Post last updated on 26/09/19
With the 2019 Women’s World Cup upon us, there has been a trifecta of female talent and opportunity on display.
And just as opportunistic on the field, there have been more female presenters and pundits gracing the talk-rooms off it, from Hope Solo and Laura Bassett to Casey Stoney.
Yet despite the golden moments that this World Cup might present, it serves more as a reminder of the lack of female presence across sports reporting outside this summer’s tournament and the sexism and chauvinism surrounding the world of football media.
You only have to cast your mind back to the backlash that Jacqui Oatley received when she famously commentated on Match of the Day in 2007, and more recently so, the criticism aimed at Alex Scott for her involvement in punditry in the men’s game.
Which is why we’re blowing the trumpet for some of the best BBC female sports presenters and sky sports female presenters around in our top 7 best UK female sports presenters’ article.
Leading the rear is…
7) Laura Woods
Perhaps not the first name that comes to mind in the world of female sports presenters, Woodsy is definitely an inspiration for would-be sports presenters across the world.
From having to take a break from university, to landing herself work experience as a trainee sky sports female presenter behind the scenes, the 32-year-old worked her way up the ranks with continuous endeavour and skill to the job she has today.
Nowadays, not only does Woods present The Debate, but she also reports pitch-side with Sky Sports, Super Sunday alongside being a prime-time presenter on talkSPORT – a testament to the concept that hard work and determination surely does pay off.
— Laura Woods (@laura_woodsy) May 18, 2019
6) Lynsey Hipgrave
This BT Sports female presenter made her name covering the Champions League alongside Gary Lineker years ago on an English version of Al Jazeera but recently has risen in the limelight with the European Football Show.
She began anchoring coverage of the World Athletics Championships, the US Open Tennis Final and the WTA Championships.
From there on, Hipgrave has become the female sports presenters shining star, supporting women in and outside the role.
So much so, that she cut off a caller on a live show who belittled the presenter by patronizing her – a ruthless, yet necessary move as a representative of the growing women’s sports reporter contingent.
5) Alex Scott
The veteran Arsenal defender made the perfect transition from player to renowned BBC female sports presenter in the aftermath of her domestic and international retirement.
Indeed, the 34-year-old took on the challenge of immersing herself into the world of men’s punditry well, given the level of sexist and chauvinistic comments that were fired at her online and on social media, especially around the altercation she had on air with fellow Sky Sports colleague Graeme Souness.
But manning the helms of reporting during the men’s 2018 World Cup, and now earning and grafting her way to becoming a respected BBC sports presenter female figure means that she has been able to exorcise those demons and continue to reach new heights.
4) Kelly Cates
Next up in our top 7 best UK female sport presenters is Kelly Cates, daughter of the famous, and decorated, footballer Kenny Dalglish.
Cates came into the world of football media from a young age, and since then has slowly integrated her way into a male-dominated industry.
Indeed, the Liverpool fan has certainly made a name for herself amongst the Sky Sports female presenters contingent after reporting on the 2010 World Cup, the London 2012 Olympics, and many racing events.
And not one for letting her male colleagues take all the limelight, the female sports presenter was even able to get one over Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville after that famous camera angle incident…
3) Gabby Logan
The BBC female sports presenters have had an absolute steal amidst their ranks in Gabby Logan.
The respected reporter swiftly turned from the world of Welsh international gymnastics to football media and has excelled and thrived within the industry.
Instead of joining the Sky Sports ranks, Logan has continued to stick with BBC.
Given that her father, Terry Yorath, played for Leeds and Wales, the love affair with football is apparent. Yet Logan has worked her way through – and up – the ladder to become the well-known BBC female sports presenter she is.
— Gabby Logan (@GabbyLogan) July 12, 2014
2) Clare Balding
The award-winning sports female presenter that is Clare Balding just misses out on the top spot, yet this by no means takes away from the former jockey’s glittering track record in the world of football media.
From writer to a broadcaster, Balding has become the face of female reporting around horse racing, with special focus on the Grand National. What’s more, she has turned enough heads to even earn an OBE.
With such footballing know-how and ease in presenting on air, it’s no surprise that Balding has worked with BT, ITV, and even as a BBC female sports presenters rep.
1) Sue Barker
Taking the number one spot though is the dame of female sports presenters. The woman who has been the face of tennis punditry for over two decades, and has graced the courts as one of the best stars to ever play the sport.
Yes – it’s none other than Sue Barker.
The BBC sports presenter covering the tennis action alongside her role as anchor of the much-loved TV show, Question of Sport, has been the darling of Wimbledon across years.
As a former pro, Barker has 11 WTA Tour singles titles to her name, including a Grand Slam at the age of 20.
Her knowledge, experience, and warm and welcoming personality have been a part of female sports presenting for a long time,.
Whether it’s BT or Sky Sports, and the current crop of reporters will have all been inspired by her feats, both on-air and on the court.