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Clare Balding has lost 90% of her hearing and ‘guesses’ what people are saying to her


Clare has suffered from hearing problems (Picture: Brian J Ritchie/Hotsauce/REX)

Clare Balding has reportedly lost 90% of her hearing.

The sports presenter says she needs to get her ears tested as she often has to guess what people are saying to her. 

As reported by The Sun, Clare, 49, discussed her hearing with Mel Giedroyc on her Dave panel show Unforgivable, and admitted that the problem meant she sometimes ends up shouting at her partner Alice Arnold without realising it.

Clare said: ‘I really need to get my ears done. I’m at about ten per cent and I guess the rest.

‘My wife keeps saying to me, “Stop shouting!” because I’m clearly over-projecting because I can’t hear myself.’

Mel, 52, sympathised and said she hears at about 60%, with Clare admitting hers is much worse than that. 

The Rugby Football League president also struggled to hear one of the questions asked by the Great British Bake Off host.

Clare has worked in sports broadcasting for 25 years (Picture: Paul Greenwood/BPI/REX/Shutterstock)

Clare is one of the most recognisable faces in sports broadcasting in the UK, hosting the Grand National and Royal Ascot coverage, rugby league coverage and the Paralympic Games, as well as the annual coverage of Crufts, during her 25 year career. 

But earlier this week, Clare revealed that her father Ian Balding didn’t believe she could be a successful sports presenter because she is a woman. 

The star admitted her dad was ‘absolutely flabbergasted’ that she landed a job hosting Grandstand, and was shocked when she won an award over male presenters.

Speaking on the Paul McKenna podcast, she said: ‘I was very angry at my parents for their lack of acknowledgements for women’s achievements and that made me really determined to do the things that maybe they thought women couldn’t do.

‘I remember when I first presented Grandstand on the BBC my father being absolutely flabbergasted.

‘He didn’t realise that was something any women could do let alone me.

‘I remember the very first award I ever won was the RTS award for a sports presenter. I went to the dinner and was nominated but thought “I’ve got no chance [of winning]”.

‘I told dad that I was up against Steve Rider, who is the loveliest man, and another very famous man. It wouldn’t have been Jeff Stelling… but someone of that stature. 

‘My father just went “You’ve got no chance, not against them”. And then I won and you just sort of think “this is quite surprising” – to my father certainly.

‘Other people might have been a little more open minded, but you know. So that was a big drive to do something, not to make him proud – although I’m sure that was there too – but to be different from anyone else and nobody else in the family worked in the media.’      

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