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Model for success ..

GAIL McKenna swopped glamour for goals when she quit modelling to become a presenter on L!VE TV’s daily sports show.

Since the 24-hour channel launched, she has quickly become one of its top attractions.

She is flooded with fan mail and attracts a big audience for the station.

Despite her success, Gail admits her label as a glamour model has been hard to shake, but thanks to her new TV role, people are starting to realise she is more than just a pretty face.

“People have preconceptions about you if you’ve been a model. Usually they think it means you’re not too bright.

“In some ways it was quite good because when I went for auditions, producers and directors had such low expectations, that when I turned out to be reasonably OK, they were stunned.

“Obviously the bimbo label is one I’m going to have to carry around for a while, but I hope viewers will see that there is more to me,” says Gail.

She has no regrets about her early career. “I started when I was 19 and had given it up by the time I was 21, so it wasn’t a long time.”

Her interest in sport has boomed since she started working for L!VE TV. “I didn’t have any knowledge before, but now I’m hooked and even tune into the odd football match at home,” she adds.

Away from the cameras, single mum Gail devotes her time to three-year- old son James. It is a real juggling act, as any mum who has kids and has to go out to earn a living will tell you.

“When I first started at L!VE TV I felt really guilty leaving James, because for most of the time since he was born, I’ve always been with him.

“There are times when I’m not back to tuck him in at night or pick him up from school and I know he was a bit confused about it all.

“But I am building my career for his future as much as my own.”

She and L!VE TV’s Head of Sport, Chris Johnson, are set on making the show the top draw for armchair fans.

“It is a relaxed, and fun show, as interested in the opinions of fans as in those of the players and managers,” says former ITN man Chris.

“We don’t believe you have to go for big names to get good stories. One of the reasons people are switching on to us is that we have close links with the fans.

“At the same time we are covering big events, like Rugby League, British Speed Skating and figure skating.

“We’ve got other rugby and football deals planned and there’s lots of new stuff on the horizon. And of course we’ll have extensive coverage of the Olympics.”

Chris is confident that his show’s varied mix will appeal to men and women alike and make it a huge winner for the viewers.

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