Janet Street-Porter

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Janet Street-Porter

Janet Street-Porter at station.jpg
Street-Porter in 2005
Born
Janet Vera Bull

(1946-12-27) 27 December 1946 (age 75)[1]
Education
Occupation
  • Broadcaster
  • journalist
  • writer
  • producer
  • media personality
Years active1967–present
Spouse(s)
Tim Street-Porter
(m. 1967; div. 1975)

(m. 1975; div. 1977)

(m. 1979; div. 1981)

David Sorkin
(m. 1997; div. 1999)
Partner(s)Peter Spanton (1999–present)
WebsiteOfficial website

Janet Vera Street-Porter CBE (née Bull; born 27 December 1946) is an English broadcaster, journalist, writer, and media personality. She began her career as a fashion writer and columnist at the Daily Mail. She was appointed fashion editor of the Evening Standard in 1971 and began co-presenting a mid-morning radio show with Paul Callan on LBC in 1973.

Street-Porter began working in television at London Weekend Television in 1975, first as a presenter of a series of mainly youth-oriented programmes. She was the editor and producer of the Network 7 series on Channel 4 in 1987. She was a BBC Television executive from 1987 until 1994 and editor of The Independent on Sunday from 1999 until 2002, but relinquished the job to become editor-at-large. Since 2011, Street-Porter has been a regular panellist on the ITV talk show Loose Women. Her other television appearances include Question Time (1988–2015), Have I Got News for You (1996–2018), I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! (2004), Deadline (2007), Celebrity MasterChef (2013, 2020), and A Taste of Britain (2014–present).

Street-Porter was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2016 Birthday Honours for services to journalism and broadcasting.

Early life[edit]

Street-Porter was born in Brentford, Middlesex (now in the London Borough of Hounslow). She is the daughter of Stanley W. G. Bull, an electrical engineer who had served as a sergeant in the Royal Corps of Signals in World War II and Cherry Cuff Ardern (née Jones) who was Welsh[3] and worked as a school dinner lady and in the civil service as a clerical assistant in a tax office.[4] 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.[4]

Street-Porter grew up in Fulham, West London and Perivale, Greater London after the family moved there when she was 14 and the family would stay in her mother's home town of Llanfairfechan in North Wales for their holidays.[4] She attended Peterborough Primary and Junior Schools in Fulham and Lady Margaret Grammar School for Girls (now Lady Margaret School) in Parsons Green from 1958 to 1964 where she passed 8 O-levels and 3 A-levels in English, History and Art. She also took an A-level in pure mathematics but did not pass the exam. Whilst studying A-levels, she had an illegal abortion.[5] She then spent two years at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, where she met her first husband, photographer Tim Street-Porter.[4][6]

Career[edit]

Street-Porter began her career as a fashion writer and columnist on the Daily Mail, and was appointed as the newspaper's deputy fashion editor in 1969 by Shirley Conran.[7] She subsequently became fashion editor of the Evening Standard in 1971.[6] When the London Broadcasting Company (LBC) local radio station began to broadcast in 1973, Street-Porter co-presented a mid-morning show with Fleet Street columnist Paul Callan.[8] 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-matched pair involved constant one-upmanship.

In early 1975, Street-Porter was launch editor of Sell Out, an offshoot of the London listings magazine Time Out, with its publisher and her second husband, Tony Elliott. The magazine was not a success.[9]

Television[edit]

Street-Porter began to work in television at London Weekend Television (LWT) in 1975, first as a reporter on a series of mainly youth-oriented programmes, including The London Weekend Show (1975–79), then 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.[6]

Street-Porter was editor of the Network 7 series on Channel Four from 1987. In the same year, BBC2 controller Alan Yentob appointed her to become head of youth and entertainment features, making her responsible for the twice-weekly DEF II. She commissioned Rapido, Red Dwarf and Rough Guide.[10] She was responsible for the cancellation of the long-running music series The Old Grey Whistle Test.[11] Her Network 7 show was awarded a BAFTA for its graphics in 1988.

In 1992, Street-Porter provided the story for The Vampyr: A Soap Opera, the BBC's adaptation of Heinrich August Marschner's opera Der Vampyr, which featured a new libretto by Charles Hart. 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.[10] 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[10] of the ill-fated L!VE TV channel. She left after four months.[6] In 1996, Street-Porter established her own production company. Since 1996, Street-Porter has appeared several times on the BBC panel show Have I Got News for You, most recently in May 2020.[12] From 1998 until 2015 (except 2013), Street-Porter appeared annually on BBC's Question Time.

