My Life in Media: Kirsty Gallacher

Kirsty Gallacher, 32, is the presenter of Gladiators, a remake of the cult Nineties game show that pitted action men and women such as Wolf and Lightning against mere mortals clutching pugil sticks. Born in Edinburgh, Gallacher is the daughter of the former Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher and her first job was with Sky Sports. Since branching out from sports broadcasting, she has presented a regular slot on Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway. She lives in Surrey with her partner, rugby union player Paul Sampson, and their son, Oscar.

What inspired you to embark on a career in the media?

I wanted to be a fashion journalist and went to the London College of Fashion to do a journalism and promotion course. Afterwards I was at a dinner that Sky Sports was hosting for my dad, and Mark Sharman, now the head of ITV Sport but then the deputy head of sport at Sky, asked if I fancied coming in for a screen test. I said no. I was only 19 and not very confident. Someone persuaded me to have a go and I was awful, but they saw potential and gave me a job as a junior at Sky Sports. I love sport so I decided to go for it, thinking I could always go back to fashion. When they launched Sky Digital they used me as the main face for Sky Sports News, and that was it. I get my fix of fashion as a presenter and I'm not sure any more that I would have liked to travel round the world living out of a suitcase.

When you were 15 years old, which newspaper did your family get and did you read it?

We were a broadsheet family. I think we got The Times, The Daily Telegraph and The Independent, because my parents like different papers. I read them when I had time and always read the sport, but I did read a lot of magazines, too.

Describe your job?

It's very intense at the moment as we're doing 15-hour days on Gladiators. Ian Wright [her co-presenter] and I are filming for about three weeks in total with very few days off, but every day is good fun.

What's the first media you turn to in the mornings?

Usually the radio, which I put on while I'm feeding my 18-month-old son, Oscar. I listen to Classic FM to calm down. When he's screaming in the kitchen early in the morning, I don't want to listen to loud pop music.

Do you consult any media sources during the day?

I'm lucky in that, when I get in a car or arrive at work, I can choose from all the papers; otherwise I get my news from the TV. I'm a bit of a Luddite and I hate the internet.

What do you tune into when you get home?

I'm a bit of a news and history boffin. My dad and I read lots of history books; they're my escapism. I love the Biography Channel and the History Channel.

What is the best thing about your job?

It's so varied, and I'm freelance so I can choose what I do, which fits in very well with being a mum.

And the worst?

Being scrutinised by everybody. You know that will happen when you enter into a job in the public eye, but the downside is that you do read and hear some rubbish. I'm a very private person. I do the publicity I need to, but I say no to a lot.

How do you feel you influence the media?

Maybe the fact that I am a serious sports person and know a lot about it, but I am crossing that with light entertainment. It might sound ridiculous, but Gladiators is quite serious this time. People are fitter and more obsessed with being healthy and strong. It has evolved a lot since the old days of Gladiators. We've got some athletes like the 400m runner Du'aine Ladejo.

What is the proudest achievement in your working life?

Being one of the first women on Sky Sports with Gabby Logan and Kelly Dalglish, when there weren't many women around.

A nd what's your most embarrassing moment?

Ian Wright and I were on Jonathan Ross two weeks ago and he showed the clip of me hitting Nick Faldo in the leg. It's been on every bloopers show and is haunting me. I was in a Nick Faldo masterclass for kids and I missed the ball and hit him in the leg backwards.

What is your Sunday paper? And do you have a favourite magazine?

We get everything on a Sunday, though I try to stay away from News Of The World. I'm a massive Vogue and Grazia fan.

What would you do if you didn't work in the media?

Hopefully I'd be in fashion.

Name the one career ambition you want to realise before you retire?

When you are presented with things you just have to go the way you feel is right for you at the time. I think Gladiators is going to be a very inspirational show for youngsters and being involved with it is great.

Who in the media do you most admire and why?

It has to be Ant and Dec. It sounds cheesy, but they are brilliant at their job and the loveliest people you will ever meet. They are grounded, they are kind and they are caring. They also have their own production company so they re proper businessmen and have really done very well for themselves.

'Gladiators' starts on Sunday at 6pm on Sky One

The CV

1996: Becomes a production assistant at Sky Sports.

1998: Gets first presenting job on Sky Sports News.

2000: Hosts a You've Been Framed-style show, Kirsty's Home Videos.

2002: One of the original presenters of C4's RI:SE.

2004: Hosts ITV game show Simply The Best with Phil Tufnell, whom she teams up with for a BBC Radio Five Live show. Regular slot on Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway.

2005: Wins The Games and co-presents the fourth series the following year with Jamie Theakston.

2006: Hosts Saturday sports round-up and Wednesday golf show for Five Live.

2007: Presenter of BBC1's The National Lottery.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Frank Turner performing at 93 Feet East
musicReview: 93 Feet East, London
News
Toronto tops the charts across a range of indexes
news

World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'

Extras
indybest
Voices
A mother and her child
voices
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Recruitment Genius: External Relations Executive

£33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An External Relations Executive is requi...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Project Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This established Digital Agency based in East ...

Guru Careers: Sales Director / Business Development Manager

£35 - 45K + COMMISSION (NEG): Guru Careers: A Sales Director / Business Develo...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Manchester - Urgent Requirement!

£30000 - £35000 per annum + 20 days holidays & pension: Ashdown Group: Marketi...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee