John Inverdale blames hay fever for 'sexist' comments made about Marion Bartoli’s looks
The BBC presenter and Wimbledon champion Bartoli discuss last year’s contentious remarks in a joint interview
Tuesday 20 May 2014
Last year, he said on Radio 5 that the Wimbledon champion was “never going to be a looker” and would have to “compensate” for that.
“I was feeling so ill that day, I had terrible hay fever and all I could think of was that I wanted to go home to bed,” he said in a joint interview with Bartoli in the Radio Times.
He said that he was not trying to make excuses, rather “just trying to explain”. His comments attracted over 700 complaints and there were calls for the presenter to be sacked.
Culture Secretary Maria Miller wrote to BBC director general Tony Hall expressing her anger at Inverdale's remarks, asking for "an update on any further action that is likely to be taken".
Hall responded, saying that the incident was “totally unacceptable and fell well beneath the standards we expect of our presenters”. However, the presenter managed to hold onto his job.
Marion Bartoli after winning Wimbledon in 2013 Bartoli, who will sit in the commentary box with Inverdale at next week’s French open, is remarkably forgiving over the debacle. She was surprised that the comments were one of the first things that she was asked about after winning Wimbledon that summer.
"In my mind it was never really a story," she said. "You have to remember that I had dreamt about winning Wimbledon for 20 years, and all of a sudden my dream was a reality. I was just so happy, I was flying."
She also maintains that she was never angry with the broadcaster.
"At the end of the day I am a tennis player, I know I'm not 6ft tall, I'm not the same long, lean shape as Maria Sharapova, but the beauty of tennis is that anyone can win, tall or short."
- 1 Rihanna 'nude photos' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 2 Frank Lampard equalises for Manchester City against Chelsea: how Twitter reacted
- 3 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 4 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned PR disaster
Rihanna 'nude photos' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
Jennifer Lawrence leaked 4Chan sex video branded 'fake' by forum users
Gabrielle Union contacts FBI over nude 4Chan pictures leaked by 'vultures'
Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked next, threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...
£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...