Gail Porter

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Gail Porter
Gail porter1.jpg
Porter in 2009
Born (1971-03-23) 23 March 1971 (age 43)
Edinburgh, Scotland
Nationality Scottish
Occupation TV presenter
Television Fully Booked
The Big Breakfast
The Movie Chart Show
Spouse(s) Dan Hipgrave
(m. 2001-separated 2004)[1]
Children Honey Hipgrave (born 2002)

Gail Porter (born 23 March 1971 in Edinburgh) is a Scottish television presenter and former model. In the 1990s she became well known for photos in men's magazines such as FHM, including one nude which was later projected onto the houses of parliament. She moved into television, becoming a presented on a number of British TV shows.

Porter's modelling career was affected by severe alopecia, which has fluctuated, but has sometimes resulted in the almost total loss of her hair.

Life and career[edit]

Porter attended Portobello High School. She studied a BTEC HND in Media Production at West Herts College.[2] After making an unsuccessful bid to join the presentation team of the BBC children's show Blue Peter,[3] Porter has tended to present family-friendly television programmes, or ones aimed directly at children. This includes The Movie Chart Show, Top of the Pops, and Live & Kicking, work for CITV, and other programmes such as The Big Breakfast and Gail Porter's Big 90s for VH1.

In the late 1990s she began to pose for photos in men's magazines such as FHM. Probably the best-known product of her many photo sessions is one particular still in which she is seen completely nude from behind. The image became well known due to the events of one night in 1999, when FHM, along with guerrilla marketing company Cunning Communications and projectionist/artist Malcolm Litson and Jason Bridges, beamed an enormous projection of her onto the exterior of the Houses of Parliament, with an accompanying message urging people to vote for Porter in the FHM Top 100 Sexiest Women Poll.[4] In her autobiography, Porter claims that she did not know about the stunt until it was reported in the news the following day.[5][6]

In 2001, Porter took part in the Reality TV show Celebrity Blind Man's Bluff[disambiguation needed] [7] and in 2003, she was a contestant on Channel 4's The Games, although injury truncated her participation.

In 2004-2006 she presented three series of Dead Famous and in 2009 presented several episodes of The Gadget Show, temporarily replacing Suzi Perry. In 2008-2011, Porter was a regular panellist on Channel 5's The Wright Stuff.

In early 2009, Porter's mother died of lung cancer, aged 60.[8]

In 2010 she was a celebrity guest team captain on What Do Kids Know? along with Rufus Hound, Joe Swash and Sara Cox on Watch. In August 2010, Gail launched the Two Way Street campaign on behalf of national solicitors Russell Jones & Walker: an initiative to develop the relationship between HGV drivers and cyclists on the road, keeping them safer. In October 2010, Porter hosted a documentary on Current TV titled Gail Porter on Prostitution[9] which investigated prostitution laws.

In 2014, it was announced Gail will be making her debut in the fashion industry as the Celebrity Guest Editor for new London-based publication Fashion Plus Magazine.[10][11] She subsequently made appearances at London Fashion Week in September 2014[12] and wrote of her experiences for the magazine.[13]


In 2005 Porter started suffering from alopecia totalis, causing her to lose all of her hair.[14] She refused to wear a hat or wig, deciding instead to maintain a public profile and raise awareness of the condition. She became ambassador for the Little Princess Trust, a charity which provides wigs to children with hairloss.[15][16] On an appearance on the Richard & Judy show on 15 February 2006 she showed that her hair, eyebrows and eyelashes were beginning to grow back.[17] On 12 April 2006 Porter said "It is possible that I'm going to get my hair back."[18] As of May 2010, hair had grown back on over 75% of her scalp, and she was beginning to colour and style her hair.[19] By the end of the year, her hair had started falling out again.[20]

Porter's experience with alopecia totalis was the subject of the BBC ONE Life series documentary Gail Porter Laid Bare on 31 May 2006.[21]

Her autobiography, Laid Bare: My Story Of Love, Fame And Survival, was published in September 2007.

Other activities[edit]

She is a vice-president of The Children's Trust, a UK charity for children with brain injury.

