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Clare Balding swaps horses for bikes in new BBC Series

BBC presenter seeks to recreate cycling journeys of the 40s and 50s

She may be best known for presenting events such as Royal Ascot and the Grand National – her father was a top racehorse trainer, after all – but sports commentator Clare Balding is swapping four legs for two wheels as part of the BBC’s new outdoor season.

In a six-part series to be shown on BBC Four called Britain by Bike, Balding will aim to recreate the travels of cycling guidebook writer Harold Briercliffe and discover just how much remains of the idyllic routes he described in the 1940s and 1950s.

It’s not the only programme in the series that is devoted to the bicycle. In another, called Ride Of My Life - The Story Of The Bicycle, author and photographer Rob Penn, who once spent three years riding 24,000 miles around the world, puts together the bike of his dreams.

As yet, there are no details of transmission dates for either show.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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handlebarcam | 13 years ago

The second epsiode, now on iPlayer, had some good British bike industry history, and an interview with Barry Hoban, both in the second half of the programme. Watching it though, I couldn't help being repeatedly struck by the thought that Eddie Izzard has really let himself go. Then I remembered it was actually being presented by the famous jockey-dentisty critic, Clare Balding.

simonmb | 13 years ago

Sounds like a great show, and CB will do it well. Can't wait!

nick_rearden | 13 years ago

WHAT! Clare Balding is brilliant and lovely. Warm and human but beautifully ironic in the most Jane Austinish way with pompous arses. If this show is anything like the Radio 4 walking show, she will connect in just the way cycling needs. To be fair, I personally would prefer to look at Lauren Laverne and admire her sophisticated Metropolitan wit but, honestly, who would you rather have on your bike ride? Kick your arse on the big hills and then get the drinks in.

That was probably one too many arses for one post but there you go.

Karbon Kev | 13 years ago

oh my god this bloody masculine woman is such a bad presenter at the best of times, and now she's let loose on a bike to further tarnish the cyclist's reputation. Heaven help us ...

Zaskar | 13 years ago

While some people may shake their heads...

It is exacly what needs doing-Give Daily Mail readers a person they look up to and to present a show in what they hate-cycling!

Maybe it will stop some of their moans about cycling.

(Can't stand her myself-guilty as charged)


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