A good teacher stays with you for life.
Ask Laura Woods, who credits her first English teacher Mrs Burrell for helping her achieve her potential.
The presenter has since established herself on Sky Sports and now hosts the talkSPORT Breakfast Show. Not bad going for a girl who was once in detention every other day.
Shoutout to Mrs Burrell – and fingers crossed live sport will be with us again soon.
What upcoming project(s) are you most excited about?
I’ve just started a new role as the host of the talkSPORT Breakfast Show, Monday to Wednesday 6-10am.
It’s the most challenging climate to start this new role in, mainly because we have no sport! But also because my co-hosts are in different areas of Britain, so we are juggling delays and drop outs all the time. But this space has also given us creative freedom. We have four hours to try new things and dump them if they don’t work.
We’re also very aware that there is a huge audience of sports fans that want a slice of normality in their lives of a bit of company, so we are relishing the challenge.
What is your proudest professional accomplishment?
My proudest accomplishment to date is breaking into football with both Sky Sports and talkSPORT. It has always been a very male dominated arena and dipping a toe was an incredibly nerve wracking experience at first, but the acceptance I feel now from the audience is something I really value.
It was also a great lesson that hard work is king and perceived boundaries are there for the taking.
If you could change one thing about your career, what would it be?
Nothing really. All the tough parts have been the best lessons I could have asked for. The only piece of advice I would give my younger self would be to have more confidence and less fear. What’s the worst that could happen?
What do you hope to achieve that you haven’t yet?
The women before me were the real trailblazers, I hope I can add to their work and contribute to creating a level playing field in sports broadcasting. I’d like to get to the stage where gender isn’t considered and balance is the norm.
Outside of your family, who is / was your biggest inspiration?
My first English teacher Mrs Burrell. I was a bit of a nightmare in school, the class clown. I couldn’t sit still for five minutes, my attention span was non-existent and I was in detention every other day. She flat out refused to allow me to mess it up.
She kept me on a very tight leash, discipline where needed and encouragement otherwise. She refocused me every time I slipped and made me realise my potential.
Tell us something nobody knows about you…
I am a master banana bread baker…
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How are you finding lockdown?
I flip flop every day between loving the time and space and hating the restrictions. I am allowed to go into work three mornings a week, which most people cant, and that is a real blessing.
Seeing a couple other faces and a change of scenery has been such a boost, but coming home to an empty flat can feel quite lonely sometimes!
Best thing about lockdown?
I've become so organised! I’m finishing all those tasks I've been putting off for years.
I’m also so much more sociable. I'm talking to friends and family more than I ever have before and making plans that this time I know I will actually see through.
I’ve never had time to hit the reset button before, but I’m realising when all of this is over I can start afresh.
Worst thing about lockdown?
Not being able to have a big cuddle. I really miss human contact!
Luckily I have my brother’s dog Maggie with me, she’s a working cocker spaniel and she is the best thing in the world. Loves a cuddle and a chill out session and gets me out for a walk once a day.
Top tip for surviving lockdown?
Give yourself purpose and some kind of routine. It will keep your body and mind healthy. You have to keep challenging yourself no matter how big or small.
I’ve walked past the same pile of letters by my front door every day for the last six months and refused to acknowledge it, now I have the time too its next on my list to tackle. Or find something more interesting than that!
If you could be locked down with one person, alive or dead, who would it be?
The guy I fancy the most.
What are you most looking forward to doing once lockdown is over?
That first sip on that first night in that first pub with all of my friends and the rest of the world.
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