Dawn O'Porter

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Dawn O'Porter
Born (1979-01-23) 23 January 1979 (age 42)
Alexandria, Scotland
OccupationTelevision presenter, journalist, writer
Years active2005–present
Extreme Wife
My Breasts Could Kill Me
Balls of Steel
This Old Thing
(m. 2012)

Dawn O'Porter (born Dawn Porter; born 23 January 1979) is a British writer, director and television presenter. She was born in Alexandria, Scotland, but raised in Guernsey.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

She studied acting at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts but in her third year decided that acting was not for her and did work experience on the television series Baddiel and Skinner Unplanned rather than participate in a school production.[3] Porter's father is Scottish and still lives in Scotland.[4]

Television career[edit]

Having established her credentials as a writer and journalist, Porter first came to widespread public attention when she attempted to slim down to a size zero by using drastic dieting regimes for the BBC documentary Super Slim Me. Porter also presented the product-testing section of How to Look Good Naked on Channel 4.[5]

In 2008, Porter presented a BBC Three series of four documentary films, Dawn... (14 February–6 March), exploring attitudes to nudity, lesbianism, dating and pregnancy (including childbirth).[6][7][8] Porter also appeared in Seriously Dirty Dancing, a tribute to her favourite film, Dirty Dancing, for Channel 5.[9]

Later that year, she made a four-part series called Extreme Wife for Channel 4. In the first programme, Dawn Porter: Free Lover (30 September 2008), Porter travelled to San Diego, California, to investigate polyamory, then she travelled to former East Germany to visit ZEGG in Belzig, a German free love commune. The programme highlighted the world of free love, such as ritual sensuous oil sessions with naked people covered in warm olive oil, and included discussions with the people who lived in the commune. It premiered with 1.75m viewers (10.7% share).[10]

In the second programme, Dawn Porter: Mail Order Bride (7 October 2008), Porter travelled to Odessa, Ukraine, with a group of American men in their search for a partner. The third programme, Dawn Porter: Geisha Girl (14 October 2008), saw Porter travel to Kyoto, Japan, and spend a week in a geisha house. In the fourth and final programme, Dawn Porter: Polygamist's Wife (21 October 2008), Porter investigated women who are prepared to share their husbands with other women. This included a stay in Centennial Park, Arizona.[11]

In February 2009, Porter narrated the BBC Three series Undercover Princes.[12]

In May 2009, it was announced that Porter would present a documentary, The Booby Trap, exploring breast cancer, for Sky1.[13] The show aired on 6–7 July 2009, under the title My Breasts Could Kill Me.[14] It premiered with 181,000 viewers (0.9% share).[15] Porter appeared topless in the documentary to undergo a breast examination and breast screening.[citation needed]

Porter has her own television production company Hot Patootie TV.[16][17]

On 11 November 2011, Porter made an appearance in Derren Brown – The Experiments entitled "The Secret of Luck"[18] and later filmed six episodic advertisements for Andrex Washlets. She appeared in E4 drama Skins and has appeared on the television show Balls of Steel.

In 2012, Porter organised an Oxfam "get together" alongside friend Gemma Cairney, and raised money for Oxfam by selling clothing previously owned by celebrities.[19]

In 2014 Porter hosted and co-produced a series for Channel 4 called This Old Thing exploring vintage clothing.[20][21] Porter hosts Soul Food on Munchies for Vice.[citation needed] Her production company Trilogy Films struck an overall deal with Industrial Media in April 2021.[22]

Writing career[edit]

O'Porter writes for many publications, on feminism and aspects of women's lifestyle.