In 2000, Street-Porter was nominated for the "Mae West Award for the Most Outspoken Woman in the Industry" at Carlton Television's Women in Film and Television Awards.[6] In 2007, Street-Porter starred in an ITV2 reality show called Deadline, serving 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.[13]

In 2011, Street-Porter became a regular panellist on ITV's chat show Loose Women. In 2013, she appeared in Celebrity MasterChef reaching the final three, and returned again for a Christmas special in 2020, in which she was crowned the winner.[14] She also appeared in the television show QI. Since 1 September 2014, Street-Porter has co-hosted BBC One cookery programme A Taste of Britain with chef Brian Turner and ran for 20 episodes in one series.[15]

Street-Porter has appeared on many reality TV shows, including Call Me a Cabbie and So You Think You Can Teach; the latter saw her trying to work as a primary school teacher.[16] She conducted numerous interviews with business figures and others for Bloomberg TV.[16]

Newspaper work[edit]

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.[6] In 2001, Street-Porter became editor-at-large, as well as writing a weekly column and regular features.[17][18]

Editor-at-large column[edit]

Following the death of Ian Tomlinson, Street-Porter dedicated her editor-at-large column in The Independent on Sunday to painting a picture of Tomlinson as a "troubled man with quite a few problems":

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.[19]

Other activities[edit]

A rambler, Street-Porter was president of the Ramblers' Association for two years from 1994. She walked across Britain from Dungeness in Kent to Conwy in Wales for the television series Coast to Coast in 1998.[6] Street-Porter also walked from Edinburgh to London in a straight line in 1998, for a television series and her book, As the Crow Flies.[20] In 1994, for the documentary series The Longest Walk, Street-Porter visited long-distance walker Ffyona Campbell on the last section of her round-the-world walk.

In 1966, Street-Porter appeared as an extra in the nightclub scene in Blowup, dancing in a silver coat and striped trousers. In 2003, she wrote and presented a one-woman show at the Edinburgh Festival titled All the Rage.[21] She published the autobiographical Baggage in 2004, about her childhood in working class London. Its sequel is titled Fallout.[21] 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."

Personal life[edit]

The Clerkenwell house commissioned by Janet Street-Porter. It was designed for her by Piers Gough in 1987. She sold it in 2001.[22]

While studying architecture, she married fellow student and photographer Tim Street-Porter.[6] They were together until 1975 when she went on to marry Time Out editor Tony Elliot. Her third marriage was to film director Frank Cvitanovich, who was 19 years her senior, before her final brief wedding in her fifties to the 27-year-old David Sorkin. Before marrying Sorkin, she lived with DEF II presenter Normski for four years.[23]

She is now in a relationship with restaurateur Peter Spanton. She has no children.[24] She currently lives in Haddiscoe[25] in Norfolk, Kent and London. She previously had a home in Nidderdale, North Yorkshire.[26][27] An active member of the Nidderdale community, she contributed her time and energy to a number of local causes. She was the president of the Burley Bridge Association, leading a campaign for a crossing over the River Wharfe linking North and West Yorkshire.[28]

Health[edit]

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Street-Porter regularly appeared as a guest on This Morning to review the political decisions taken by the government alongside Matthew Wright, via video call from her home in Kent.

Street-Porter was diagnosed with skin cancer in January 2020. On 23 June 2020, she announced her news on Loose Women from home via video call due to COVID-19 restrictions.[citation needed]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1966 Blowup Dancing Girl Uncredited
1967 I Am What I Am Salon Receptionist Uncredited

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1976–1979 The London Weekend Show Presenter
1978–1989 Saturday Night People
1982 6 O'Clock Show Guest presenter 2 episodes
1984 Willesee Herself 1 episode; Doctor Who segment
1987 Open Space Presenter
1988 Wogan Herself 1 episode
1989 Building Sights Presenter
1996–2018 Have I Got News for You Guest panellist 15 episodes
1997 The Lily Savage Show Herself 3 episodes
1998–2015 Question Time 19 episodes
2000 Cathedral Calls Presenter
2001 Points of View Guest presenter 2 episodes
2003–2013 This Week 5 episodes
2004 I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! Herself Participant on Series 4
2004–2011 The Wright Stuff Guest panellist 7 episodes
2005 What the Papers Say Presenter
So You Think You Can Teach Herself
8 Out of 10 Cats 1 episode
2005–2010 The F Word
2006–2007 Call Me a Cabbie 8 episodes
2006 Never Mind the Full Stops 3 episodes
2007 Deadline
2008 Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack Celebrity Hijacker on day 8
2008, 2012 The One Show Guest presenter 2 episodes
2009 The Money Programme Presenter
Would I Lie to You? Herself 1 episode
2009–2011 The Alan Titchmarsh Show
2010 Celebrity Juice 3 episodes
2011–present Loose Women Panellist Guest Presenter (2021)
2012–2021 Countdown Dictionary Corner Guest 59 episodes
2013 Celebrity MasterChef Herself Contestant on series 8
2013, 2017 Pointless Celebrities 2 episodes
2014 QI Guest panellist
A Taste of Britain Presenter
2015 Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled Guest panellist 2 episodes
2018 Harry Hill's Alien Fun Capsule
2019 The Comedy Years Presenter
2019 Neighbours Herself Cameo Appearance

