The 36-year-old said she was ‘excited and honoured’ to be joining the show, saying: ‘It is not lost on me, one bit, because I know how iconic the show is and what big deal it is.’
In a video announcement, Alex thanked Dan for ‘being an amazing hist all these years but ‘being the amazing human that you are, knowing that many years ago telling you that I wanted to be in a position such as this and you taking the time to help me develop, hone my skills, and get to this position.’
Speaking to BBC Sport, Alex said: ‘When I was a kid, I would never have watched television and thought someone like me could be presenting a programme like Football Focus. For the BBC to trust me with this role and allow me to be my true, authentic self means a lot.’
The footballer, who made 200 club appearances during her playing career, earned 140 caps for her country and represented Great Britain at London 2012, also addressed criticism of her landing the role as not only a woman, but a woman of colour.
Explaining that she completed a degree in sports journalism and broadcasting and did work experience placements with Sky Sports, Arsenal TV and London Live, Alex assured doubters that she had the correct skills and that no-one can ‘question my place or merit’.
She said: ‘I was one of the first female pundits on the BBC and I clearly remember being determined to transcend from being labelled a “female pundit” to “pundit”. Besides the statements surrounding my gender or my race, after being part of the BBC family for six years, I want people to see me on TV and think “she’s great at what she does”.’
Alex added: ‘You make mistakes but that’s life, no-one is perfect. I know that when I sit in that Football Focus chair I won’t be the finished article – and actually no-one ever is – you can always improve your craft, whatever that may be. Will there be judgement? Absolutely.
‘But like any young footballer – when you give them a chance, you see their progression and development over time – you see them grow as a player, into a better, more confident athlete.’
Alex is Football Focus’s first permanent female host in its 47-year history.
She will take over on the show this August.
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