Balding’s Bad Teeth Joke Backfires On Beeb

2,000 complaints over Clare’s comment to Grand National winner could prompt inquiry

Related Links

clare balding chiswick

Clare Balding


Sign up for our free weekly newsletter

Comment on this story on the

Chiswick based celebrity, Clare Balding’s ‘joke’ about Grand National-winning jockey Liam Treadwell and his funny looking teeth prompted more than 2,000 people to complain to the BBC and could spark an inquiry by Ofcom.

The Chiswick resident and founder of local dog walking group CHOW was interviewing Treadwell after the 100-1 rank outsider romped home on Mon Mome to win the race held on Saturday 4th April.

"Just give us a big grin to the camera," said Balding. When Treadwell smiled, keeping his lips firmly closed, she told him, "No, no, let's see your teeth. He hasn't got the best teeth in the world, but you can afford to go and get them done now if you like."

The BBC issued an apology Balding's behalf however, that doesn’t seem to be enough for Ofcom who are currently assessing the complaints to see if it needs to investigate.

As one TV pundit aptly surmised, “I'm all for penalising offensive telly and people who say awful things to other people... but there's surely some scale to all this?

“Surely, if you were that bothered by that comment, you should've complained about those horses being made to run in a race when they probably preferred munching grass in a field or smoking a pipe or whatever horses do in their downtime (I've only got Mr Ed and Black Beauty as reference points).

“In an age when people gleefully lap up magazines that chastise celebrities for putting a bit of weight on, where we cry in the street about Jade Goody's untimely demise, we really shouldn't be thinking that it's okay to complain about something like this. There are far bigger things in the world to worry about.”

April 11, 2009