BBC commentator John Barrett to step down after 36 years following Wimbledon

MUMBAI: UK pubcaster the BBC has announced that commentator John Barrett will step down after 36 years following the Wimbledon Ladies' Final. He will commentate alongside with John McEnroe and Tracy Austin.

Barrett said, "It will be a great thrill. I have always enjoyed commentating on the Ladies' Final and there have been so many great ones - producing champions like Steffi Graf and Martina Navratilova - and I'm sure this year's winner will be equally exciting."

Jimmy Connors, John Lloyd and Andrew Castle will commentate on the Men's Final BBC's Wimbledon executive producer Paul Davies said, "Jimmy Connors, John Lloyd and Andrew Castle did a great job last year and we want to stick with that successful combination this year."

In 2005 the Ladies' Final was watched by 6.8 million viewers and the Men's Final achieved 5.8 million viewers. In recent years, the BBC has used a number of different commentators to call the singles finals including John Barrett, Chris Bailey, Andrew Castle, Barry Davies and David Mercer.

BBC Head of General Sport Barbara Slater said, "We always leave the decision on who will commentate on the finals until the second week and it's always a difficult decision because of the strength and depth of the team. The two singles finals obviously have equal status and in fact last year's Ladies Final lasted longer and achieved higher viewing figures than the Men's Final."

He has worked with the BBC at Wimbledon since 1971 ? and feels that now is the right time to enjoy some more time off-court. Barrett adds, "It's been a great privilege to work at Wimbledon over the past 35 years, and to have worked with so many truly talented individuals in a strong BBC team has always been a pleasure."

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