Gail Porter

Gail Porter

Porter in 2009
Born (1971-03-23) 23 March 1971
Edinburgh, Scotland
Nationality Scottish
Occupation Television presenter, television personality, former model, actress
Television Fully Booked
The Big Breakfast
The Movie Chart Show
The Gadget Show
Celebrity Big Brother
Dead Famous
Spouse(s) Dan Hipgrave
(m. 2001; separated 2004)[1]
Children 1

Gail Porter (born 23 March 1971, in Edinburgh) is a Scottish television presenter, television personality, former model and actress. In the 1990s she became known for photos in men's magazines such as FHM, including one nude which was projected on to the Houses of Parliament. She moved into television, becoming a presenter on British TV. Her modelling was affected by alopecia, which can sometimes result in an almost total loss of hair.

Life and career

Porter attended Portobello High School in Edinburgh. She studied for a BTEC HND in media production at West Herts College.[2] After making an unsuccessful bid to join the presentation team of the BBC children's show Blue Peter,[3] she has presented family-friendly television programmes, or ones aimed at children. They include The Movie Chart Show, Top of the Pops, and Live & Kicking, work for CITV, and programmes such as The Big Breakfast and Gail Porter's Big 90s for VH1.

In the late 1990s she began to pose for magazines such as FHM. A picture of her naked from behind was projected on the Houses of Parliament in 1999. FHM and the guerrilla marketing company, Cunning Communications, and projectionist-artist Malcolm Litson and Jason Bridges, accompanied it with a message to vote for her in the FHM Sexiest Women Poll.[4]

In her autobiography, Porter says she did not know about the stunt until it was reported the following day.[5][6]

In 2001, Porter took part in the reality television show Celebrity Blind Man's Bluff.[7] and on Lily Savage's Blankety Blank.[8] In 2003, she was on Channel 4's The Games, although injury truncated her participation.

In 2004 to 2006 she presented three series of Dead Famous and in 2009 presented episodes of The Gadget Show, temporarily replacing Suzi Perry. In 2008 to 2011, Porter was a regular panelist on Channel 5's The Wright Stuff.

In early 2009, Porter's mother died of lung cancer, aged 60.[9]

In 2010, she was a guest team captain on What Do Kids Know? with Rufus Hound, Joe Swash and Sara Cox on Watch. In August 2010, she began the Two Way Street campaign for solicitors Russell Jones & Walker, an initiative to develop the relationship between HGV drivers and cyclists, keeping them safer. In October 2010, Porter hosted a documentary on Current TV, Gail Porter on Prostitution[10] which investigated prostitution laws.

In 2014, Porter said she would be guest editor of Fashion Plus magazine.[11][12]

She appeared at London Fashion Week in September 2014[13] and wrote of her experiences for the magazine.[14]

On 27 August 2015 she entered the Celebrity Big Brother house representing the UK. On 15 September, she was the fourth housemate to be evicted after spending 20 days in the house.


In 2005 Porter developed alopecia totalis, losing her hair.[15] She decided not to wear a hat or wig in order to raise awareness of the condition. She became ambassador for the Little Princess Trust, a charity which provides wigs to children with hair loss.[16][17] On Richard & Judy on 15 February 2006 she showed her hair, eyebrows and eyelashes were beginning to grow back.[18] On 12 April 2006 she said "It is possible that I'm going to get my hair back."[19]

By May 2010 hair had grown on three-quarters of her scalp, and she was beginning to colour and style her hair.[20] By the end of the year, her hair had started falling out again.[21]

Porter's alopecia totalis was the subject of the BBC ONE Life series documentary Gail Porter Laid Bare on 31 May 2006. Her autobiography, Laid Bare: My Story Of Love, Fame And Survival, was published in September 2007.

Other activities

She is a vice-president of The Children's Trust, a UK charity for children with brain injury.

Porter tried stand-up comedy[22] and appeared at the Comedy Store on 23 November 2009 in the Laughing Point event to help the youth homelessness charity, Centrepoint.[23]

Personal life

Porter married Toploader guitarist Dan Hipgrave in August 2001[1] and gave birth to their daughter Honey on 3 September 2002. She said in February 2005 that they had separated eight months earlier.[1]

Before they met, Porter was in a relationship with Keith Flint, vocalist from The Prodigy.[24]

Porter has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder,[25] and says she has insomnia.

On 8 September 2011 Porter told BBC Radio 5 Live's Phil Williams that she had been detained under the Mental Health Act of 2007,[26] for 17 days of treatment against her will.[25] She stated the signature on the documents to have her sectioned was that of her boyfriend, after texting to him to say she felt suicidal. She said she had been "very frail, so who knows". She said she felt no benefit from the stay. She praised the staff but said the resources and facilities were under-funded.[25]


  1. 1 2 3 "Gail Porter in marriage split". 14 February 2005. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
  2. "Gail Porter interview on apprenticeships website". Retrieved 15 May 2010.
  3. "Fifty facts about Blue Peter at 50". BBC News. 15 October 2008. Retrieved 15 May 2010.
  4. "Guerrilla Marketing: Pushing the Limits". Retrieved 15 May 2010.
  5. Porter, Gail (2008) [2007]. "9. Exposure!". Laid Bare - My story of love, fame and survival. Ebury Press. pp. 141–42. ISBN 978-0-09-192041-8. The first I knew was when it was on the TV news
  6. Porter, Gail. Laid Bare. photo caption between paged 136-37. The first I learned of this was when it was the morning after, on the news
  7. "Celebrity Blind Man's Buff". London, UK: Retrieved 15 May 2010.
  8. Lily Savage's Blankety Blank. 22 April 2001. ITV.
  9. Hilary Freeman (6 February 2011). "Gail Porter shaved her head". Retrieved 5 July 2011.
  10. 'Gail Porter On Prostitution,; accessed 22 January 2016.
  11. "Gail Porter working with Fashion Plus Magazine for LFW". London, UK: Female First. Retrieved 6 September 2014.
  12. "Gail Porter Makes her Fashion Debut with Fashion Plus Magazine". London, UK: Fashion Plus Magazine. 2 September 2014. Retrieved 6 September 2014.
  13. "London Fashion Week Spring/Summer Day One - Exactly What You'd Expect". London, UK. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  14. "Selfie Madness: London Fashion Week from the Eyes of Gail Porter". London, UK. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  15. Brockes, Emma (7 November 2005). "Q: Aren't you too brainy to be a TV presenter? A: Too brainy? That's why all my hair fell out". The Guardian. London, UK. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
  16. Archived 12 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  17. "BBC News - New head of hair delights Briton Ferry girl Emily". Retrieved 16 October 2014.
  18. "Sky Showbiz - Gail's Fab Hair News". Retrieved 15 May 2010.
  19. Archived 26 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  20. McConnell, Donna (31 May 2010). "Gail Porter shows off a chic new look as her locks grow long enough to style". London, UK: Daily Mail.
  21. "ITN News". 31 December 2010. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
  22. "Gail Porter, comedian?". Retrieved 16 October 2014.
  23. "Gail Porter Interview. Part Two.". 16 December 2009. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
  24. "Gail Porter interviewed - anorexia, self-destruction, divorce and, finally, survival - Life and style - The Observer". the Guardian. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
  25. 1 2 3 "BBC News – Gail Porter 'still angry' about being sectioned". 8 September 2011. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  26. "Gail Porter back home after being sectioned for alleged suicide bid". Retrieved 2 January 2012.
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