Culture Secretary Maria Miller has written to ask the BBC what action will be taken over "derogatory" comments made by sports presenter John Inverdale about Wimbledon winner Marion Bartoli.

Miller's letter to director general Tony Hall attacked Inverdale's suggestion that the French player was "never going to be a looker".

She asked to be kept informed about the "further action that is likely to be taken" after more than 600 complaints were received.

"It is ... a matter of some concern to me that any comment on the looks and stature of a female athlete could be made in the context of one of the highlights of the UK's, and indeed the world's, sporting calendar," said the letter, printed in the Daily Mail on Thursday.

"I am sure you will agree with me that it is vital that young women and girls in this country feel motivated both to take part in and to watch coverage of sport, and to know that they are included in the enjoyment of sport, and catered for by the media just as much as the male audience," she added.

Inverdale said he had written to Bartoli to apologise for using a "clumsy phrase".

"The point I was trying to make in a rather ham-fisted kind of way is that the public perception of tennis players is that they're all 6 feet-tall Amazonian athletes," he explained.

...,/.,