1. ITV Report

Badminton star Gail Emms admits she can't find a job or pay the bills

Gail Emms in action for Team GB Credit: PA

Olympic silver medallist and one of Britain's most successful ever badminton stars, Gail Emms, admits she can't find a job or pay her bills.

The mother of two boys from Milton Keynes says she cries a lot and has to sell possessions on eBay in an effort to make ends meet.

Credit: PA

I feel like I am failing. That I, Gail Emms, Olympic Silver Medallist, am a failure.

– Gail Emms

Writing on the Mixed Zone website she says: "I have a big pile of them now. Letters from my bank to say I have missed yet another payment for either council tax, phone or utility bill.

"Some months are good and I get to do what I love best, inspiring kids in schools, motivational talks at ‘women in business’ events. But it gets harder each year to keep my profile and get bookings."

With Nathan Robertson at the Beijing Olympics Credit: PA

Gail Emms is best remembered for her silver medal in the mixed doubles at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. With partner Nathan Robertson, she won gold at the World Championships in 2006, the Commonwealth Games in the same year, and the European Championships in 2004.

She was awarded the MBE for services to badminton in 2009.

Receiving the MBE in 2009 Credit: PA

She has been a sports presenter on a variety of television and radio programmes but says she wishes she had started making plans for other work options earlier.

I have been job-hunting for the last few months as I cannot keep scrabbling behind the sofa to pay bills.

– Gail Emms
Presenting Question of Sport at the School Games Credit: PA

I want to provide for my family, to be a strong role model and feel like I belong somewhere and be part of a team again. Mentally, I am not sure I can cope with more rejections, more obstacles, more feeling like I am losing. I don’t know where to turn.

– Gail Emms

"But why would someone employ me? I have a c.v. that reads ‘played professional badminton for 10 years’.

So if you see me as a barista at Starbucks – and please don’t think I am joking here – I apologise now if I get your name wrong

– Gail Emms