TV presenter Clare Balding has been named as the recipient of this year’s Bafta TV special award.

The 42-year-old – who won praise for her part in the coverage of London 2012 – has been awarded the prize in recognition of her contribution to TV.

She will receive the honour at this year’s TV Baftas, which will take place on Sunday May 12 at the Royal Festival Hall.

“I am in complete shock,” Clare admitted upon hearing the news. “I can’t believe I’ve been given such an extraordinary honour. I’m delighted.”

Clare, who began her career as a trainee at Radio 5 Live, made her small screen debut in 1995 presenting highlights of Royal Ascot.

Since then she has gone on to be a part of five Olympics and four Paralympics, as well as hosting Channel 4 Racing and coverage of Crufts.

More recently she has presented a Sunday morning show on Radio 2, and moved into Saturday night TV as host of the BBC One game show Britain’s Brightest, which was shown earlier this year.

The news of her Bafta comes just months after Clare was overlooked in the New Year honours list – with fans launching an e-petition to overturn the decision.