Katie Hopkins

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Katie Hopkins
Born Katie Olivia Hopkins
(1975-02-13) 13 February 1975 (age 40)
Barnstaple, Devon, England
Alma mater University of Exeter
Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Occupation Television personality, journalist
Television The Apprentice
I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!
Celebrity Big Brother
Spouse(s) Damian McKinney (m. 2004–05)
Mark Cross (m. 2010)
Children 3

Katie Olivia Hopkins[1][better source needed] (born 13 February 1975) is a British journalist and television personality. She has attracted attention and criticism for her controversial remarks in the British media.

Hopkins first appeared on television as a contestant on the third UK series of the reality television programme The Apprentice in 2007. She frequently made personal and critical comments to camera, and turned down a place in the series' final.[2] She subsequently appeared in I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! on ITV and Celebrity Big Brother on Channel 5.[3] She has written a column for British newspaper The Sun and stood as a Member of European Parliament at the 2009 elections. She has made appearances on political television shows, including two appearances on the BBC's Question Time.

Targets of Hopkins' remarks have included the working class, obesity, the 2013 Glasgow helicopter crash and the Ebola virus. She has been regularly criticised in other media, and several of her comments have attracted police attention.[4]

Early life and education

Katie Hopkins was born on 13 February 1975, in Barnstaple, Devon.[5] Her father was an electrical engineer and she has an older sister. She attended a private convent school from age 3 to 16 and enjoyed sports and learning the piano and violin.[6]

After A-levels she studied economics at the University of Exeter, sponsored by the Intelligence Corps. Hopkins went on to complete her military training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. She participated in the Sovereign's Parade that marked the "passing-out" of the cadets, but could not take up her commission due to an epileptic seizure. After Sandhurst, Hopkins joined a business consultancy and moved to Manhattan, New York, before returning to the UK in 2005.[6] She joined the Met Office as a global brand consultant in September 2006.[7]


The Apprentice

Main article: The Apprentice

Hopkins was allowed to take unpaid leave from her job from Met Office in order to take part in series three of the reality TV show The Apprentice in 2006. The Met Office later said that this had been a probationary term of employment.[7]

In the format used at that time, contestants in The Apprentice competed for a £100,000-a-year job working for British businessman Alan Sugar.[8] The opening episode of the series, broadcast on 28 March 2007, had viewing figures of over four million.[9] She rejected Sugar's offer of a place in the final episode of the programme, citing problems regarding childcare provision for her daughters, and withdrew from the competition at the end of the penultimate task.[10][11] The episode gained 6.2 million viewers, while the following You're Fired! episode, in which Hopkins was interviewed, was watched by 3.1 million.[12]


Throughout her tenure on The Apprentice, Hopkins gave several critical comments on camera. Comments were aimed not just at her fellow contestants but also at viewers of television shopping channels, maternity leave,[13] the overweight[14] and people with the names Mavis and Derek.[15] In her interview on the series' spin-off programme, The Apprentice: You're Fired!, she said that although these comments might have been offensive to some, it was only in the name of comedy. She suggested that she "just needed to vent a bit."[15]

Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill writer Richard Curtis expressed his distaste for Hopkins, jokingly vowing to kill her when he accepted his Fellowship award at the 2007 BAFTA awards.[16] Her fellow contestants have questioned why she took part in the programme.[15]

The studio audience for her appearance on The Apprentice: You're Fired! gave her a mixed response.[15] When video clips of her comments about other candidates were shown, Hopkins explained that they were "quite funny". Michelle Mone, the founder of lingerie company Ultimo and a guest on the panel, verbally attacked Hopkins, calling her "exceptionally selfish" and made remarks such as "You've given businesswomen a bad name".[17]

Sugar was criticised over questioning of Hopkins about her childcare arrangements.[10] He was accused of violating the 1975 Sex Discrimination Act.[18] This incident was much commented upon by the media.[2][19][20][21] Sugar argued his case in an interview with GMTV host Fiona Phillips, stating that he was aware of the rules.[22]


In June 2007, Hopkins lost her job at the Met Office, which said that she did not meet the required standards to complete her probationary period, and confirmed that her performance on The Apprentice and confessions about her private life were a factor in her dismissal.[7][23] Hopkins later stated that the media were informed of her dismissal an hour after she was fired.[22] After her appearance on The Apprentice, Hopkins signed two deals to sell her story, one with the News of the World newspaper and the other with EMAP, the company behind Heat and Grazia magazines.[24]

