Janet Street-Porter in 2005
|Born||Janet Vera Ardern
27 December 1946
Brentford, Middlesex, England
|Notable credit(s)||Editor of The Independent on Sunday
Contestant on I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!
Loose Women panellist
Janet Vera Ardern, known as Janet Street Porter (born 27 December 1946) is a British media personality, journalist and broadcaster. She was editor for two years of The Independent on Sunday. She relinquished the job to become editor-at-large in 2002. Her distinctive London accent and her teeth have been the butt of many comic routines.
Street-Porter was a contestant on the fourth series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! in 2004. She came fourth place. In 2013, she competed in Celebrity MasterChef, claiming the runner-up position, losing out to Ade Edmondson.
Janet Street-Porter was born Janet Vera Ardern in Brentford, Middlesex, a daughter of Stanley W G Bull, an electrician and Cherry Cuff Ardern (née Jones) a Welsh school dinner lady. Her mother was still married to her first husband, George Ardern, at the time, and was not to marry Stanley until 1954, hence her name being recorded thus in the birth records. She was later to take her father's surname.
She grew up in Fulham and Perivale, West London. Her family, she says, were poor. She went to Lady Margaret School in Parsons Green from 1958 to 1964 and then spent two years at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, where she met her first husband, photographer Tim Street-Porter.
She dropped out of college and found media work. After a brief stint at a girls' magazine called Petticoat, she joined the Daily Mail in 1969, where she became the deputy fashion editor. She became fashion editor of the Evening Standard in 1971.
When the LBC local radio station began to broadcast in 1973, Street-Porter co-presented a mid-morning show with Fleet Street columnist, Paul Callan. The intention was sharply to contrast the urbane Callan and the urban Street-Porter. Their respective accents became known to the station's studio engineers as "cut-glass" and "cut-froat." Friction between the ill-sorted pair involved constant one-upmanship that made for compelling listening, causing, it was claimed, more than one traffic accident.
In early 1975, Street-Porter was launch editor of Sell Out, an off-shoot of the London listings magazine, Time Out, alongside its publisher and her second husband, Tony Elliott. The magazine was not a success.
Street-Porter went into television at LWT in 1975, first as a reporter on a series of mainly youth-oriented programmes, including The London Weekend Show (1975–79). She went on to present the late-night chat show Saturday Night People (1978–80) with Clive James and Russell Harty. She later produced Twentieth Century Box (1980–82), presented by Danny Baker.
She was editor of the innovative Channel Four Network 7 show from 1987. The same year the then BBC 2 boss, Alan Yentob, appointed her head of youth and entertainment features. She was responsible for the twice-weekly DEF II and commissioned Rapido, Red Dwarf and Rough Guide. Her Network 7 show was in 1988 awarded a BAFTA for its graphics.
Street-Porter's approach did not endear her to critics, who objected to her diction and questioned her suitability as an influence on Britain's youth. In her final year at the BBC, she became head of independent commissioning. She left the BBC for Mirror Group Newspapers in 1994 to become joint-managing director with Kelvin MacKenzie of the ill-fated L!VE TV channel. She left after four months. In 1996, Street-Porter set up her own production company.
Since 1998, Janet has appeared annually on BBC's Question Time. Her most recent appearance was 4 October 2012.
In 2006, she appeared regularly on chef Gordon Ramsay's The F-Word, where she was the "field correspondent." In this capacity, it was her job to locate outlandish or unusual food such as crocodile and then tempt diners to have a taste. In the third series of the show she caused controversy when she attempted to serve up horse meat at Cheltenham Racecourse. She was thwarted by the police, who described the stunt as highly provocative, and she had to dish the meat out elsewhere. Ramsay himself became the target of animal rights protesters, who dumped a ton of horse manure outside his restaurant at Claridge's.
In 2007, Street-Porter starred in an ITV2 reality show called Deadline. She served as a tough-talking editor who worked with a team of celebrity "reporters" whose job it was to produce a weekly gossip magazine. The celebrities in question had to endure the Street-Porter tongue as she decided each week which of them to fire.
Street-Porter became editor of the Independent on Sunday in 1999. Despite derision from her critics, she took the paper's circulation up to 270,460, an increase of 11.6 per cent. In 2002 she became editor-at-large, writing a regular column.
She has written for numerous newspapers and magazines.
