Page last updated at 10:58 GMT, Monday, 6 April 2009 11:58 UK

Presenter sorry over teeth jibe

Clare Balding and Liam Treadwell
The BBC said Balding "had no intention" of upsetting the jockey

BBC presenter Clare Balding has apologised to Grand National winning jockey Liam Treadwell after making fun of his teeth while on air.

In a post-race interview, Balding urged the 23-year-old to show his teeth and told him he could afford to "get them done" with his prize money.

A BBC spokeswoman said the presenter "had no intention whatsoever" of upsetting or embarrassing the jockey.

The BBC received 1,477 complaints from viewers over the remarks.

Treadwell won Saturday's race on 100-1 outsider Mon Mome.

'Bad luck'

In the interview, Balding said to Treadwell: "Give us a big grin to the camera."

When he smiled, keeping his lips closed, she added: "No, no, let's see your teeth. He hasn't got the best teeth in the world, but you can afford to go and get them done now if you like."


Treadwell replied: "Well I could do, but I ain't complaining. It might be bringing on bad luck if I do that, though."

A BBC spokeswoman said: "Clare Balding had no intention whatsoever of upsetting or embarrassing Liam Treadwell, but she fully accepts that she should not have raised the subject with him at that time."

"The BBC and Clare apologise for any offence caused. Clare has also apologised directly to Liam Treadwell."

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