Isa Guha plays down rumours she will take over BBC Wimbledon coverage

Isa Guha plays down rumours she will take over BBC Wimbledon coverage

August 27, 2022

I won’t be ‘the new Sue Barker’ even if I do replace her: Ex-England cricketer Isa Guha – tipped to be the new face of BBC’s Wimbledon coverage – hails the ‘irreplaceable’ veteran she is

  • Isa Guha played down suggestions she is being lined up as the new Sue Barker
  • Former England cricketer turned presenter said: ‘You can never be anyone else’ 
  • Ms Guha has fronted BBC’s coverage of Wimbledon and Commonwealth Games
  • She admits that in her early days she was very shy when it came to presenting

BBC sports presenter Isa Guha has played down suggestions that she is being lined up as the new Sue Barker, saying: ‘You can never be anyone else.’

The former England cricketer, who began commentating on the sport after her retirement as an international ten years ago, has fronted the Corporation’s coverage of Wimbledon. She also presented the highlights of the Commonwealth Games.

Amid growing rumours that she is being groomed to replace the tennis star, who stepped down this summer after 30 years of covering the SW19 championships, Ms Guha said: ‘Look, Sue Barker is irreplaceable.

‘She was an incredible broadcaster and she was really emotional in her last few days. We were all sitting in the studio watching that support for her during those final Sunday celebrations and it was really heartening, and I was just so in awe of what she’s done.’

The 37-year-old was originally meant to shadow Miss Barker during the tournament. But when the broadcasting veteran requested to start work at 1pm daily, two hours into the eight-hour TV schedule, Miss Guha ended up previewing the day’s play as the 11 o’clock morning anchor.

Isa Guha (left) has played down suggestions that she is to become the next host for the BBC’s Wimbledon Coverage, branding Sue Barker (right), who stepped down after 30 years, as ‘irreplaceable’ 

Speaking about her move from competitive sport into broadcasting, she told The Mail on Sunday: ‘On your journey, you’re always striving to be the best you can be.

‘And you can never be anyone else. That’s just how it is.

‘So, people say what they want to say but for me it’s just about trying to be the best presenter I can be, and if people enjoy what I do then great.

‘That’s all I’ve ever wanted to do, really. It’s not just about me. Because I feel like I have a role to play in shaping how a broadcast should be, how it should look and feel, and the stories that we’re telling.’

Ms Guha, who grew up in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, started playing cricket with her older brother when she was eight. The first woman of Indian heritage to play for England, she made her Test debut at the age of 17.

Speaking about her early broadcasting days, Miss Guha said: ‘I was really shy. My voice wasn’t great.

‘I didn’t really know what I was doing on camera. And I was very fortunate to be given opportunities around the world.’

Even now, she admitted, she has to ‘imagine that no one’s watching and that it’s not that big a deal’.

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