BBC Sports presenter Clare Balding has become embroiled in what many lazy hacks are already dubbing 'Toofgate'. The latest in a string of inappropriate references to the Watergate scandal, Toofgate captured the moral outrage of the nation when Balding made an unprovoked attack on Grand National winnning jockey Liam Treadwell.
Treadwell was walking on air as he entered the winnner's paddock after riding to first on 100-1 outsider Mon Mome. But within seconds he was cruelly brought down to earth as Balding began mocking his less than perfect teeth, live on air.
Overcome by the excitement of such an unexpected result, Balding led her camera crew right up to Treadwell's mouth and demanded "Come on Liam, show us your gnashers!" He responded with an uneasy smile but the beligerent presenter continued, "After winning the National you can finally afford to fix those disgusting little pegs you call teeth."
Visibly shaken, Treadwell mumbled something about his teeth bringing him luck but the BBC's switchboard was already on fire. Balding's scathing comments have already prompted over 10 million complaints with many more expected from people who will take offence despite no knowledge of, or interest in the actual events.
Balding has since apologised in private but was unavailable for comment. A BBC spokesperson has categorically denied allegations that Balding is receiving kick-backs from the Dental Health Association.
Treadwell, still smarting, had this to say:
"There is a hidden culture of bullying in horse-racing and in a way I'm glad that this incident has brought it to the public eye."
"Other riders often jibe me for the whistling noise that my teeth make when travelling at speed but today I thought I'd had the last laugh. Until I saw Clare."
"She's twice my weight and a good two feet taller than me. To be honest, I thought she was going to sit on me."
"As the saying goes," Treadwell added "You can lead a gift horse to water but you can't look him in the mouth...and the same applies for us jockeys!"