The BBC has announced that Alex Scott is the new presenter of Football Focus, becoming the show's first permanent female host in its 47-year history.

The former Arsenal and England player takes over from Dan Walker, who is leaving the BBC One show after 12 years. She will debut as host in August.

Scott - a regular pundit on the show - 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."

In a column for BBC Sport, Scott paid tribute to Walker and others for helping her to develop her broadcasting career.

"From day one, Dan Walker has guided me - and crucially he let me ask questions," she said.

"Dan knew I wanted to be a presenter so he helped hone my skills and allowed me to step out of my 'pundit' comfort zone on the show.

"In fact, everyone around me - from Gabby Logan to Mark Chapman - and so many people behind the scenes have helped me to get to this point.

"It will never be lost on me that these kind, amazing people within the industry have supported and encouraged me to be the best I can be."

Scott concluded: "The first show in August will be exciting and I'm looking forward to it. Of course, it's going to be different, but I hope you embrace it and stay with us. I promise you I will bring the best of myself to Football Focus and I hope you enjoy the ride.

"Today it is all starting to feel real, and I am ready."

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