Sue Barker Has Expressed Her Desire To Return To The BBC As A Wimbledon Host, Admitting She “Didn’t Want To Leave”

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The 68-year-old former tennis player recently made a surprise appearance at Centre Court for Andy Murray’s farewell match at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.

Upon her arrival, the presenter received a roaring welcome and applause as she came out of retirement to interview an emotional Sir Andy.

She told the crowd, “I couldn’t miss this. I was not going to miss this, I tell you.” 

Since her appearance, Sue has confessed she would love to make a full-time comeback. “Yes, I would. I loved it,” she replied when asked by The Mirror if she would ever want to return. 

“I loved the people and I didn’t want to leave,” she added. “But you start hearing rumours of what is happening and (the BBC) obviously wants the next generation, and when you start hearing those rumours you think, ‘Maybe it’s time to get out while they still want me rather than being shoved out of the back door.'” 

Sue anchored the BBC’s Wimbledon coverage for three decades before stepping down as the main presenter in 2022. She made her hosting debut on BBC Tennis back in 1993 and has since become closely associated with the tournament held in south London.

Following her departure, Sue bid a tearful farewell at the conclusion of Wimbledon 2022. This year, the new presenting lineup features Clare Balding, Qasa Alom, and Isa Guha.

In June, Sue disclosed that she chose to leave after learning about BBC meetings discussing her replacement.

“I just sensed that, as you get older, you’ve got not many years left,” she told The Telegraph. “And when you’re hearing that they’re having meetings about who’s to replace you…” 

The A Question of Sport host explained that despite being offered a contract extension, she wanted to “go out doing the top job”. 

“Although they offered me a contract, I suddenly thought over those three years [on the contract extension], will it be a case of, ‘We’ll just diminish Sue’s role a little so that the transition is slightly easier.’ And I didn’t want to be diminished,” she said. “I’d rather go out doing the top job.”

During her send-off, Sue was joined by her successor Clare and tennis legends Billie Jean King, Tim Henman, John McEnroe and Pat Cash, who paid tribute to the presenter as the crowd chanted her name.

A teary Sue told the crowds: “It’s been an absolute privilege. I’ve loved it. 30 amazing years.”

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