"Knowing that he was an alcoholic is critical to understanding his sense of disorientation and his attitude towards the police, which might on first viewing of the video footage, seem a bit stroppy."
Street-Porter has also attracted criticism over an article on depression in the Daily Mail in May 2010, in which she said, "Depression? It's just the new trendy illness!" People have criticised the article for being condescending to those who suffer from depression and belittling the issue. In October 2012, Ed Miliband mentioned this article in a speech on mental illness, calling it "a shocking article".
Street-Porter was president of the Ramblers' Association for two years from 1994. She walked across Britain from Dungeness in Kent to Conway in Wales for the series Coast to Coast in 1998. She also walked from Edinburgh to London in a straight line in 1998, for a television series and her book, As the Crow Flies.
In 1994, for the documentary series The Longest Walk, she visited long-distance walker Ffyona Campbell on the last section of her round-the-world walk.
In 1987, Street-Porter commissioned a house from CZWG Architects. The building, its exterior a postmodernist mini-echo, conscious or not, of Broadcasting House, stands out among Clerkenwell's mainly Georgian houses.
In 1966, Street-Porter appeared as an extra in the nightclub scene in Blowup. In 2003, she wrote and presented a one-woman show at the Edinburgh Festival titled All the Rage. She published the autobiographical Baggage in 2004, about her childhood in working class London. Its sequel is titled Fallout. Life's Too F***ing Short is a volume which presents, as she puts it, her answer to "getting what you want out of life by the most direct route."
She lives between Nidderdale, North Yorkshire, Kent and London. An active member of the Nidderdale community, Street-Porter contributes her time and energy to a number of local causes. She is currently the president of the Burley Bridge Association, leading a campaign for a crossing over the River Wharfe linking North and West Yorkshire.
- "Janet Street-Porter". Desert Island Discs. 23 November 2008. BBC Radio 4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00fkbrf. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
- Janet Street-Porter – deadline.itv.com. Retrieved 23 April 2007.
- Pamela Stephenson (30 September 2001). "Pamela Stepenson describes playing Janet Street Porter, 30 September 2001". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- "QI: What has huge teeth and only one facial expression?". Youtube. 21 September 2008. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- Loose Women, 22 March 2012
- Janet Street-Porter – screenonline.org.uk. Retrieved 27 April 2007.
- Janet Street-Porter: Sorry, I'm a shame free zone – dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 6 May 2007.
- Media UK's LBC page – mediauk.com
- Tony Quinn email@example.com. "Magazine launches & events 1975–89". Magforum.com. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- "'I am not an amateur" The Guardian. Retrieved 23 April 2007.
- TV&Radio – janetstreetporter.com
- The night Janet Street-Porter ate horse meat – dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 16 May 2007.
- Deadline – deadline.itv.com
- "Tomlinson was no saint, but he deserved better", The Independent on Sunday 12 April 2009
- "Depression? It's just the new trendy illness!", The Daily Mail, 15 May 2010
- "The reality of depression by Alastair Campbell". Daily Mirror. UK. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- Brown, Andrew M (18 May 2010). "Janet Street Porter is talking rubbish. Depression is not 'the new trendy illness for women' – Telegraph Blogs". London: Blogs.telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- Wintour, Patrick (29 October 2012). "Ed Miliband: time to stop caricatures of mentally ill". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 October 2012.
- Daniel Bentley & Andrew Woodcock (29 October 2012). "Ed Miliband criticises mental illness 'belittlers' Jeremy Clarkson and Janet Street-Porter". The Independent. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
- 1:07–1:20 (29 October 2012). "Mental illness 'biggest UK health challenge' – Miliband". BBC News: Politics. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
- As the Crow Flies, Metro Books, London (1998) ISBN 978-1-900512-71-8
- So there I was dancing for Liz, the biggest by three dress sizes... – comment.independent.co.uk. Retrieved 6 May 2007.
- The Independent – The Dales: A lifelong romance, 6 November 2005
- Lynn Barber 22 "Damn it, Janet", The Observer, 24 September 2006
- The Burley Bridge Association. Published 2013-18-08.
- Janet Street-Porter at the Internet Movie Database
- Janet Street-Porter at the British Film Institute's Screenonline
- Official website
- Janet Street-Porter's personal Myspace profile
- Desert Island Discs episode, BBC Radio 4, November 2008
- Janet Street-Porter 2008 Interview
|Editor of The Independent on Sunday