BBC's Sue Barker to serve her last Wimbledon final after 30 years presenting from SW19

Sue Barker was never able to claim the Wimbledon ladies title but she has won the heart of a nation during 30 years presenting on our small screens for the BBC.

By Stephen Wilkie
Thursday, 9th June 2022, 5:45 pm

And after three decades at the helm of live sports broadcasting for the BBC, the former UK ladies number one and 1976 French Open ladies champion has taken the decision to step down from her role at the end of this year’s event.

During her broadcasting career, she has presented a range of major events across the BBC - including Wimbledon and Queens tennis, Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, World Athletics Championships, the London Marathon, the Grand National , Royal Ascot and Sports Personality of the Year.

An original trailblazer, she was the first woman to lead presentation for a crown jewel event on the BBC, and in forging her own hugely successful career, Sue paved the way for a raft of talented women to build their own careers on screen, as presenters, commentators and pundits.

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Passing on the mic: Sue Barker is stepping down after 30 years broadcasting for the BBC Pic: BBC

She stepped away from sports broadcasting to earn a new legion of admirers as hostess of A Question of Sport for 24 years.

A Grand Slam winner with a hugely successful tennis career, Ms Barker brought credibility, knowledge and her own inimitable style to her broadcasting role. Authoritative, yet warm and inclusive, her ability to put others at ease has allowed her to get the very best out of guests, pundits and competitors.

Speaking about her departure, Ms Barker said she had enjoyed “a wonderful time” working on some of the biggest sporting events around the world.

She admitted: “I will miss it terribly but after 30 years I feel the time is right for me. I’ve worked with the best of the best.”

Tim Davie, Director-General BBC says “Sue Barker has been the face and voice of Wimbledon for three decades. Many of our viewers will not know of a summer in SW19 without her. She is a consummate professional, an outstanding presenter and a wonderful colleague, loved by current and former players, all of us at the BBC and audiences across the UK and beyond.

“Her contribution to tennis, the BBC, sports presenting and for blazing a trail for women in broadcasting cannot be overstated. We are looking forward to her leading our coverage, with all the style, warmth and knowledge she has displayed for the last 30 years, and we will say farewell with heavy hearts at the end of the tournament.”

Barbara Slater, Director BBC Sport said: "Sue is a national treasure and we'd have loved for her to continue in her role for many years to come.

"We do of course respect her decision and understand why, after 30 years of leading Wimbledon presentation, she's ready to make this year her last.

"We thank Sue for the remarkable contribution she has made to sports broadcasting during what has been a truly extraordinary and illustrious career. A consummate professional who audiences will remember for her skill, authority and warmth on screen, Sue will be equally remembered with fondness and affection by colleagues who had the privilege to work alongside her, experiencing the same professionalism and warmth behind the scenes.”

Ms Barker’s final match will be the Wimbledon Men’s Final on Sunday July 10.