00.00.03 My name’s Gabby Logan. I’m a BBC sports presenter and radio broadcaster and I write for the Times. The beauty of working at the BBC is I get to do radio which is my first love. And my show on Radio Five Live I’ve had Gordon Brown on the show, I’ve had Helen Mirren on the show, I have a comedian every week. I do political stories. So that’s great because I get to do a current affairs type programme and that is a big interest to me.
00.00.29 I used to be a gymnast. I enjoyed the physical exertion. I enjoyed competition. My dad was a professional footballer. My brother was playing football to a high level. My sister was doing gymnastics so it was what we did, I guess. When I was 17 after I came home from the Commonwealth Games in Auckland I had quite a bad back. I had sciatica and my back just kept giving way. I decided that there was other things I wanted to do and that involved knuckling down to my A-levels the following year.
00.00.56 I went to university after a year out and then I went to Durham University to read law in 1992. I’d met in my year off a guy who ran the radio station in Newcastle and he said to me when you come to Durham come and speak to me and I can train you up. So I did, and by the Christmas I was reading the news on the local radio station in Newcastle. The radio station said to me they wanted me to be the breakfast show presenter co-host so I decided that I’d give it a year of doing full-time broadcaster and if it didn’t work out the way I wanted it to then I could always go to law school. And then in the May of that first year, I was approached by Sky Sports and they asked me to go to London to do a screen test to see if I’d like to come and work for Sky Sports.
00.01.37 Having a father who’d worked for his whole life, his whole working life in football, obviously people knew who he was and they’d feel comfortable with me. When I had guests on my show at Sky, they’d say, ‘Oh, how’s your dad’, and by osmosis you know so much about sport without even trying. It’s just what I did. I’d been at Sky for a couple of years when ITV, Brad Barwick was just announced as the new head of sport at ITV and he asked to meet me in Richmond for a cup of tea. So there wasn’t really hesitation in mind when I was made an offer by ITV that I should go there. I had 8 years at ITV Sport and worked on two world cups, two European Championships, a Rugby World Cup final. And a new boss came in who ironically was the boss that had taken me to Sky and he wanted something different so it was time to move on again.
00.02.25 I was in a situation where I could feel I was being squeezed out of the shows that I’d done because I was taken off the main games and a new presenter had come in from the BBC and he’d been given the responsibility of those games. But I’m a big girl, and I knew what was happening. It wasn’t a personal thing. When they’d made their decision that they don’t want you, then you have to go with that. You can’t fight it.
00.02.53 My brother died when I was 19, he was 15, he was two months off his 16th birthday. He died of a congenital heart disease which is why I’m happy aligned to the heart charities that I am. And he, it was a sudden death so we had no idea that he was carrying the illness and that his heart was so enlarged and he was indeed a fantastic footballer. He’d just signed for Leeds United. From my life standpoint, he made me kind of like I was almost living two lives. I tried to do everything and when I turned up at university I was kind of on speed, you know, I was just kind of like doing tons and tons of things. But I did feel like I had to have a life that was really lived and not a life wasted.
00.03.33 There’s a strong work ethic in the family and a strong believe that if you really put your mind to something you can achieve. If I look at my dad I’m definitely born with some of his determination and his ability to try and, as he did when he played football, kind of prove people wrong and I don’t feel like I’m proving people wrong, but I think there’s an element that you want to keep pushing yourself as he did.
00.03.59 I’ve worked for every major broadcaster in the UK. I’m happy where I am at the BBC. I think I probably got to the age at 35 where I realised that I’m not that in control actually of my career and something else might happen that means I’m moving on somewhere else and I’m kind of ready for that. I’m really proud that I was the first woman to host a live football match on terrestrial television. That’s something they’ll never be another person that does that first. My kids will hopefully want to talk to me about those things that I’ve done and they will take inspiration to do things that they want to do. And I think it’s that legacy to me is important as well.