Barker to step down as Wimbledon presenter

Sue Barker will step down from her role as the presenter of the BBC’s Wimbledon coverage after the 2022 tournament.

Barker, 66, first joined the coverage in 1993 and since 2000 has anchored the network’s broadcast.

The decision brings to an end Barker’s 30-year career at the BBC in which she has also presented the Olympic Games and Sports Personality of the Year.

Barker – the 1976 French Open champion – was the first woman to lead BBC presentation for a crown jewel event.

Crown jewel events include the Olympic Games, Grand National and Wimbledon – all of which Barker has presented.

She began broadcasting after she retired from professional tennis in 1984.

Barker has also been at the helm of coverage of Queens tennis, the Commonwealth Games, the World Athletics Championships, the London Marathon and Royal Ascot, as well as quiz show A Question of Sport.

“What a wonderful time I’ve had working on some of the biggest sporting events around the world,” Barker said.

“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.”

BBC director general Tim Davie said Barker’s “contribution to tennis, the BBC, sports presenting and for blazing a trail for women in broadcasting cannot be overstated”.

“Sue Barker has been the face and voice of Wimbledon for three decades,” Davie added.

“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.”

BBC Sport director Barbara Slater described Barker as “a national treasure”, adding: “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.

“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.”

Barker’s final match will be the Wimbledon men’s final on Sunday, 10 July.

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