David Cameron picks Clare Balding as his ‘gay hero’

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

David Cameron has hailed TV host Clare Balding as his “gay hero” – picking her over WWII codebreaker Alan Turing.

The Conservative Prime Minister spoke in praise of the sport host,  who was awarded an OBE in 2013.

He told Attitude: “Everyone says Alan Turing, and of course he was an amazing man and I’ve seen The Imitation Game and I thought it was brilliant, but I’m going to go with Clare Balding.

“I’m a big fan. I love her enthusiasm; her zest for life… it doesn’t matter what sport she’s talking about, she can make it interesting. She’s a wonderful human being.”

Interestingly, in addition to Turing he neglected to pick out politician Ruth Davidson – who is the leader of the Conservative party in Scotland.

Balding was renowned for her work presenting the London 2012 Olympics coverage for the BBC – and also travelled to Russia to cover the Sochi Olympics, despite a boycott from some LGBT athletes.

She said previously: “I felt it was very important. I was the lead presenter on the Winter Olympics, I am openly gay, in a country that would rather I didn’t exist.

“I think it is a powerful message to say to anybody – whether they are a nurse, a doctor, a teacher – this is OK, you can go and do this and be the best you can be at it.

“I personally believed it was a stronger statement to go than not to go and that was why I went.”

Ms Balding’s civil partner, former BBC Radio 4 newsreader Alice Arnold also recently said “Britain’s homophobia needs to be tackled before we turn to Russia’s.”