In 2006, she published Diaries of an Internet Lover.[23] In May 2013, she released her first novel, Paper Aeroplanes, the fictional tale of an intense female friendship loosely inspired by her own childhood in Guernsey.[24]

Her publication, The Cows, was released in 2016 and has since been featured on the Sunday Times Best Sellers list.[25]

In October 2019, HarperCollins published her novel, So Lucky.[26]

Charity work[edit]

O'Porter was one of the founding members of the charity Help Refugees (now called Choose Love).[27]

Personal life[edit]

In August 2012, Porter married Chris O'Dowd[28] and changed her name to Dawn O'Porter.[29][30]

In January 2015, O'Porter gave birth to a son, Art, in Los Angeles, where they live.[31] In 2017, O'Porter gave birth to a second son, Valentine.[32]


  1. ^ Porter, Dawn. 25 THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT ME… Archived 15 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine. The Dawn Report, 2009, p. 1.
  2. ^ https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/local-news/alexandria-born-dawn-oporter-returns-10249410
  3. ^ "Dawn Porter interview | Emma Knock". Emmaknock.wordpress.com. 9 May 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  4. ^ 8 Out of 10 Cats, 17 February 2014
  5. ^ Dawn Porter: Extreme Wife Channel4.com
  6. ^ BBC Three's new programming, new look and huge move forward into multiplatform BBC Press Office,
  7. ^ "Record share and reach figures for BBC Three". BBC Press Office. 19 February 2008.
  8. ^ "Dawn..." BBC Three. BBC. Retrieved 3 September 2008.
  9. ^ "Seriously Dirty Dancing - Blink Films". Blinkfilmsuk.com. Archived from the original on 28 September 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  10. ^ "Jamie Oliver's Ministry welcomes 3m". Digital Spy. 1 October 2008.
  11. ^ Radio Times, 18–24 October 2008, p. 89
  12. ^ "Network TV BBC Week 2". BBC Press Office. January 2009.
  13. ^ Booby Trap heads to Sky1 Digital Spy, 14 May 2009
  14. ^ Dawn Porter: My breasts could kill me Sky1 HD
  15. ^ 5.9m tune in for new Torchwood Digital Spy, 7 July 2009
  16. ^ Companies House Listing; accessed 17 March 2017
  17. ^ "DAWN O'PORTER - LONDON". Checkcompany.co.uk. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  18. ^ "Derren Brown: The Experiments - Series 1 - Episode 4 - Derren Brown: The Secret of Luck". Channel 4. 11 November 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  19. ^ "Rumble in the jumble for International Women's Day – Now. Here. This. – Time Out London". Now-here-this.timeout.com. 25 February 2012. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
  20. ^ "Dawn O'Porter interview for This Old Thing: The Vintage Clothes Show". Channel 4. Channel Four Television Corporation. 12 June 2014. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  21. ^ Ramsey, Terry (25 June 2014). "This Old Thing: the Vintage Clothes Show, review: 'so predictable it felt second-hand'". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group Limited. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  22. ^ "'Good Trouble' Producer Inks Overall Deal at Industrial Media". The Hollywood Reporter. 28 April 2021. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  23. ^ Porter, Dawn (2006). Diaries of an internet lover. Virgin Books.
  24. ^ Williams, Andrew (2 May 2013). "Dawn Porter: I was sick of making TV documentaries all about me". Metro.co.uk. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  25. ^ "The Sunday Times Best Sellers". BookBeat. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  26. ^ O'Porter, Dawn (2019). So lucky. London: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-00-812607-0. OCLC 1112375537.
  27. ^ "Accidental activists: the British women on the front line of the refugee crisis". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  28. ^ Husband, Stuart (20 June 2011). "Chris O'Dowd Interview". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
  29. ^ Milton, Stephen (27 April 2013). "I was never going to be Mrs O'Dowd" (PDF). Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  30. ^ chris o'dowd [@BigBoyler] (26 August 2012). "Just married!!!!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  31. ^ "It's a boy: Chris O'Dowd and Dawn O'Porter announce birth of son Art and joke 'I think we'll keep him'".
  32. ^ "Chris O'Dowd and Dawn O'Porter welcome baby boy'". Rte.ie. Retrieved 3 December 2017.

External links[edit]