Barbara Slater is a Woman of the Year

Barbara Slater Barbara Slater helped inspire a nation

Barbara Slater won the inspirational woman prize at Friday's Women in Film and Television Awards.

The director of sport was recognised for overseeing the BBC's coverage of the London Olympics, which so captivated the nation.

Clare Balding, meanwhile, rounded off a memorable year, taking home the achievement of the year award.

The presenter was the stand-out face of the BBC Olympics, earning plaudits for her coverage of the swimming and equestrian events, as well as for her co-hosting of Channel 4's Paralympics.

2500 hours of coverage

Slater, who joined the BBC in 1983 as a Natural History Unit trainee, led the teams responsible for delivering around 2500 hours of live action from the 17 days of Olympic competition across BBC One, Two and Three, live sport on two 5 live networks and 24 Olympic streams via the Red Button and Online.

The London Olympics attracted record audiences, becoming the biggest national tv event since records began.

Slater, a former international gymnast, has spent most of her career in BBC Television Sport, specialising in outside broadcasts.

Clare Balding Clare Balding has new BBC commitments in 2013
My Animals

Balding, who just this week collected the biography of the year trophy at the National Book Awards for her My Animals and Other Family book, is a former amateur jockey who made her name as a horseracing presenter for the BBC.

2013 looks like being another successful year for the woman who conducted a memorable interview with South African Bert le Clos after his son Chad won a gold in the pool at the Olympics.

She will replace Aled Jones as host of Radio 2's Good Morning Sunday in January as well as presenting a new Saturday night quest to find Britain's Brightest on BBC One.

Other winners at the awards, which celebrate inspirational and successful figures, include writer Heidi Thomas who wrote and co-produced the BBC One hit Call the Midwife, and Jana Bennett, former BBC director of vision.

Twenty Twelve actress Olivia Colman and Lynne Ramsay, who wrote, directed and produced BBC Films' We Need to Talk About Kevin, were also winners.

Veteran drama producer Ruth Caleb, a former BBC head of drama who has since produced the likes of A Short Stay in Switzerland and The Last Days of Lehman Brothers, was given the lifetime achievement title.

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