Hopkins said in an interview with BBC Radio Kent that she had great respect for Sugar, and that she believed she would have won the programme had she been in the final episode. She also said that the media's attitudes towards her did not affect her but did affect her family.[25] She made a similar claim of hypothetical victory in an interview with Fiona Phillips on the morning of the final Apprentice episode, although Sugar had said that if she wanted to press on he would fire her, whoever she was competing with.[26] Hopkins told BBC Radio 1 that she had not yet ruled out a media career[27] but expressed interest in starting a business venture.[28]

Later work

After The Apprentice, Hopkins appeared in an episode of 8 Out of 10 Cats and was also a guest star on Loose Women and The Friday Night Project.[29] Hopkins wrote a column for the Express and Echo newspaper in Exeter, much to the criticism of its readers, but was eventually asked to leave after a poll was put onto the publication's website asking if she should continue in the post.[30] In 2007 she presented a Five Live Report on family life and working mothers for BBC Radio 5 Live, and contributed an article on the same subject to BBC Online.[31]

In 2007, Hopkins joined the 2007 series of I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here![32] as a replacement for Malcolm McLaren, who dropped out just before the show started.[citation needed] In January 2015, she took part in the Channel 5 reality series Celebrity Big Brother finishing as the runner-up on 6 February 2015.[33]


Year Title Role Notes
2007 The Apprentice Herself Contestant
2007 The Sunday Night Project Herself
2007 8 Out of 10 Cats Herself
2007 I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! Herself
2013 - This Morning Herself Frequent appearances
2015 Celebrity Big Brother Herself
2015 Loose Women Herself
2015 Reality Bites Herself Guest


Since The Apprentice, Hopkins has frequently featured in the media for making controversial remarks. She has been described in several media outlets as a "professional troll".[34][35][36]

Classism controversy

Hopkins caused controversy in July 2013 during an appearance on ITV's This Morning, when she revealed that she judges her children's classmates based upon their given names. She revealed a particular dislike for the names Tyler and Chardonnay, which met with disapproval from host Holly Willoughby and was widely described as classism on Twitter. Hopkins claimed that she did not like "geographical location names" despite the fact that she had given the name India to one of her daughters, stating that India "is not related to a location."[37]

At that time she was a columnist for British tabloid The Sun. Although other newspapers' comments about her include "faux-posh imbecile, an insufferable snob and a low-life superbitch", accusing her of generating outrage on demand, she described herself as a "conduit for truth", declaring what other people think but are too scared to say.[38]

Appearing as a panellist on Channel 5's The Big Benefits Row: Live in February 2014, she was accused by Terry Christian amongst others of only expressing her controversial opinions in order to make money from media appearances.[39]

2013 Glasgow helicopter crash remarks

Hopkins posted a tweet referring to Scottish life expectancy predictions based upon a 2011 NHS report, "Healthy Life Expectancy in Scotland: Update of trends to 2010". This tweet was posted following a heated debate on Scottish Independence during an edition of The Wright Stuff on which Hopkins was a panellist. In the wake of the 2013 Glasgow helicopter crash, the tweet raised widespread condemnation among Twitter users. Hopkins retorted "Following Independence I will only be the Biggest Bitch in England", and described people's reactions as "PC tastic." Hopkins issued an apology the following Monday reinstating that her original remark was in reference to the NHS report and was simply bad timing.[40]

My Fat Story

In 2013, Hopkins made a number of statements criticising people who were obese, including that she would not employ someone who was.[41] In an appearance on ITV's This Morning, she blamed fat parents for bringing up fat children and attacked fellow guest, journalist Sonia Poulton, for suggesting a more compassionate approach, calling Poulton "a zebra in a wig".[42] The following year, she purposefully put on half of her body weight and then lost it over the course of several months, in an attempt to show that obese people can lose weight. Her progress was carefully documented by a camera crew, and it was then played on TLC, being called "My Fat Story".[5]

