Clare Balding Blasts Lord Tebbit as ‘Uncool'

Peers comments on gay marriage described as ‘pretty insulting'

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Chiswick broadcaster, Clare Balding has mocked comments on gay marriage made by Norman Tebbit calling them ‘incredibly insulting'.

In an interview in a local restaurant with Rosamund Unwin of the Evening Standard she said “It's not about tolerance and acceptance because those words slightly suggest you are putting up with something you don't like. It's about equality and respect: respecting people's choices and respecting love.”

The former Tory Cabinet Minister had said that gay marriage could lead to Britain being ruled by a lesbian queen who would give birth through artificial insemination leading to constitutional confusion. He also suggested it would be possible for him to marry his own son in order to avoid inheritance tax.

Clare Balding, who seven years ago entered into a civil partnership with BBC presenter Alice Arnold said in the interview “It's extraordinary that Tebbit's worst possible thought would be a lesbian who has artificial insemination. How incredibly insulting to every surrogate parent, that somehow their child doesn't count.”

She impersonated Lord Tebbit watching her presenting the Olympics and disapproving of the ‘lesbian presenter'. She said that her sexuality was irrelevant to her job and to judge people on that basis would. in most people's eyes, be ‘pretty uncool.'

Alice Arnold, Clare's partner

This week the presenter hosted a documentary to mark the 100 th anniversary of the death of Emily Davison at the Epsom Derby. New analysis of the footage of showed that the suffragette had not thrown herself in front of the King's horse as is commonly presumed but was attempting to pin a sash to Anmer and was killed in the attempt. Clare drew parallels with Trenton Oldfield whom she witnessed disrupting the 2012 Boat Race by the river in Chiswick.

She told the Evening Standard, ““What she did was bring an enormous amount of attention to the cause, and in a far more dramatic way than she intended. She represented so much to women who were feeling so frustrated about not getting the vote... And to do it at a sporting event — no one had thought of that.”

She is not convinced that the work begun by the suffragettes is complete saying that women are still judged more by how they look than what they say, not just in the media. She is resigned to criticism based on her appearance or her sexuality but she blocks the abusive element on Twitter and would walk away if anyone behaved similarly face-to-face. She says presenters like John Humphrys and Andrew Neil are “definitely not judged on their looks, they are judged because they know what they are talking about”.


May 29, 2013