|Born||Alexander Matthew Wright
8 July 1965
Addington Village, Surrey, England
|Occupation||Television presenter, radio presenter, journalist|
|Spouse(s)||Amelia Wright (m. 2010)|
Alexander Matthew Wright, known as Matthew Wright (born 8 July 1965) is a British television presenter and journalist, best known for formerly writing for The Sun and for being a showbusiness gossip columnist for The Daily Mirror.
Since 2000, Wright has been the host of the topical discussion series The Wright Stuff, which airs on weekday mornings on Channel 5. He is renowned for his outspoken opinions and he has been described by the Daily Express as "never far from controversy".
Early life and education
Wright started his career at the age of 14, appearing in the Children's Film Foundation production Big Wheels And Sailor (1979). He was educated at the voluntary-aided Roman Catholic boys' John Fisher School in Purley, South London and was in the same class as the artist and sculptor Diarmuid Bryon O'Connor and DJ Gilles Peterson. Following school, Wright attended the University of Exeter, graduating in English and drama.
Wright became a showbusiness correspondent with The Sun and later wrote a column for the Daily Mirror in the 1990s, with future 3AM girl Polly Graham as his assistant. During his time at the Daily Mirror, Wright covered numerous celebrity stories, including the wedding of Phil Collins and Orianne Cevey in 1999, which he claimed was the longest wedding he had ever been to.
He left the Daily Mirror in 2000 to pursue a television career and launch the website mykindaplace.com. He was chosen to front Channel 5's daily topical discussion series The Wright Stuff, which started broadcasting in September 2000. Wright originally co-presented the series with panellists James O'Brien and Kate Silverton. After a couple of years, O'Brien and Silverton were replaced by a new panel every week and the series began attracting celebrities to guest on the panel every day.
In 2002, Wright was a contributor to Phil Collins: A Life Less Ordinary, a BBC television documentary which profiled the life and career of the Genesis band member and solo musician. The documentary, narrated by Mariella Frostrup, was released on DVD on 9 June 2003.
I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!
It was confirmed on 11 November 2013, that Wright was to appear in the thirteenth series, which he has been taking part in since 17 November 2013. During this time on the show, The Wright Stuff was guest presented by Richard Madeley for almost a month. He was the fourth participant to be voted out of the series in a double eviction with campmate Vincent Simone on 3 December.
Wright often implies a sense of rivalry with fellow television presenter Jeremy Kyle and his eponymously named The Jeremy Kyle Show, which is broadcast on ITV at the same time as The Wright Stuff is broadcast on Channel Five. He has spoken negatively of the viewers of Kyle's series, believing that they lack intelligence. Wright has said: "I'd say our show is about the normal world while he plumbs the depths of inbred, alkie, junkie wasters with rampant sex lives." In 2013, Wright further criticised Kyle, claiming: "It's revolting. I have no respect for it. His old radio phone-in [on Capital FM] was inspiring and wonderful. Now his TV show is about humiliating failures for entertainment. It's vile. I have no time to watch it. I have better things to do. He is a nice enough bloke but he has sold his soul."
Wright has been associated with a number of mainly left-wing political causes. He is a long-time supporter of nuclear disarmament in the United Kingdom and was involved in anti-nuclear marches in the early 1980s. In December 2010, while presenting his show, Wright criticised Tony Blair's property ownership, stating that he "ended up with five houses as a result of the boom years of Labour. And when he was interviewed by Andrew Marr about the five houses, Tony offered the righteous, socialist excuse that he has to look after his children, of which I believe there are four. Four children, five houses. So it's a little bit beyond a house per child."
In March 2011, Wright described Blair as a "good friend" of Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi, presenting a photograph of Blair shaking Gaddafi's hand, and criticised Blair for selling guns and crowd control weapons to Gaddafi for him to use against his own people.
Wright advocates higher taxes on the wealthy. In a June 2012 edition of his show, he said: "The most important thing we have to remember is that the very rich pay less tax. That's the objective of the Government. The very rich were paying 50% tax, now it's gone down to 45%. But we've got to remember the priority in this country is to ensure the rich get richer."
Wright has criticised senior UK politicians, such as Prime Minister David Cameron, for refusing to appear on The Wright Stuff, claiming this was a result of "backward-thinking politicians" who "only do business with ITV and the BBC."
Wright, who has no children, has criticised people who have more than two children, calling them irresponsible.
In June 2013, Wright criticised singer Beyoncé Knowles for performing in skimpy clothes at Chime For Change's "The Sound of Change Live" concert at London's Twickenham Stadium. Wright, claiming that Beyoncé was dressing like a "slut", asked: "Why does empowering women always involve acting as a sex object for men? How does she demonstrate empowering women? She looks to me like a victim of a male-driven record business."
In 1998, in his review published in the Daily Mirror, Wright referred to the play The Dead Monkey featuring David Soul as "without doubt the worst West End show I have ever seen", despite not having seen it. Wright also made several other inaccurate claims about the play in his article. In 2001, Soul won £20,000 in a libel case against Wright and the Daily Mirror, stating that Wright was "using the play as an excuse to attack me personally".
