Advertisement

Sue Barker tearful as she says she 'didn't want to give up' Wimbledon but thought it was time

Watch: Sue Barker addresses exit from Wimbledon coverage

Sue Barker became tearful on Lorraine as she talked about leaving Wimbledon, saying she "didn't want to give it up" but that it was "the right time".

The TV star and former tennis champ, 66, had hosted the BBC's coverage of the championships for 30 years but stepped down this year, saying that it had been "an “absolute privilege”.

She was given a big send-off at the All England club and told talk show host Lorraine Kelly that it had been very moving.

Read more: Sue Barker: Way BBC sacked me from Question Of Sport felt disrespectful and left me 'wretchedly sad'

Fighting back tears, she said: "The Centre Court standing ovation was without question - I'm going to get emotional even thinking about it now - the greatest moment in my career.

It's the end of an era as Sue Barker retires. (BBC)
Sue Barker retired from covering the tennis this year. (BBC) (BBC)

"By a long way."

The star said the moment was something she would "treasure forever".

Barker told Kelly that she had been offered three more years covering the tennis but that it was time to go.

She said: "I will miss it terribly.

"I wish I was 30 years younger and starting out.

SUE BARKER 1980: An action picture of Miss Sue Barker, one of the British seeds, during the 1980 Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships.   (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
Sue Barker during the 1980 Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships. (PA Images via Getty Images) (PA Images via Getty Images)

"I loved the job and I didn't want to give it up but I felt it was the right time and I could walk out with my head held high, which I was able to do."

"This was very much my choice," she added.

So far it isn't known who will replace Barker at Wimbledon, but she recently seemed to let slip that it will be Clare Balding.

Sue Barker was emotional as she talked about leaving her Wimbledon role. (BBC)
Sue Barker was emotional as she talked about leaving her Wimbledon role. (BBC)

Barker appeared on stage with Balding after the BT Sport Action Woman Awards and talked about Wimbledon and how she had loved it all her life.

Read more: Sue Barker appears to accidentally reveal Clare Balding will replace her at Wimbledon

Then, according to reports, she followed up by saying: "I know I’m leaving it in the safest hands, it’s absolutely wonderful to leave it with Clare."

However, there is still no official word on the star's replacement.

Watch: Wimbledon dream for Marcus Willis