Speaking on the Jonathan Ross Show this week, British sports presenter, Clare Balding, confirmed that she and former Radio 4 newsreader Alice Arnold had converted their civil partnership to a marriage.
“It’s about equality. It’s just about knowing that you can and knowing that you can say ‘I’m married’, and nobody’s going to think that’s married in inverted commas, no that’s actually married. I think it’s great. We converted. So it was a civil partnership that we did in 2006, and then we actually went to the same registry office and they just backdate it to when you did your civil partnership, so officially now we have been married since 2006.”
The couple, who have been together 14 years, had a private ceremony in Chiswick. They initially became civil partners in 2006, and announced their intention to convert to marriage last year.
She said it was an important step as it meant they would now be considered as legitimately married as opposite-sex couples.
Balding told Ross that their marriage was backdated to the day the couple entered into a civil partnership.
“We didn’t have a big party at all actually, nobody came apart from us, I’m quite keen on the whole idea of a party obviously, I don’t know the etiquette though, are you allowed to ask for presents again? It’s all about the party and the presents,” Balding joked.
She later tweeted:
Some really lovely messages on the 'news' of our wedding. I had no idea so many people didn't know we'd done it -thank you for your kindness
— Clare Balding (@clarebalding) April 4, 2015
UK Prime Minister David Cameron, this week declared Balding his “gay hero”.
“I’m a big fan. I love her enthusiasm; her zest for life… it doesn’t matter what sport she’s talking about, she can make it interesting. She’s a wonderful human being.”