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Radio Sandwell Sport

BBC apology for John Inverdale's, Marion Bartoli remark

2013-07-07 00:09:27

Marion Bartoli
The Wimbledon win was Bartoli's first grand slam trophy

The BBC has apologised after commentator John Inverdale said Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli was "never going to be a looker".

Inverdale's comments on Radio 5 live as the French player prepared to face Germany's Sabine Lisicki provoked anger from many listeners.

A BBC spokesperson said: "We accept that this remark was insensitive and for that we apologise."

Inverdale later said he had poked fun "in a nice way at how she looks".

He added: "She is an incredible role model for people who aren't born with all the attributes of natural athletes".

Bartoli, 28, sank to her knees after she clinched her first Grand Slam title and then headed for the players' box where she embraced her father and former coach, Walter Bartoli.

John Inverdale
Inverdale's comments came in the build up to match

Inverdale's comment came about an hour before the match began as he chatted to former Wimbledon champion Lindsay Davenport about Bartoli's technique as a player.

He said: "I just wonder if her dad, because he has obviously been the most influential person in her life, did say to her when she was 12, 13, 14 maybe, 'listen, you are never going to be, you know, a looker.

"'You are never going to be somebody like a Sharapova, you're never going to be 5ft 11, you're never going to be somebody with long legs, so you have to compensate for that.

"'You are going to have to be the most dogged, determined fighter that anyone has ever seen on the tennis court if you are going to make it', and she kind of is."

Asked about Inverdale's comments, Bartoli said: "It doesn't matter, honestly. I am not blonde, yes. That is a fact. Have I dreamt about having a model contract? No. I'm sorry.

"But have I dreamed about winning Wimbledon? Absolutely, yes."

Source: bbc.co.uk

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