BBC’s broadcast team for Wimbledon 2024: ‘A defining voice’, a controversial figure and more

Shahida Jacobs
John McEnroe on the microphone at Wimbledon
John McEnroe on commentary duties at Wimbledon

The BBC has confirmed that tennis greats John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King will once again be part of their Wimbledon 2024 line-up while they have added a couple of new faces to the line-up – one controversial and the other one a welcome addition.

Clare Balding will again spearhead the BBC’s coverage of The Championships as she took over the leading role following the retirement of the tennis broadcast doyenne Sue Barker after the 2022 tournament.

With Wimbledon running from July 1 to 14 this year, there is bad news for Balding as it means she won’t be part of Channel 4’s UK election coverage this year as the ballot takes place on July 4.

Balding will be joined by Andrew Castle as lead commentator with several Grand Slam-winning champions in the BBC studios this year along with two new names.

The Newcomers

BBC chief content officer Charlotte Moore announced that two Australians will be part of the broadcast team, stating: “Also joining the line-up this year will be 2021 champion Ashleigh Barty and, if he’s not playing, 2022 Wimbledon finalist Nick Kyrgios, so anything could happen there!”

Nick Kyrgios

The Kyrgios addition has been a controversial one as the BBC has been criticised for adding him following his criminal conviction last year and for “supporting misogynist Andrew Tate, a man accused of rape and trafficking”.

Dr Charlotte Proudman, women’s rights advocate and founder of the Right to Equality, wrote on Twitter: “Nick Kyrgios swore at line judges, threatened a player with physical violence, spat at fans, verbally abused opponents, admitted assault on a former girlfriend and even supports misogynist Andrew Tate, a man accused of rape and trafficking. Now he’s covering @Wimbledon. Another man whose rewarded for misogyny.”

READ MORE: Nick Kyrgios may have confirmed his retirement as Wimbledon comeback is criticised

Following his injury nightmare the past two years, Kyrgios has done several commentator stints including this year’s Australian Open with Eurosport.

Ashleigh Barty

While the Kyrgios announcement has been met with outrage, Barty’s inclusion in the team is a welcome surprise after she previously stated she had no interest in becoming a commentator.

Following her retirement in March 2022, 2021 Wimbledon champion Barty was asked about making an appearance in the commendatory box and she replied: “No, never.”

But she has made a U-turn and will take up her first commentator role at Wimbledon this year.

Barty was always a crowd favourite and she never really got the chance to say goodbye to her tennis fans as she made a shock retirement announcement just weeks after winning the 2022 Australian Open.

The Regulars

John McEnroe

Tennis legend is part of the BBC furniture as he is a regular and a favourite among television viewers. In case you were wondering just how highly valued he is, McEnroe earned between £205,000 and £209,000 last year for his two-week stint at the BBC – making him the highest-paid employee pro rata.

He has been described as “a defining voice within the BBC’s coverage”.

“He is widely considered to be the best expert/commentator in the sport, highly valued by our audiences and his contract means he cannot work for another UK broadcaster without our permission”.

Martina Navratilova

Fellow great and nine-times Wimbledon singles champion Martina Navratilova has also been part of the commentary team for several years, but she doesn’t quite earn as much as McEnroe. Back in 2019, she admitted “it was a shock” to learn that her fellow American earns at least 10 times more than she does.

Like McEnroe, she is considered one of the best in the business.

Billie Jean King

A legend on and off the court due to her human rights work and fight for gender equality, Billie Jean King won six Wimbledon singles titles, 10 Wimbledon women’s doubles titles and four Wimbledon mixed doubles titles.

The 80-year-old is known for her expert insight into tennis.

Pat Cash

1987 Wimbledon winner Pat Cash – the first player to climb into the stands to celebrate his Wimbledon win with his family and friends – has also been a regular in recent years.

Tracy Austin

Former world No 1 Tracy Austin won 30 singles titles – including two at the US Open – has worked for the BBC for nearly two decades and she provides in-studio and commentary insights.

Annabel Croft

Former British No 1 Annabel Croft, who reached a career-high of NO 24, is well-known in television circles in the UK as she has was the face of Channel 4’s Treasure Hunt and has also done work for Sky Sports and Eurosport.

Oh, and she has also been a contestant on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing.

Tim Henman

Former world No 4 Tim Henman reached four Wimbledon semi-finals, but sadly never made it to the final. However, he is one of the modern greats of British tennis as he competed with the best when not too many British men reached the top.

He won 11 ATP singles titles and he became so synonymous with Wimbledon that the grassed banked Aorangi Terrace at the All England Club was renamed “Henman Hill”

Johanna Konta

Like Henman, Johanna Konta also kept the tennis flag flying in Britain when other women’s players were struggling. She reached the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2017 and reached a career-high of No 4, but quit the sport in 2021 after struggling with injury.