TV star Clare Balding makes a surprise appearance and opens village fete in Kingsclere (From Andover Advertiser)
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TV star Clare Balding makes a surprise appearance and opens village fete in Kingsclere
7:30am Thursday 29th August 2013 in Basingstoke
TV SPORT presenter Clare Balding made a surprise appearance to open a fete in the village where she grew up.
The expert broadcaster, who has written a book about her childhood in Kingsclere, officially declared St Mary’s Church Fete open on Monday before browsing among the stalls with her mother, sister-in-law and nephews and niece.
Speaking to The Gazette, the 42-year-old member of the Balding racing dynasty, said: “I grew up in Kingsclere so I judged the dog show one year, but that was a mistake because you make a lot of enemies! I thought it would be safer to open the fete. It was a wonderful village to grow up in. I’m not down here as much as I used to be but it’s lovely to come home.”
Following a big year in 2012, when Clare presented coverage of The Paralympics on Channel 4, this year she has been working for the BBC on a wildlife programme called Operation Wilder.
She said: “I have been filming in Africa and China. I’m also meant to be writing a new book.”
The fete raised money for St Mary’s Church and offered various attractions including a dog show, raffle – with a prize to see the musical Matilda in the West End donated by Andrew Lloyd Webber – tours of the church tower, games, stalls and a baking competition.
The impressive cakes entered in the contest were on show in the church, and included a bouquet of flowers and a house-shaped cake complete with a path made from Smarties.
Sarah Mussett, a mother-of-two from The Hollow, Kingsclere, organised the fete and said: “It’s about raising money for the church. Last year we raised £6,000 and we hope to get a similar amount this year. It’s fantastic that Clare has come to support the village where she was brought up. It’s good publicity.”
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