Other controversies and feuds

In February 2014 on the The Late Late Show,Ireland's longest running chat show, she had a go at stay-at-home mums, saying to host Ryan Tubridy “'They drop off their kids in their pyjamas or their onesies. They slop off home in their Ugg boots. They meet for coffee, they compare breast sizes [because of breastfeeding]…and then they go back and they pick up the kids. I mean really. That’s it”[43]

In November 2014 a petition calling for Hopkins' arrest under Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 was started after she sent a series of tweets calling on the Israeli government to restart its bombing campaign against the Palestinians after two Israelis were killed in knife attacks, and describing Palestinians as "filthy rodents".[44]

On 31 December 2014, police announced they were investigating complaints they had received concerning Hopkins' tweets about Pauline Cafferkey, a Scottish aid worker who was diagnosed with Ebola virus disease after returning to the UK from Sierra Leone. Hopkins had tweeted: "Little sweaty jocks, sending us Ebola bombs in the form of sweaty Glaswegians just isn't cricket. Scottish NHS sucks."[4] In January 2015, she was voted the "dick of the year" by viewers of Channel 4 show The Last Leg.[45]

Political life

In 2009 Katie Hopkins stood as MEP for the South West England Constituency as an Independent candidate. She polled 8,971 votes or 0.6% percent of the total votes cast.[46]

Hopkins appeared on Question Time on 10 June 2010 and 27 January 2011. She also appeared on the Young Voters' version of Question Time on 20 October 2010.[47] She appeared on an episode of 10 O'Clock Live on 24 April 2013 alongside Theo Paphitis and Owen Jones to defend the legacy of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher, who had died that month, and to debate tax policies and the division of wealth amongst UK citizens.[48]

Personal life

Katie Hopkins' first husband was Damian McKinney, a former Royal Marine and founder and Chief Executive of the business execution company McKinney Rogers; they married in September 2004 in Exeter.[1][6] While working at the Met Office, she met Mark Cross, a married design manager. In 2010, her marriage to Cross was filmed as part of the reality game show Four Weddings, which is shown on the satellite and cable channel Sky Living.[49]