Producer[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Scandal! (1981)
  • The British Teapot (1983)
  • Coast to Coast with Janet Street-Porter (1998)
  • As the Crow Flies: A Walk from Edinburgh to London - in a Straight Line (1998)
  • Baggage: My Childhood (2004)
  • The Walk of Life (2005)
  • Fall Out (2007)
  • Life's Too F***ing Short (2008)
  • Don't Let the B*****ds Get You Down (2009)

Honours and awards[edit]

Street-Porter was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2016 Birthday Honours for services to journalism and broadcasting.[29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Branigan, Tania (19 November 2004). "The Guardian profile: Janet Street-Porter". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  2. ^ "Janet Street-Porter". Desert Island Discs. 23 November 2008. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  3. ^ Loose Women, 22 March 2012
  4. ^ a b c d Janet Street-Porter (2004). Baggage – My Childhood. Headline. ISBN 0755312651.
  5. ^ Generation '66, BBC Four, 31 July 2016
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h "BFI Screenonline: Street-Porter, Janet (1946–) Biography". Screenonline.org.uk. 19 March 1996. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  7. ^ Street-Porter, Janet (14 December 2017). "Janet Street-Porter remembers Fleet Street in the 1960s". Evening Standard. Retrieved 22 August 2021.
  8. ^ "media.info - worldwide media contacts and information". media.info. Archived from the original on 16 October 2006.
  9. ^ "Magazine launches & events 1975–89". Magforum.com. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
  10. ^ a b c Stuart Jeffries (6 April 2007). "Interview: Janet Street-Porter talks to Stuart Jeffries | Media | The Guardian". The Guardian. Media.guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  11. ^ Kershaw, Andy (2012). No Off Switch. Virgin. p. 213. ISBN 978-0415892131.
  12. ^ "BBC One – Have I Got News for You, Series 51, Episode 5". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  13. ^ [1] Archived 21 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ West, Amy (21 December 2020). "Celebrity MasterChef Christmas crowns its first festive special winner". Digital Spy. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
  15. ^ "BBC One – A Taste of Britain". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  16. ^ a b "Janet Street-Porter - jsp_tv.html". janetstreetporter.com. Archived from the original on 12 February 2007.
  17. ^ Day, Emma (21 December 2009). "The Independent: A rollercoaster 23 years". Press Gazette. Retrieved 22 August 2021.
  18. ^ "Street-Porter steps down as editor". BBC News. 11 April 2001. Retrieved 22 August 2021.
  19. ^ "Editor-at-Large: Tomlinson was no saint, but he deserved better – Janet Street-Porter – Columnists". The Independent. 12 April 2009. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  20. ^ As the Crow Flies, Metro Books, London (1998) ISBN 978-1-900512-71-8
  21. ^ a b [2][dead link]
  22. ^ Robinson, Jamie. "Janet Street-Porter's 'extroverted' Postmodern home is listed". The Spaces. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
  23. ^ "Janet Street-Porter tells Lynn Barber that she has no intention of mellowing with age". The Guardian. 23 September 2006.
  24. ^ "Not everyone wants kids, and some are too scared to talk about it". The Independent. 25 April 2014.
  25. ^ Baldwin, Louisa. "'It's exactly like The Archers' – Janet Street-Porter reveals she has moved to Norfolk". Eastern Daily Press. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  26. ^ "The Dales: A lifelong romance – UK – Travel". The Independent. 6 November 2005. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  27. ^ Lynn Barber. "Janet Street-Porter tells Lynn Barber that she has no intention of mellowing with age | Media". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  28. ^ "BBA: Burley Bridge News". Burleybridge.com. Archived from the original on 5 September 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  29. ^ "No. 61608". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 June 2016. p. B9.

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by Editor of The Independent on Sunday
1999–2002
Succeeded by