ESPN announces Search for a Star winner

ESPN staff
October 1, 2012
Rebecca Lowe formed part of the judging panel © PA Photos

The FA WSL (Women's Super League), in conjunction with ESPN and Shout Magazine, is delighted to announce the winner of its 'Search for a Star' competition to find the next generation junior sports TV presenter.

Ella French, aged 12 from Thornton-Cleveleys in Lancashire, won over the expert panel of judges, which included ESPN presenter Rebecca Lowe, with her natural star quality, infectious smile and clear passion for football.

Lowe, who also found fame through a talent competition, commented: "We thought Ella had natural magic. She has an ability to understand how to broadcast the words she is saying and thereby engages the audience immediately. The very fact that she's just 12 years of age shows such huge potential. Her journalistic nous is already in evidence and this along with her screen presence made her our winner."

Also on the judging panel was ESPN senior executive producer Andrew Hornett, The FA's Head of National Game Kelly Simmons and Shout features editor, Alison Henderson.

The judges selected Ella as their winner after she impressed them during an exclusive TV presenting masterclass at ESPN's studios. Ella and three other finalists, including Elena Whitehead from Warwickshire, Punitha Naidu from Lancashire and Nikki Rai from Coventry, attended the class where they were given the chance to record a professional piece to camera and experience first hand, what goes on in a professional TV studio.

Ella will get to show off what she learnt when she is awarded her prize of presenting a report at The FA Women's Super League Continental Cup Final on October 10 at Barnet FC, when Arsenal Ladies go head to head with Birmingham City Ladies at 7pm.

The FA's Head of National Game Kelly Simmons commented: "We launched this competition with ESPN to find a new star reporter and find a star we did! Ella wowed us with her presenting skills, but also with her knowledge and passion for football. It's vital that we build on the Olympic legacy to drive awareness of women's football and hope that Ella's success will inspire other teenagers to follow their passion and reach their potential both on and off the pitch."

Winner and Liverpool Ladies fan, Ella French commented, "It's absolutely a dream come true. I entered 'Search For a Star' because I love TV and football so what better way to combine the two! I can't wait to show what I can do when I present at the WSL Continental Cup Final on Wednesday October 10."

To see Ella's 60-second audition video that secured her place in the final, click here.

For league details and to buy tickets for The FA WSL 2012 Continental Cup Final visit www.fawsl.com

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.