England Garden Tennis and Croquet Membership, which she sits on the board of alongside different Wimbledon stars
Sue Barker throughout the Wimbledon Garden Tennis Championships held on the All England Membership in London throughout July 1981
Barker subsequently made her taking part in debut there aged 16, and has not missed a yr since – often as a Nice British hope or working in tv.
After beginning her profession as knowledgeable tennis participant, Barker went on to win 11 WTA Tour singles titles and one Grand Slam after triumphing on the 1976 French Open.
She grew to become LTA Color Holder – designed to acknowledge and have fun gamers who’ve represented Nice Britain at tennis – after representing the UK in what’s now the Billie Jean King Cup in 27 ties.
Barker reached one closing match in 1980 and gained the final singles title of her profession on the Brighton Worldwide in 1981, ending the yr ranked as World No. 16. She gained her final doubles title match in 1982 at Cincinnati and performed her final skilled tennis sport in 1984.
Upon retiring from tennis, Barker grew to become a commentator and sports activities reporter for Australia’s Channel 7 in 1985 earlier than happening to anchor tennis protection for Sky between 1990 to 1993.
Barker throughout the Wimbledon Garden Tennis Championships held on the All England Membership in London in July 1984
In the meantime, Barker broke off an engagement with Australian tennis participant Syd Ball in 1978.
In an interview the next yr, she stated: ‘I realised that Syd wasn’t the reply. Beneath, I wasn’t joyful and I definitely wasn’t prepared for marriage. I wasn’t truthful to him or myself.’
4 years later, she began a relationship with Cliff Richard. It attracted the eye of followers internationally when the singer was noticed in Denmark watching her play a match.
Lately, Cliff revealed he almost requested Barker to marry him ‘however in the long run I realised that I did not love her fairly sufficient to commit the remainder of my life to her.’
The tennis legend later married panorama gardener and former policeman, Lance Tankard in 1988.
In 1982, Barker began a relationship with Cliff Richard. It attracted the eye of followers internationally when the singer was noticed in Denmark watching her play a match
Upon retiring from tennis, Barker grew to become a commentator and sports activities reporter for Australia’s Channel 7 in 1985 earlier than happening to anchor tennis protection for Sky between 1990 to 1993. Pictured: Barker in June 1992
Petra Kvitova is interviewed by Sue Barker after beating Eugenie Bouchard within the Women’ Singles Closing in 2014 on the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London
Upon retiring from tennis, she grew to become a commentator and sports activities reporter for Australia’s channel 7, earlier than happening to anchor tennis protection for British Sky Broadcasting. She then joined the BBC workforce to current their Wimbledon protection and has anchored the two-week lengthy broadcast ever since.
Barker co-presented protection of Prince Edward’s wedding ceremony to Sophie, Countess of Wessex, in June 1999 alongside Michael Buerk in Windsor. Reportedly, Barker launched the countess to the 96-year-old monarch’s youngest son at a charity operate a couple of years earlier.
She grew to become the presenter of the long-running sports activities quiz present A Query of Sport in 1997, having changed the late David Coleman. She retired as QoS presenter following the BBC’s resolution to revamp the present; having recorded her final episode in September 2020.
Barker has since led protection of the Olympics, Commonwealth Video games, athletics, racing and the BBC Sports activities Persona of the 12 months Awards from 1994 till 2012.
BBC director basic Tim Davie stated Barker’s ‘contribution to tennis, the BBC, sports activities presenting and for blazing a path for girls in broadcasting can’t be overstated’.
‘Sue Barker has been the face and voice of Wimbledon for 3 a long time,’ Davie added.
Serena Williams (proper) speaks to Sue Barker after defeating her sister Venus within the Ladies’s Singles Closing of the Wimbledon Garden Tennis Championships in 2002
Andy Murray holds the Wimbledon trophy as he’s interviewed by Sue Barker following his victory within the Males’s Singles Closing in opposition to Milos Raonic in 2016
‘Lots of our viewers won’t know of a summer time in SW19 with out her. She is a consummate skilled, an impressive presenter and a beautiful colleague, cherished by present and former gamers, all of us on the BBC and audiences throughout the UK and past.’
BBC Sport director Barbara Slater described Barker as ‘a nationwide treasure’, including: ‘We would have cherished for her to proceed in her function for a few years to return.
‘We do after all respect her resolution and perceive why, after 30 years of main Wimbledon presentation, she’s able to make this yr her final.
‘A consummate skilled who audiences will keep in mind for her ability, authority and heat on display screen, Sue will probably be equally remembered with fondness and affection by colleagues who had the privilege to work alongside her, experiencing the identical professionalism and heat behind the scenes.’
Sue Barker interviews Roger Federer after his defeat to Novak Djokovic within the Closing of the Gents’s Singles on day 13 of The Championships in 2019
Serena Williams talks to BBC presenter Sue Barker after successful her Women Singles Closing match in opposition to Agnieszka Radwanska on day 12 of the 2012 Wimbledon Tennis Championships on the All England Garden Tennis and Croquet Membership in London
Barker and the BBC prolonged her contract in 2008 to cowl the London 2012 Olympic Video games – estimated to be price £375,000 a yr.
By 2012, Sue supplied dwell protection of the London 2012 Olympics because the BBC’s anchor within the prime-time early night slot. She was awarded an OBE in 2016 for companies to Broadcasting and Charity.
Sadly, the TV legend stepped down from her function as host of A Query of Sport after 24 years; she acknowledged that she was ‘unhappy to say goodbye’.
Sue, who now lives in Wiltshire, was awarded an OBE in 2016 for companies to Broadcasting and Charity.