BBC presenter apologizes for saying Bartoli's 'not a looker'

July 7, 2013 at 2:46 PM

LONDON, July 7 (UPI) -- BBC presenter John Inverdale apologized Sunday for his "ham-fisted" remarks when he said Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli was "not a looker."

Following Bartoli's victory on Saturday, Inverdale asked listeners of 5 Live, "Do you think Bartoli's dad told her when she was little: 'You're never going to be a looker, you'll never be a Sharapova, so you have to be scrappy and fight?' "

Inverdale's comments garnered immediate backlash on Twitter, where users condemned his remarks, Britain's The Guardian reported Sunday.

"Appalling comments from John Inverdale. Imagine how that will affect all the young girls watching today," wrote user @purpelle.

At the beginning of Sunday's broadcast of the men's Wimbledon championship match, Inverness took a moment to apologize for what he said.

"Before we start I probably ought to return to yesterday and a clumsy phrase I used."

He said he had been trying to say "in a ham-fisted way" that "in a world where [players] are all six-foot tall," Bartoli's win was impressive.

"I have apologized to Marion by letter if any offense was caused and I do hope we can leave the matter there," he added.

Bartoli brushed off Inverdale's comments, saying "it doesn't matter."

"I am not blond, yes. That is a fact. Have I dreamt about having a model contract? No. I'm sorry," she said. "But have I dreamed about winning Wimbledon? Absolutely, yes. And to share this moment with my dad was absolutely amazing and I am so proud of it."

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