Clare Balding confirms she and partner Alice Arnold married in a private ceremony

Balding says she converted her civil partnership to prevent anyone from describing the pair as 'married in inverted commas'

Clare Balding has confirmed she and Alice Arnold, her partner of 14 years, have married in a private ceremony.

The sports presenter has been in a civil partnership with Arnold, a broadcaster and journalist, since 2006 and returned to the same venue in Chiswick, West London, to formalise their union. 

The pair had converted their partnership after same-sex marriage was legalised in 2013, meaning they have now officially been married since 2006.

She first announced their intention to wed shortly after the same-sex marriage bill was passed, saying: "That one word married is crucial because it defines our relationship. The way we see ourselves and the way we wish others to see us.”

Balding told Jonathan Ross that converting their union was important to the couple because it prevented anyone from suggesting the pair were "married in inverted commas".

“It’s about equality. It’s just about knowing that you can and knowing that you can say ‘I’m married’, and nobody’s going to think that’s married in inverted commas, no that’s actually married. I think it’s great," she said.

“We converted. So it was a civil partnership that we did in 2006, and then we actually went to the same registry office and they just backdate it to when you did your civil partnership, so officially now we have been married since 2006."

Balding said she and Arnold wed in a quiet ceremony, but joked that she was “keen” on the idea of a big party to celebrate.

“I don’t know the etiquette though, are you allowed to ask for presents again?" she asked. "It’s all about the party and the presents.”

The full interview will be broadcast tonight on the Jonathan Ross Show on ITV at 9.45pm.

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