How Laura Woods overcame sexist trolls and sad split to become TV’s hottest new star – and Prem footballers’ celeb crush | The Sun

SHE’S the TV presenter famous footballers want to date – and women look up to.

With killer looks, an enviable wardrobe and a new Love Island beau on her arm, Laura Woods might just be the sporting world’s answer to Maya Jama.

This week we revealed Laura enjoyed a low-key date with Adam Collard, 27, in a County Durham pub – after splitting from long-term love England rugby player Alex Corbisiero.

The TNT Sports host – who won praise for her coverage of the Women’s World Cup for ITV –  is being tipped to become a household name with the potential to earn millions.

One expert reckons stylish Laura, 36, could bag major fashion deals and presenting jobs away from sport as her star rises.

Brand and culture expert Nick Ede, who runs a PR firm in London, told The Sun: “There are people out there who are stand out stars and Laura is definitely one of them.


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“Female sports presenters like Gabby Logan and Kirsty Gallacher will always be iconic but Laura is fresh blood and looks like the perfect person to take on the reins.

“She’s very intelligent and did great coverage of the Women’s World Cup and has shown off her knowledge of different sports.

“Yet she’s not too pigeon-holed in sport that other presenting roles won’t be offered to her and she could even branch out to fashion and produce her own collections.

“She’s a British celebrity but her job means she has an international profile and that will really help in her quest to become a big star."

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Nick says Laura dating Adam won't do her profile any harmCredit: �ITV Plc
Nick described Laura as the 'perfect package'Credit: Instagram

Nick added that dating some like Adam Collard – known for his bad boy antics on Love Island and recent dalliance with Lottie Moss on Celebs Go Dating – will "only elevate her status".

“It means Laura might find herself propelled onto the front of newspapers as much as the back, which is something new for her, but she can utilise it in a strong way to raise her profile," he said.

“She’s clever and gorgeous and really is the perfect package. She could be on her way to earning millions just like Maya Jama.”

Humble start

Laura, who played rugby as a kid, started her career as a humble runner at Sky Sports in 2009 before working her way up to a producer role.

She kicked off her presenting career with behind-the-scenes interviews on the darts coverage for Sky Sports’ YouTube channel.

Laura then got a job on the Saturday morning kids’ show Game Changers before joining the Soccer AM online presenting team.

By 2018 she was a regular pitch-side reporter on Super Sunday before leaving Sky Sports four years later.

She was also Talksport’s breakfast show host with Ally McCoist from 2020 until June this year.

She joined TNT Sports as the lead presenter for the UEFA Champions League and boxing coverage.

But it was Laura’s knowledgeable coverage of the recent FIFA Women’s World Cup that has really propelled her into the limelight. 

Hurt feelings

She had already won over leading sportsmen with her knowledge and good looks.

Ex Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek admitted she is his celebrity crush live on air, leaving her giggling.

And in April boxer Anthony Joshua told her she was his “dream date” after he flirted with her during an interview.

Laura has also bagged two major presenting awards and has wonplaudits on social media for her stunning dress sense.

But her stratospheric rise to fame has not been easy.

When she first hit our screens Laura faced criticism that she’d only landed on TV because of her looks – something that hurt her feelings.

She said: “I accept that as presenters we are putting ourselves out there; we’re essentially targets. I’m learning to live with it because that’s part of our job. You’re never going to please everybody.

“It would hurt me a lot more if I took it all to heart, so I take it with a pinch of salt now as much as I can."

But Laura soon proved the haters wrong, proving herself a worthy adversary to the male presenters.

She said she “wouldn’t get in the door” without her knowledge adding: "If you don’t have a grasp of what’s going on, you’re never going to get to the top.”

Laura added: "We are all striving for equality but the reaction to a woman on screen or radio is still not equal. A producer once told me that women reporters have higher to fall from.

"It stuck with me. It’s not just what you say, it’s how you look, the way your voice sounds.

"I have had it all in tweets and stuff. 'You are underweight'. 'You are overweight'. 'You have too much make-up'. 'You look tired'.

"Men have to deal with scrutiny, too. I know. But their knowledge is never attacked in the same way.

"Women have transitioned into some sports such as cricket incredibly well. But what is it about football that people can’t accept something if it’s coming out of a woman’s mouth?"

As well as succeeding in a mainly male dominated world, Laura is famous for slapping down sexist Twitter trolls with witty one-liners.

On Instagram, when one man told her to get ‘back in the kitchen’ she swiftly replied: “Ohh Mick. Nothing screams ‘I have a small penis’ more than this old phrase.”

Sad split

She might be in the public eye but Laura is fiercely protective of her private life.

Laura dated her ex Alex for eight years and was by his side while he battled testicular cancer in 2019, which later spread to his lymph nodes.

The retired prop, who played for London Irish and Northampton Saints, now hosts The Scrum Down podcast.

Laura said the split was her decision, and she's "never regretted it".

"We’d lived in each other’s pockets and breaking up with him felt like coming up for air," she explained.

She recently told The Sun: "I am single, but I'm also dating. That's a part of my life that I have learned to keep private.

"I don’t want to put my whole life out there for everybody to see. I want to keep some things like ‘that person’ more sacred."

Laura grew up in the north east before her family moved to Dagenham, London. Her mum Michelle coached rugby, and dad Steve is a former English cricket player.

A huge Arsenal fan, Laura says that while she’s living the dream in a job she loves, she wishes she could spend more time with her family.

She said last month: “I’d really love to get healthy. I want to be able to exercise more and take my dog for long walks.

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"I’m just tired of feeling tired. I want to give my family and friends more of my attention. I really want to prioritise that part of my life more.”

Tipped to be propelled to superstardom, it may be a while yet before Laura gets that rest…

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