Clare Balding swaps horses for bikes in new BBC Series

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

by Simon_MacMichael   May 25, 2010  

Clare Balding (picture credit BBC).jpg

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.

5 user comments

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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 ...

posted by Karbon Kev [683 posts]
25th May 2010 - 17:13


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.

posted by nick_rearden [864 posts]
25th May 2010 - 23:15


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

simonmb's picture

posted by simonmb [360 posts]
26th May 2010 - 10:59


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)


Zaskar's picture

posted by Zaskar [137 posts]
26th May 2010 - 22:55


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.

posted by handlebarcam [545 posts]
28th July 2010 - 14:43