Porter tried stand-up comedy[22] and appeared at the Comedy Store on 23 November 2009, as part of the Laughing Point event in aid of the youth homelessness charity Centrepoint.[23]

Personal life[edit]

Porter married Toploader guitarist Dan Hipgrave in August 2001[1] and gave birth to their daughter Honey on 3 September 2002.[citation needed] She revealed in February 2005 they had separated eight months earlier.[1] Before they met, Porter was in a relationship with Keith Flint, the vocalist from The Prodigy.[24]

She's been dating guitarist Jonny Davies from late 2009.[25]

Porter has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder,[26] and says she suffers from insomnia.

On 8 September 2011 Porter gave a radio interview to BBC Radio 5 Live's Phil Williams (a first for Porter) in which she stated that she had been detained (under the Mental Health Act of 2007,[27]) for 17 days of treatment against her will.[26] Porter also stated that one of the signatures on the documents to have her sectioned was that of her (at the time) boyfriend, after sending a text to him stating that she was feeling suicidal, even though she says she had no intention of acting on it, she admits to "being very frail, so who knows". She claimed to have felt no benefit from the stay at all. Porter praised the staff at the facility, but stated that the resources and facilities are under-funded, and she was only seen briefly by three doctors in those 17 days.[26]


  1. ^ a b c "Gail Porter in marriage split". 14 February 2005. Retrieved 5 July 2011. 
  2. ^ "Gail Porter interview on apprenticeships website". Retrieved 2010-05-15. 
  3. ^ "Fifty facts about Blue Peter at 50". BBC News. 2008-10-15. Retrieved 2010-05-15. 
  4. ^ "Guerrilla Marketing: Pushing the Limits | BusinessWeek". Retrieved 2010-05-15. 
  5. ^ Porter, Gail (2008) [2007]. "9. Exposure!". Laid Bare - My story of love, fame and survival. Ebury Press. pp. 141–142. ISBN 978-0-09-192041-8. "The first I knew was when it was on the TV news" 
  6. ^ Porter, Gail. Laid Bare. photo caption between pp.136/7. "The first I learned of this was when it was the morning after, on the news" 
  7. ^ "Celebrity Blind Man's Buff - Mail Online". London: Retrieved 2010-05-15. 
  8. ^ Hilary Freeman (2011-02-06). "Gail Porter shaved her head". Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  9. ^ 'Gail Porter On Prostitution'
  10. ^ "Gail Porter working with Fashion Plus Magazine for LFW". London: Female First. Retrieved 2014-09-06. 
  11. ^ "Gail Porter Makes her Fashion Debut with Fashion Plus Magazine". London: Fashion Plus Magazine. 2014-09-02. Retrieved 2014-09-06. 
  12. ^ "London Fashion Week Spring/Summer Day One - Exactly What You'd Expect". London. Retrieved 2014-11-11. 
  13. ^ "Selfie Madness: London Fashion Week from the Eyes of Gail Porter". London. Retrieved 2014-11-11. 
  14. ^ Brockes, Emma (7 November 2005). "Q: Aren't you too brainy to be a TV presenter? A: Too brainy? That's why all my hair fell out". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  15. ^ [1][dead link]
  16. ^ "BBC News - New head of hair delights Briton Ferry girl Emily". Retrieved 16 October 2014. 
  17. ^ "Sky Showbiz - Gail's Fab Hair News". Retrieved 2010-05-15. 
  18. ^ [2][dead link]
  19. ^ McConnell, Donna (31 May 2010). "Gail Porter shows off a chic new look as her locks grow long enough to style". London: Daily Mail. 
  20. ^ "ITN News, 31 December 2010". 2011-04-20. Retrieved 2012-11-02. 
  21. ^ [3][dead link]
  22. ^ "Gail Porter, comedian?". Retrieved 16 October 2014. 
  23. ^ "Gail Porter Interview. Part Two.". 16 December 2009. Retrieved 16 October 2014. 
  24. ^ "Gail Porter interviewed - anorexia, self-destruction, divorce and, finally, survival - Life and style - The Observer". the Guardian. Retrieved 16 October 2014. 
  25. ^ "Gail Porter: My hair started growing back when I found new love". The Daily Record. 18 March 2010. Retrieved 5 July 2011. 
  26. ^ a b c "BBC News – Gail Porter 'still angry' about being sectioned". 8 September 2011. Retrieved 9 September 2011. 
  27. ^ "Gail Porter back home after being sectioned for alleged suicide bid". Retrieved 2 January 2012. 

External links[edit]