Sue Barker stepping away from Wimbledon duties after three decades
For tennis fans of the last three decades, watching the Grand Slam at Wimbledon has been a rather settled experience. The pundits might change from year to year, but there was always one near-constant: Sue Barker. The presenter, though, will be stepping away from the Wimbledon seat at the end of the 2022 edition of the tournament. It will mark 30 years in the hotseat and will thus feel like the ideal time to step back from the duties involved.
Barker, a national favourite and someone who is synonymous with Wimbledon coverage, will be surely missed. At 66, though, the passing of her mother recently has left Barker with a changed perspective. On that note, it looks like she will step away from the ‘dream job’ that she has carried out with distinction and class for three decades.
This means that fans who have enjoyed her coverage, wit, charm, and ability to keep the conversation flowing, will need to tune in for this summers Wimbledon event. Interestingly, Barker has not been moved on by the BBC – instead, she was offered a new three-year deal but decided to reject it and move on. After the passing of mother Betty, 100, earlier in 2022, Barker has decided it might be time to move on from the job she loves.
In quotes carried by the Daily Mail, Barker is quoted as saying: “My mum was always so interested in my broadcasting career, and we would speak every evening. When something like that happens it does make you reassess life, which is another reason I think this is the right time.
“Basically I just feel the time is right. It has been my dream job and I have loved every minute of it working so many great colleagues who I am going to miss so much.”
A legend of the broadcasting era moves on from the dream role
As one of the most recognisable faces in the tennis broadcasting game, Barker is revered by those who operate in her sphere. A consummate professional with an eye for when to throw in a funny line or when to get serious, Barker carried the coverage through the rough and the smooth. Guests were treated with respect and humour, and given an opportunity to show their best light.
In further quotes regarding her decision, Barker said: “When I started I never thought I would manage 30 years. I had actually made up my mind to leave in 2017 because the hours were becoming very long and quite challenging. That would have been 25 years and seemed a good time, but I am so glad I made the decision to stay on.
“I’m very happy to be leaving with no regrets and on my own terms while I am still on top of the job, it just feels like the right time to go and leave it to others.”
It will be odd to watch Wimbledon without her presence – the coverage will simply not be the same without Barker.