  1. ^ a b Index of Births, Marriages and Deaths in England and Wales, 1837-1983.
  2. ^ a b "All fired up". The Guardian (London). 8 June 2007. Retrieved 15 June 2007. 
  3. ^ "Sugar defends interview technique". BBC News. 13 June 2007. Retrieved 16 June 2007. 
  4. ^ a b "Katie Hopkins' tweets on 'Ebola bombs' examined by police". BBC News. 31 December 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Grigg, Casilda (8 January 2015). "Hopkins: what fat people need is a kick up the a--". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c "Katie Hopkins interview: 'Can you imagine the pent-up rage?'". Guardian. 16 February 2014. Retrieved 16 February 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c "Apprentice contender Katie fired". BBC News. 12 June 2007. Retrieved 16 January 2015. 
  8. ^ Roberts, Geneviève (21 March 2007). "The sweet smell of success: Sugar's 'Apprentice' line-up". The Independent (London). Retrieved 15 June 2007. 
  9. ^ "Weekly Viewing Summary-Terrestrial Top 30-BBC1-Week ending 01/04/2007". BARB. Retrieved 15 June 2007. 
  10. ^ a b Cochrane, Kira (2012). Women of the Revolution: Forty Years of Feminism. Guardian Books. p. 222. ISBN 978-0-852-65262-6. 
  11. ^ "Entertainment | Apprentice contender Katie fired". BBC News. 12 June 2007. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  12. ^ Holmwood, Leigh (7 June 2007). "The Apprentice beats Diana show". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 15 June 2007. 
  13. ^ Teeman, Tim (7 June 2007). "Last night's TV". The Times (London). Retrieved 15 June 2007. 
  14. ^ Dent, Grace (6 June 2007). "Call me crazy ... but doesn't Katie Hopkins deserve to be Sir Alan's Apprentice?". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 15 June 2007. 
  15. ^ a b c d "The Apprentice: You're Fired!". Season 3. Episode 11. 6 June 2007. BBC Two.
  16. ^ "Casualty stuns soap rivals to net first BAFTA". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 15 June 2007. 
  17. ^ Plunkett, John (6 June 2007). "The Apprentice - series three, episode 11". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 24 July 2007. 
  18. ^ Sherwin, Adam (8 June 2007). "Sugar faces sexism row as ex-Apprentice sells story". The Times (London). Retrieved 15 June 2007. 
  19. ^ "Katie gone at last, but was the firing squad fair?". The Herald. Retrieved 15 June 2007. 
  20. ^ "Sugar accused of sexism after apprentice quits". The Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 15 June 2007. 
  21. ^ "Sir Alan accused of sexism towards Apprentice villain Katie". This is London. Retrieved 15 June 2007. 
  22. ^ a b "Sir Alan Sugar Interview". GMTV. Season 14. 13 June 2007. ITV1.
  23. ^ "Katie Hopkins fired from real job". RTÉ. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 15 June 2007. 
  24. ^ Holmwood, Leigh (7 June 2007). "Apprentice star signs News of the World deal". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 15 June 2007. 
  25. ^ "Katie Hopkins BBC Radio Kent Interview". BBC Radio Kent. Retrieved 15 June 2007. 
  26. ^ "Katie Hopkins Interview". GMTV. Season 14. 13 June 2007. ITV1.
  27. ^ "Radio 1 Newsbeat – Katie Hopkins Interview". BBC Radio 1. Retrieved 15 June 2007. 
  28. ^ "What Katie did next...". BBC Berkshire. Retrieved 14 June 2007. 
  29. ^ "Show Four: Melanie C". Channel 4. Retrieved 7 August 2007. [dead link]
  30. ^ Fletcher, Alex (10 October 2007). "'Apprentice' Hopkins fired from paper". Digital Spy. Retrieved 18 January 2008. 
  31. ^ Hopkins, Katie (21 July 2007). "Gateway to the world feels just like a parish hall". Express and Echo. p. 1. Retrieved 30 July 2007. 
  32. ^ Davis, Hazel (21 March 2009). "You're all fired". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 January 2015. 
  33. ^ "Celebrity Big Brother gets 233 complaints about Ken Morley". BBC News. 12 January 2015. Retrieved 16 January 2015. 
  34. ^ "Friday 2nd January's Best TV". The Guardian. 19 December 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2015. 
  35. ^ "Katie Hopkins Gets Slayed On Twitter By X Factor Stereo Kicks Singer Tom Mann". The Huffington Post. 2 December 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2015. 
  36. ^ "Stereo Kicks Burn Katie Hopkins on Twitter". MTV. 2 December 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2015. 
  37. ^ Battersby, Matilda (5 July 2013). "Katie Hopkins branded an 'insufferable snob' after This Morning debate on children's names". The Independent. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  38. ^ Usborne, Simon (12 July 2013). "A day with Katie Hopkins: Separating the Apprentice 'superbitch' from her soundbites". Independent. Retrieved 16 February 2014. 
  39. ^ Katie Hopkins Comes To Blows With Annabel Giles On 'The Big Benefits Row', Huffington Post, 4 February 2014.
  40. ^ Katie Hopkins responds to Helicopter Twitter feed. Guardian, 2 December 2013.
  41. ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/07/08/katie-hopkins_n_3560245.html
  42. ^ Wyatt, Daisy (14 October 2013). "Katie Hopkins on This Morning: 'Behind every fat child is a fat mother'". The Independent. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  43. ^ "Who will she insult this time? Katie Hopkins is RETURNING to the Late Late!". evoke.ie. 11 February 2015. 
  44. ^ Moore, Jack (13 November 2014). "'Arrest Katie Hopkins' Website Set Up After Columnist's 'Racist' Tweets About Palestinians". International Business Times. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  45. ^ "Adam Hills sprays Katie Hopkins on The Last Leg, claiming she's worse than Rolf Harris". Sydney Morning Herald. 6 January 2015. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  46. ^ "European Election 2009 | UK Results | South West". BBC News. 8 June 2009. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  47. ^ "Press Office - Young Voters' Question Time panel announced". BBC. 20 October 2010. Retrieved 30 October 2010. 
  48. ^ "Series 3, Episode 1, 10 O'Clock Live". Channel 4. 24 April 2013. Retrieved 28 April 2013. 
  49. ^ Reality TV wedding for Apprentice 'maneater' Katie Hopkins. Evening Standard, 5 February 2010. Retrieved 15 August 2013

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