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  Thursday, 12 April, 2001, 11:20 GMT 12:20 UK
BBC's London Marathon team
London Marathon coverage requires a highly-skilled team
London Marathon coverage requires a highly-skilled team
The BBC's London marathon coverage is introduced by Sue Barker in Grandstand with an expert commentary team led by Brendan Foster.

Sue Barker

Formerly Britain's number one tennis player and world number three, Sue started work as a sports broadcaster with Australia's Channel 7 in 1985.

She then joined BSB in 1990 and later moved to Sky Sports.

Sue Barker has presented two Olympic Games
Sue Barker has presented two Olympic Games
She made her BBC Sport debut co-presenting the evening programme from Wimbledon in 1993 with Harry Carpenter.

Since then she has collected a wealth of experience presenting world class competitions, including coverage of the Sydney and Atlanta Olympics, the Winter Olympic Games in 1994 and 1998, the Commonwealth Games in 1994 and 1998, World and European Skating Championships, racing from Longchamps in October 1998 and major tennis tournaments.

In addition to this Sue became the established host for Sunday Grandstand in 1994 and has worked on the BBC TV documentary Chalk Flew Up, a history of Wimbledon's Court number one which made its final appearance during Wimbledon 1995.

Her credits also include hosting Sports Review of the Year and A Question of Sport.

In 1998 she won the TRIC award for sports presenter/reporter of the year.

Brendan Foster

Brendan Foster was born in Hebburn, Tyne and Wear and was educated at St Joseph's Grammar School before moving on to Sussex University where he took Bachelor of Science Honours.

Brendan's athletic career saw him compete in the 1970 Commonwealth Championships in Edinburgh, the 1974 European Championships, the 1978 Commonwealth Championship in Edmonton, set two world records for the 3,000m competing in three Olympic Games and claiming Britain's only track and field medal at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

Brendan Foster was a talented athlete in his youth
Brendan Foster was a talented athlete in his youth
In 1980, Brendan retired from active athletics and after a brief term spent teaching at his old school, St Josephs, and a spell as Gateshead Council's director of recreation, he rose to the challenge of establishing Nike sportswear in the UK, then in Europe.

He also worked for the company in America before setting up his own business in 1989.

Brendan's commentating career began shortly after his retirement from athletics.

The close affinity that Brendan still feels with his sport and the achievements he made have earned him great respect on the athletics scene.

Millions of BBC viewers remember him seemingly talk Linford Christie out of retiring after finishing fourth in the 100m final at the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo.

He remembers: "He'd set a personal best time but when I interviewed him he basically said 'That's it, I'm quitting'.

"He turned to walk away but I brought him back, told him he couldn't possibly retire after running a personal best and after a couple of minutes of chat, live on telly, he un-retired."

Brendan's enthusiasm for sport takes up a large part of his spare time, and aside from athletics he is a keen football fan.

He was also the brains behind Britain's biggest annual road race, The Great North Run. Brendan Foster was awarded the MBE in 1976.


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See also:

12 Apr 01 | London Marathon
12 Apr 01 | London Marathon
12 Apr 01 | London Marathon
Links to more London Marathon stories are at the foot of the page.


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