Sue Barker ‘truly honoured' to receive Women in TV Lifetime Achievement award

The 31st annual ceremony was held in London on Friday.

Former professional tennis player and commentator Sue Barker said receiving the Lifetime Achievement award at The Women in Film and TV Awards was “very special indeed.”

The annual ceremony, hosted by comedian Katherine Ryan, celebrates the UK’s most talented women both in front of and behind the camera.

Before becoming a presenter, 66-year-old Barker had played tennis professionally, achieving a Grand Slam singles title after winning the French Open in 1976. She bid a tearful farewell to Wimbledon earlier this year after 30 years of presenting coverage of the tennis event for the BBC.

The Women in Film and TV Awards – London
Katherine Ryan hosts The Women in Film and TV Awards (Ian West/PA)

On Friday, at the awards 31st ceremony at the Hilton on London’s Park Lane, Barker received her Lifetime Achievement award from former British number one tennis player Greg Rusedski.

She said: “I’m truly honoured to have received Women in Film and TV’s Lifetime Achievement Award today. Being here and celebrating the fantastic work of so many brilliant and inspiring women has been such a joy.

“What Women in Film and TV do to support and champion women in the industry is invaluable and makes receiving this award today very special indeed.”

Her extensive broadcasting career, spanning three decades, has seen her present an array of sports including the Olympic Games, the Ice Skating World Championships, the London Marathon, Royal Ascot, and the Grand National.

Other notable career credits include hosting BBC’s A Question Of Sport for 24 years; becoming the first woman to win the Royal Television Society’s Best Sports Presenter Award in 2001 and receiving The Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020.

The Women in Film and TV Awards – London
Christopher Eccleston presented an award at the annual ceremony (Ian West/PA)

Barker joins a long list of previous winners of the Women in Film and TV Lifetime Achievement award including Baroness Floella Benjamin, Dame Judi Dench, Dame Helen Mirren, Dame Joanna Lumley, Dame Esther Rantzen, and Dame Maggie Smith.

Other winners included Davina McCall, who won the Presenter award, which was collected by Dermot O’Leary on her behalf, and We Are Lady Parts creator Nida Manzoor took home the Director award for the Bafta-award winning Channel 4 comedy which follows a Muslim female punk band named Lady Parts as they try to find success.

Among the stars handing out awards was Grace actress Anne-Marie Duff, Bridgerton star Adjoa Andoh, TV presenter AJ Odudu, former Doctor Who actor Christopher Eccleston and author Dolly Alderton.

Awards show host Ryan said: “It’s an honour to be part of a celebration of so many talented and creative women working across such a variety of areas in the TV and Film industry, their dedication to each of their crafts is inspiring.”