BBC Guy on Wimbledon Champ: She's No 'Looker'

John Inverdale is predictably sorry

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 7, 2013 2:18 PM CDT

(Newser) – Apparently, the fact that Wimbledon is a test of athletic prowess with no evening gown competition has been lost on at least one BBC announcer, who is backpedaling as mightily as he is gracelessly after inferring that yesterday's women's champ, Marion Bartoli, had to work hard because she's "never going to be a looker." The BBC itself is backing away from John Inverdale, notes NPR, calling the comment "insensitive and for that we apologize." For his part, Inverdale first tried to qualify his remark, saying, "She is an incredible role model for people who aren't born with all the attributes of natural athletes," before issuing a letter of apology and calling his comment "ham-fisted."

Bartoli, 28, reacted with class: "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. And to share this moment with my dad was absolutely amazing and I am so proud of it."

Marion Bartoli speaks at a news conference after winning the Women's singles final match against Sabine Lisicki at Wimbledon, London, Saturday, July 6, 2013.   (AP Photo/AELTC, Tom Lovelock)
Marion Bartoli smiles as she holds the trophy after winning the Women's singles final in Wimbledon, London, Saturday, July 6, 2013.   (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
Marion Bartoli reacts as she wins the Women's singles final against Sabine Lisicki in Wimbledon, London, Saturday, July 6, 2013.   (AP Photo/Adrian Dennis, Pool)
Marion Bartoli, left, and Sabine Lisicki pose during the trophy ceremony after Bartoli won the women's singles final in Wimbledon, London, Saturday, July 6, 2013.   (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
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