Born In: Edinburgh, Scotland
Gail Porter is a Scottish television personality, television presenter, former model and actress best recognised for featuring in shows like ‘Fully Booked’, ‘The Movie Chart Show’ and ‘Dead Famous’. She commenced her career on small-screen presenting shows aimed for children and family like ‘Children's BBC Scotland’, ‘Children in Need’, ‘Fully Booked’ and ‘The Movie Chart Show’. She then branched out into modelling in the late 1990s and turned heads posing nude for FHM. The photograph was projected on the Houses of Parliament as part of a guerrilla marketing campaign. She went on to feature in several other TV shows including ‘Celebrity Blind Man's Bluff’, ‘Lily Savage's Blankety Blank’, ‘The Games’, ‘Dead Famous’, ‘The Wright Stuff’ and ‘Celebrity Big Brother’. On the personal front, the otherwise upbeat and positive Gail, had to struggle with anorexia, insomnia and bi-polar disorder apart from post-natal depression which led to breakdown of her marriage and single motherhood. She developed alopecia totalis and lost her hair but resolved not to hide her bald head with a hat or wig so as to raise awareness of the condition. She became ambassador for the ‘Little Princess Trust’ and serves as a vice-president of ‘The Children's Trust’.
Also Known As: Gail Lindsey Porter
Spouse/Ex-: Dan Hipgrave
mother: Sandra Porter
children: Honey Hipgrave
Born Country: Scotland
Notable Alumni: West Herts College
Diseases & Disabilities: Alopecia Totalis, Insomnia, Bipolar Disorder
City: Edinburgh, Scotland
education: West Herts College
Gail Porter was born at Simpson's Memorial Hospital in Edinburgh, Scotland on March 23, 1971. She studied at the Portobello High School in Edinburgh and reportedly excelled in her exams except for failing in the Accountancy Higher exam as she bunked it to go to the beach.
She attended West Herts College and studied for a BTEC HND in media production.
Gail remained unsuccessful in her effort to become part of presentation team of the popular British children's television programme ‘Blue Peter’. However eventually she presented several children’s and family-friendly television shows. Some of the initial ones were ‘Children's BBC Scotland’, ‘Children in Need’, ‘Up For It!’, and ‘MegaMag’.
Gail along with Chris Jarvis and Tim Vincent became part of new presentation team of the BBC Scotland produced magazine show for children ‘Fully Booked’ in its revamped 1998 series. Gail hosted the Channel 5 aired British film criticism TV series ‘The Movie Chart Show’ with Mark Forrest from January 24, 1999 before presenting was taken over by Steve McKenna. Between 1999 and 2001, she featured as one of the presenters in 17 episodes of the British music chart television programme ‘Top of the Pops’ (TOTP). She also worked for CITV and appeared in shows like ‘Live & Kicking’, Gail Porter's Big 90s for VH1 and ‘The Big Breakfast’.
During the late 1990s, she started posing for different magazines including the British multinational men's lifestyle magazine FHM. She garnered attention posing nude for FHM and in 1999 the photograph was projected as part of a guerrilla marketing campaign on the Houses of Parliament. A message to vote for Gail in the FHM Sexiest Women Poll accompanied it. Later Gail mentioned in her autobiography that she was unaware of the stunt and came to know about it after it was reported on the following day. Years later she opened up on the incident during a 2020 BBC interview and said that she was so worried and upset about it that she couldn’t get out of bed for a long time.
She featured on ‘Celebrity Blind Man's Bluff’ and ‘Lily Savage's Blankety Blank’ in 2001 and on Channel 4's ‘The Games’ in 2003. She presented the British paranormal reality television show ‘Dead Famous: Ghostly Encounters’ along with American medium, paranormal researcher, TV personality, and public speaker Christopher Fleming. The three series of the show ran on LivingTV from June 15, 2004, to June 13, 2006.
She appeared as a regular panellist of the Matthew Wright hosted and Channel 5 aired British television chat show ‘The Wright Stuff’ from 2008 to 2011 and then again in a few episodes in 2018. Meanwhile she temporarily replaced Suzi Perry to present episodes of ‘The Gadget Show’ in 2009 and also tried her hands on stand-up comedy featuring at the Comedy Store on November 23 that year in the ‘Laughing Point’ event to aid the UK based charity ‘Centrepoint’ that provides accommodation and support to homeless people aged between 16 and 25.
On January 24, 2010, she appeared as team guest captain in sixth episode of the Watch aired family entertainment show ‘What Do Kids Know?’ that was presented by Rufus Hound and starred Joe Swash and Sara Cox as resident team captains. In August that year, she started the Two Way Street campaign, a bike rider safety campaign, for solicitors Russell Jones & Walker to develop the relationship between cyclists and drivers of large goods vehicles. In October same year, she hosted the documentary ‘Gail Porter on Prostitution’ on Current TV. It dealt with prostitution laws.
She announced in 2014 that she would serve as Celebrity Guest Editor of the London-based magazine called ‘Fashion Plus’. In September that year, she appeared at London Fashion Week and penned down her experiences in the magazine.
She took part in the British reality television series ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ in its sixteenth series referred as ‘Celebrity Big Brother 16’ and ‘Celebrity Big Brother: UK vs USA’ that was launched on August 27, 2015, and hosted by Emma Willis and narrated by Marcus Bentley. Gail spent 20 days in the house before she was evicted as the fourth housemate on September 15, 2015.
Gail was inducted as brand ambassador of Creditfix, a personal insolvency practices company in the UK, in 2017. She met people and candidly spoke on the way she strived with debt in different corporate videos. The following year, she performed ‘Rock With Rudolph’, an original Christmas song, along with twenty-six other celebrities at Metropolis Studios. It was recorded to support Great Ormond Street Hospital. It was released digitally via Saga Entertainment as also had its first TV feature on Good Morning Britain on November 30, 2018, while its music video debuted exclusively with The Sun on the previous day. The song reached second spot on iTunes pop chart.
Gail serves as a vice-president of the leading charity for children with brain injury in the UK called ‘The Children's Trust’.
Gail dated English singer, dancer and motorcycle racer Keith Flint, founding member of the English electronic dance music band ‘The Prodigy’, for some time. The two called it quits in 2001.
In August 2001, Gail married English musician and writer Dan Hipgrave, best known as guitarist of the English rock band ‘Toploader’. Their daughter Honey was born on September 3, 2002. In February 2005, Gail mentioned that she and Dan separated eight months earlier.
In 2005, Gail developed the skin condition alopecia totalis that causes loss of all skull and facial hair. After losing her hair, Gail resolved to raise awareness of the condition and refrained from wearing a hat or wig. She became ambassador of the UK charity called ‘The Little Princess Trust’ that provides free of cost real hair wigs to children and young people till the age of 24 who lost their hair after cancer treatment or due to other illnesses. Gail appeared on the British television chat show Richard & Judy on February 15, 2006, and showed that her hair, eyelashes and eyebrows were starting to grow back. The May 31, 2006, aired BBC ONE Life series documentary ‘Gail Porter Laid Bare’ dealt with her alopecia totalis. Her hair grew on three-quarters of her scalp by May 2010, however started falling out again by the end of that year.
In September 2007, she published her autobiography titled ‘Laid Bare: My Story of Love, Fame and Survival’.
A black belt in karate, the diva has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and said that she has insomnia. She mentioned to Phil Williams of BBC Radio 5 Live on September 8, 2011, that she was detained against her will under the Mental Health Act of 2007 for 17 days of treatment.
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