Clare Balding will receive a special Bafta for outstanding achievement in factual presenting in recognition of her coverage of the Olympics.
Bafta TV committee chairman Andrew Newman described Balding as a “trusted and intelligent live presenter” who can “transcend genre”, and said her coverage of London 2012 - for the Olympics on the BBC and the Paralympics on Channel 4 - had made her a “national treasure”.
“Clare’s body of work over the last 13 years speaks for itself, but it was through her expert coverage of the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games that Clare became a national treasure, who with her warmth and charisma helped bring the country together,” he said.
The award was last given to Jamie Oliver in 2006 for his campaigning cookery shows. Its previous recipients have included Jon Snow, Andrew Marr, Jeremy Paxman and Kate Adie.
Balding said she was “delighted” with the award. “I am in complete shock, I can’t believe I’ve been given such an extraordinary honour and I am totally delighted. I may not stop smiling until the night,” she said.
The 42-year-old presenter made her television debut in 1995 introducing highlights at Royal Ascot on the BBC. Her presenting credits have since included five Olympic Games, four Paralympic Games, Horse Racing on Channel 4 and Crufts.
Balding will be given the award at the TV Baftas, presented by Graham Norton at London’s Royal Festival Hall on May 12.
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