July 10, 2012 · 0 Comments
‘For the record, I do not think being a lesbian makes me a better sports presenter’: Clare Balding’s Twitter rant as she turns to Lily Allen for advice
By Toni Jones
06:34 EST, 10 July 2012
08:20 EST, 10 July 2012
On paper they don’t seem to have much in common, but this morning gay sports presenter Clare Balding reached out to pregnant pop star Lily Allen via the medium of Twitter.
41-year-old Clare was in a spin after reading headlines following a candid web chat with popular parenting site Mumsnet.
Early this morning the TV personality tweeted about her anxiety after seeing an early edition of broadsheet newspaper The Telegraph.
Not much in common: Clare and Lily handle their fame very differently but both like to vent on Twitter
The BBC and Channel 4 star was taking part in a Q&A on the Mumsnet forum to promote her presenting work around the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics and to push her new book My Animals and Other Family.
‘Woke up at 5am worrying about Daily Telegraph sensationalising one answer from an hour long Mumsnet webchat.’ she tweeted to her 150,000 followers this morning.
In a separate tweet she added: ‘For the record, I do not think ‘being a lesbian makes me a better sports presenter’ any more than ‘being straight’ would.’
Prior to the chat on Monday afternoon the broadcaster tweeted about being anxious to her 150,000 followers saying ‘I’m about to do a web chat for Mumsnet. I’m not sure why but this makes me quite nervous.’
Worry: Clare’s looks to her 150,000 followers for support
Update: Minutes later Clare quotes the Telegraph headline
And today the openly gay presenter, who rarely gives interviews about her personal life, was feeling the pressure of being rather too open in the Q and A session with fans.
So who better to placate her fears then showbiz stalwart and mega tweeter Lily Allen.
Tweeting the pop star, who has over 3.5million followers, early this morning Clare said: ‘‘Morning. Ever get that screaming feeling inside when a paper writes a headline and a first para that is NOTHINGLIKEWHATYOUSAID?’
‘oh yeah. Many many times.’ replied Lily.
A relieved Clare replied ‘Thought so. The good thing is I can’t remember any of your supposed outrageous quotes so hopefully no one will remember mine.’
The tweets between the two women were deleted from Clare’s timeline later that morning, possibly on advice from Twitter expert Lily whose fiery ramblings have caused much controversy over the years but who now tries to stay away from the social networking site, aside from a spat with a celebrity every now and then.
That screaming feeling: sleepless Clare tweets Lily in the early hours
Clare, who came out in 2003 and is in a civil partnership with Radio 4 newsreader Alice Arnold was referring to one of her replies to a fan on the site who asked her if she felt under pressure to fulfil expectations as a woman and a lesbian, and whether it was a burden.
During the web chat Clare she replied: ‘I never feel it’s a burden and sometimes I wonder if it helps. I have never been a flirt so it’s not as if I would get giggly in an interview but I guess I benefit from not having anyone think that I’m commenting about a male tennis player or rugby player for any other reason than their talent on the field of play.’
Clare had calmed down within a few hours after messages of support from her followers.
‘Thank you Twitter, you’ve set me fair. Now to make use of unexpected time. Two paralympic programmes to present at 10am. Work to do … ‘ she said
During the Mumsnet interview the broadcaster also spoke about the thyroid cancer that she beat in January 2011 saying: ‘It’s funny I don’t think my energy levels have been affected that badly but it’s hard to tell as I was so like Tigger before I had thyroid cancer that my parents thought I was on something (you know how parents are).
‘I do feel tired some days but then given the hours I work, I would with or without no thyroid. I’m pretty good at remembering to take the tablets and am on 200mg a day which is meant to do the trick. So far so good.’
Read the full Mumsnet interview here.
Girls night out: Clare and partner Alice at the glamorous Tatler magazine All Girl Party in West London