John Inverdale’s ‘sexist’ Radio 5 outburst about Marion Bartoli sparks 674 complaints

Veteran BBC presenter John Inverdale has been the recipient of 674 separate complaints after a ‘sexist’ outburst was broadcast live on Radio 5.

Commenting on Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli Inverdale remarked that she was ‘never going to be a looker’, sparking outrage on Twitter amongst those who heard it.

The off the cuff remark saw Inverdale branded a ‘sexist moron’ by many Twitter users and prompted him to pen a grovelling apology to the French star.

Inverdale made the remark ahead of Saturday’s women’s final in which he imagined her formative years stating: “‘I just wonder if her dad, because he has obviously been the most influential person in her life, did say to her when she was 12, 13, 14 maybe, “listen, you are never going to be, you know, a looker.

“You are never going to be somebody like a (Maria) Sharapova, you’re never going to be 5ft 11in, you’re never going to be somebody with long legs, so you have to compensate for that.”

Bartoli has since sought to brush off the disparaging comment, saying: “it doesn’t matter, honestly.”

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis

Join us, it’s free.

Want to read this article and others just like it? All you need to do is become a member of The Drum. Basic membership is quick, free and you will be able to receive daily news updates.