Clare Balding: Tom Daley is ‘a star’ for announcing same-sex relationship on YouTube

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Television presenter Clare Balding has called Olympic diver Tom Daley as ‘a star’ for discussing his relationship with a man on YouTube.

The BBC sports presenter told ITV’s Daybreak she would have liked to come out publicly in a similar way.

Balding has been in a civil partnership with her partner Alice Arnold since 2006.

Her sexuality was revealed in the press more than 10 years ago when she and her then girlfriend attended a film premiere.

She said yesterday: “Isn’t Tom a star? Do you know what I loved about that video?

“There was no marketing, there was no branding, it was clearly not managed.”

She added: “I love that and I think gosh, if YouTube had been around 10 years ago, that’s probably what I’d have done, not that anyone would have cared.

“I thought it was so lovely that he was able to talk for as long as he wanted to talk. There was no limit on it.”

Balding said that a sport star’s sexuality “isn’t news” but being comfortable and relaxed in your own skin can improve your performance as a competitor.

“I think the day that it’s not news is the day that an awful lot of people will feel much more relaxed about just cracking on with their lives,” she said. “I think though when you’re honest and you’re relaxed, I think it can improve your performance. That’s true whether you’re in business or in sport.”

Tom Daley said it was love at first sight when he met his boyfriend, although he has not confirmed who that is, despite much speculation in the media.