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Clare Balding to receive special BAFTA

Story by Jack Foley

CLARE Balding is to receive a special award for outstanding achievement in factual presenting at this year’s TV Baftas, organisers have announced.

The accolade comes in recognition of her work covering London 2012 – on the BBC for the Olympics and on Channel 4 for the Paralympics.

TV committee chairman Andrew Newman said this had made her “a national treasure”, adding that her body of work “over the last 13 years speaks for itself”.

Last summer, her “warmth and charisma helped bring the country together as we celebrated in Team GB and Paralympic GB’s success”, he said. “She is a trusted and intelligent live presenter with an ability to transcend genre and we’re delighted to honour her contribution to television.”

Balding herself said she was “delighted”, adding that she “may not stop smiling until the night”.

And Bafta itself said the award was being given “in appreciation of her incredible dedication to presenting across entertainment and sporting events”.

Balding is also known for presenting horse racing coverage on Channel 4 as well as BBC One’s Britain’s Brightest and Radio 4 walking programme Ramblings.

Her first book, My Animals and Other Family, based on her experiences growing up “in a rather unusual household”, also won biography of the year at the National Book Awards.

Graham Norton will present this year’s awards at London’s Royal Festival Hall on May 12. See the full list of nominees

The Bafta craft awards will take place at the London City Brewery on Sunday night (April 28, 2013).

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