MX23RW : Wednesday, November 21 14:42:00

Interview: Sky Sports presenter Layla Anna-Lee

Interview: Sky Sports presenter Layla Anna-Lee
Sports Mole catches up with sports presenter Layla Anna-Lee to talk Olympics, football and Blue Peter.

It has been some summer for presenter Layla Anna-Lee, having landed leading roles as the female voice of the Olympics Opening Ceremony and host of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee party.

An avid cycling and football fan, Layla is chief presenter of all BMX, cycling and National Championships for Sky Sports - and also compered the beach volleyball at the Games.

As the dust now settles on London 2012, Sports Mole checked in with Layla to see how it all went.

First off, what was it like to be involved in London 2012?
"It was absolutely insane. It was insane enough to just be interviewed for [the opening ceremony job] because when I had a phone call saying that Danny Boyle wanted to meet me, even if I didn't get it, it was just awesome to be considered. He wanted a young 'presentery' voice rather than the classic BBC stadium announcer. I was already hosting the beach volleyball and I was meant to be hosting the cycling events, but when Danny's team wanted to meet me I had to stand down from the cycling event, which was a bit terrifying. It wasn't really my choice - had I had the choice between that and the opening ceremony, I know business-wise the opening ceremony should have been what I wanted to do, but I would have really been gutted to turn down all of the cycling events."

Was it hard to turn down the cycling because of your passion for the sport?
"I love cycling. I know the team, I knew the other commentators. It would have been really good fun. Luckily the choice was not mine because otherwise that would have been difficult."

You're also a keen football fan, but with your British and Brazilian connections, who do you support?
"That's always been an issue! I was brought up watching and supporting Brazil - and when it comes to the beauty of the game I can't deny I much prefer watching Brazil. I support England as much as I can... which is until they face Brazil. I wear yellow I can't deny that. My family are from Belo Horizonte - we all support Cruzeiro. Here in the UK, I'm a Crystal Palace fan. Palace and Cruzeiro don't face each other much do I think I'm safe there!"

What do you think about the response that the women's football had at the Olympics? Will it make a huge impact in the future?
"I think women's football is amazing and should be celebrated more. I think it is more to do with sponsorship deals and marketing and being able to pay for these athletes to train and to grow in schools and the legacy of the stadiums. Hopefully it will do something but I am a little cynical. Everyone loved the Olympics, but now that it has all finished are we going to put Celebrity Big Brother on and forget about it all? If it was just before the summer we could carry it through but is everyone just going to go indoors now? Next summer is when it will show. It will be interesting to see how many people get involved."

An estimated £9.3 billion was spent on London 2012, but what would you say to those who have branded the Games just 'a big party'?
"A big party to celebrate our incredible athletes? What more reason to have one? It definitely was not one big party. It was more than just sport, it's about people with careers. At the moment children are aspiring to be people from The Only Way Is Essex when we should be aspiring to sport and fitness and health."

Tell us about the Blue Peter dream?
"This was heartbreaking. I am still traumatised by it all. It was about three years ago now. It was about six months of casting, and it was all really intense. It went originally from 4000, but I got into the stage at around 400 people. It was me, Helen Skelton and an ex-beauty queen in the final three. It then fell down to just two - me and Helen - and we had to get visas for all the trips we were going to do. Helen was the best person to lose out to, she absolutely rocks so it's fine. She broke like five or six world records!"

What are your hopes for the future?
"It is exciting times with the World Cup 2014 and Olympics 2016. I am trying to build myself up to get out there as soon as possible. I am still trying to decide whether I want to work for a Brazilian channel or for a British channel. I don't know, but I want to get out there as soon as possible and find out exactly what is on offer. I want to get involved. It is going to be insane in Brazil. Luckily a lot of people are going over there for it. That's what I am working towards, so all eyes on the World Cup, and then we have 2016 Olympics all over again."

Find out more about Layla on her website or Twitter.

Share this article now:
Rebecca Adlington
Read Next:
Team GB celebrate at Mahiki
>

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account