Clare Balding, the openly lesbian BBC sports presenter, has revealed she is battling thyroid cancer.

She underwent a throat operation in April to remove a cyst but a second operation was necessary to remove her thyroid gland, which was found to be cancerous.

She will have radioactive iodine treatment in July.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Ms Balding, 38, said: “At the moment I sound like Kermit. So far there have been no real side effects. I’ve been wheezing slightly but other than that I feel fine. My main worry is my voice because that is what I do.

“The BBC told me to take as much time off as I like but they know me – I’d feel worse if I took time off.”

She has been recovering from her latest operation at her parents’ stables in Kingsclere, Newbury.

“It’s been gorgeous weather, I’ve been sleeping well and relaxing,” she said. “It helps me to be very practical about it.

“The doctors say it won’t kill me, so it won’t. If I worry, it will just make it worse.”

She added that her civil partner, newsreader Alice Arnold, “has been very calm and supportive, as have my family”.

Ms Balding plans to present the BBC’s coverage of next week’s Derby meeting but has had to pull out of presenting tomorrow’s rugby league Challenge Cup quarter finals due to her hoarse voice.