Gabby Logan: ‘We haven’t got the players to win the World Cup’

As England prepare for their first World Cup game, Gabby Logan assesses their chances and reveals what it’s really like to be the only woman on the BBC’s presenting team in Brazil.

A reporter based at the England camp, Gabby, 41, will be bringing us all the news on Roy Hodgson’s team alongside Gary Lineker, Rio Ferdinand and Thierry Henry – and she’s in her element.

“I just love doing live telly,” Gabby told the Daily Express. “I’m really looking forward to it all.”

“I must confess, though, after weeks on the road with men, I sometimes yearn for a chat over a cup of tea with a woman.”

Without wanting to dampen the enthusiasm sweeping the country, Gabby believes England have a tough time ahead of them in Brazil. Their group includes four-time World Cup winners Italy and 2010 semi-finalists Uruguay.

“I don’t think anyone has unrealistic expectations about England,” she says.

“I think it’s a case of getting through the group stage and once you’re in knockout football, of course there’s some chance. If things go to plan, then England have quite a good passage in the knockout stage. But I don’t think we have the world-class players to win the World Cup.

“However, I’ve got Brazilian friends who say the expectation on the Brazilian team is absolutely huge,” she adds. “If they don’t win, the country will be in mourning.”

It’s very much a summer of sport for the former gymnast, who next month will also be helping to front more than 300 hours coverage of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow for the BBC.

Gabby believes big sporting events such as the World Cup and the Commonwealth Games are vital for encouraging children to become active.

“I want every child in the country to enjoy sport. It gives you so much in life,” she says. “Playing sport makes people aware of their health and fitness. Both my husband and I gained confidence from playing sport and it led to our careers.”

Gabby is married to former Scotland rugby international Kenny Logan. They have eight-year-old twins, Lois and Reuben, and while Gabby is happy to throw herself into major global sporting events, it’s her role as a mum she finds most challenging.

“I don’t think the guilt changes and it doesn’t get any easier,” says Gabby as she talks about balancing her career with motherhood.

“The juggling is constant. Earlier this year, I had to miss my daughter’s first netball match as I was giving a talk at a university. That was tough.”

And what do Gabby’s children think of their mother’s TV career?

“I’m not there to be admired,” she laughs. “I’m there to be abused when they don’t want to do homework or when I get them out of bed early. The kids don’t put me on a pedestal but they realise they are lucky to go on adventures like going to see a show, such as when I presented Splash!”

So what’s next for Gabby?

The presenter is delighted with the way her career has progressed and hopes to remain at the heart of the country’s sporting action for many years to come.

“I do like live entertainment and I do enjoy things that stimulate me,” she reveals.“I just want to keep all the juggling going.”

World Cup 2014: England v Italy, BBC1, Saturday, June 14, 10.20pm (kick-off 11.00pm)