In 2002, Wright named John Leslie live on air as the television presenter being linked to the alleged rape of Ulrika Jonsson. Wright subsequently claimed he couldn't remember blurting out Leslie's name during the show. In a Sky 1 show, John Leslie: My Year of Hell, Wright offered John Leslie an apology. Leslie confirmed he wouldn't sue Wright, claiming: "I think he just made a really big mistake and unfortunately I was the one paying the price."
In October 2011, Wright caused a controversy when he asked male viewers of The Wright Stuff if they would have sex with Amanda Knox, who had just been acquitted of the murder of Meredith Kercher. Wright introduced a debate on Knox's future with an on-screen caption headed "Foxy Knoxy: Would Ya?" and told viewers: "She's entirely innocent. She's also undeniably fit and loves wild sex. Or did. So if you were a guy who'd met her in a bar and she invited you back to hers, would you go?" Wright apologised for the segment the following day, stating: "While I'm not going to apologise for discussing Amanda Knox's future after all the terrible things the media has said about her these past four years, I do want to say sorry for the way I framed the debate. The on-screen title was wrong, no doubt about it. I only wish all those mouthing off about it on Twitter had seen the whole 20-minute debate and not just reacted to the 10-second introduction. But nevertheless, I am sorry."
In December 2011, Wright made a joke during a discussion on his show of the murder of Scottish teenager Liam Aitchison, resulting in more than 2,000 viewer complaints and an investigation by regulator Ofcom. This edition of The Wright Stuff resulted in more complaints being made to Ofcom than any other programme in 2011. Wright personally wrote to Aitchison's family by way of apology.
Wright's first marriage ended in a bitter legal battle that he claims "made me wary of relationships". In 2003, he started a relationship with Closer columnist Caroline Monk. He met his second wife, Amelia Gatte, at a garden party held by their mutual friend Miriam Stoppard. They married in 2010. In 2013, they revealed they were trying to conceive a baby with the help of in vitro fertilization but three of their IVF pregnancies so far had ended in a miscarriage. Gatte is unable to fall pregnant naturally following an ectopic pregnancy.
Although he insists he has only had sexual relationships with women, Wright has admitted that he is "a slightly camp man" and has been accused of being gay on his programme. Wright has said: "I can't be any other way, so if people want to imagine that they're my gay lovers, more power to them." Wright has acknowledged that "everyone thinks I'm gay". Wright admitted an attraction to Rylan Clark when he guested on The Wright Stuff.
Wright is a fan of live music and regularly attends concerts. In 2003 he performed on stage with his favourite band, Hawkwind, at the London Astoria, after interviewing the band's frontman Dave Brock on radio. He is now a friend of the band. He also released a single with them, "Spirit of the Age", in 2006, and is credited on their album Take Me To Your Leader, released the same year.
Wright is also a fan of Here & Now and Cardiacs, bands he saw perform at the Stonehenge Free Festival in 1984, an event he claims "changed my life". He claims that Here & Now's 1983 record Fantasy Shift is the album that changed his life. He also has an extensive collection of progressive rock albums on vinyl and has been interviewed by Classic Rock Presents Prog magazine. Wright has seen the Genesis tribute band The Musical Box live in concert performing the 1974 concept album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, which he described as "superb". As a teenager, Wright was a fan of Phil Collins and has said that he used to have a poster of Collins on his bedroom wall, something he has said he is now "ashamed to say".
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- 'I'm a Celebrity': Steve Davis, Kian Egan arrive in Australia – I'm A Celebrity News – Reality TV. Digital Spy (11 November 2013). Retrieved on 29 November 2013.
- "Matthew Wright: "I'd love to do Strictly Come Dancing"".
- "Jeremy Kyle branded 'vile' by TV sofa rival Matthew Wright". The Drum. 23 May 2013.
- The Wright Stuff, 1 December 2010
- The Wright Stuff, 21 March 2011
- The Wright Stuff, 4 June 2012
- The Wright Stuff, 17 May 2013
- The Wright Stuff, 3 June 2013
- "Soul "vindicated" by Libel Win". BBC. 12 December 2001. Retrieved 12 December 2001.
- "Leslie hits out at Ulrika silence". The Scotsman. 27 September 2003. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
- Sweney, Mark (5 October 2011). "Matthew Wright Apologises over Amanda Knox Gaffe". The Guardian (London).
- Williams, Martin (14 December 2011). "Ofcom to Investigate Wright Stuff Comment about Teenager's Murder". The Guardian (London).
- "Wright Stuff gets most Ofcom Complaints of 2011". BBC News. 16 December 2011.
- "Liam Aitchison's family accept Matthew Wright apology". BBC News. 19 December 2011.
- Catherine Butler (14 September 2010). "10 Things You Didn't Know About Matthew Wright". Woman and Home. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
- "Gang 'happy slaps' cancer woman". BBC News. 21 May 2005.
- "IVF For Matthew Wright & Wife". Female First. 18 November 2013.
- Byrne, Ciar (24 July 2006). "Matthew Wright: 'I don't feel I have a job. I'd turn up for nothing'". The Independent (London).
- The Wright Stuff 6 June 2013
- Hawkwind Museum gallery. Hawkwindmuseum.co.uk. Retrieved on 29 November 2013.
- "Five minutes with... Matthew Wright". FiveMinutesWith.com. 24 May 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
- Hall, John (11 August 2010). "My Life in Ten Questions ... Matthew Wright". The Independent (London).
- The Wright Stuff 13 June 2012