Childhood & Early Life
Hopkins was born on February 13, 1975, in Barnstaple, Devon, UK, to a banker mother and an (electrical) engineer father. She was brought up in Bideford and is the younger of the two daughters. She studied at a private convent school, wherein she participated in sports and took lessons in piano and violin.
After graduating from the school, she studied economics at the ‘University Of Exeter’ and took part in the ‘Officer’s Training Camps’ on weekends. She attended the ‘Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst’ and completed military training. However, she couldn’t take up her commission post as at the passing out, it was discovered that she suffered from epilepsy.
She worked at a business consultancy in Manhattan, New York and later, returned to the UK in 2005. In September 2006, she began working as a global brand consultant at Met Office.
Continue Reading Below
Soon after joining the work, the Met Office granted her an unpaid leave to participate in the series 3 of the BBC reality show, ‘The Apprentice,’ where the contestants competed to obtain a job with businessman Alan Sugar. During the show, she became known for her criticism of fellow contestants, back-stabbing attacks and controversial comments about maternity leave, obese people among other topics. She quit the show before the finals, stating reasons of childcare issues.
After the show, she lost her Met Office job in June 2007; the reasons given were - failure to meet the standards to complete her probationary period and also, her performance on the show. Later she sold her story to two newspapers.
In 2007, she took part in the comedy panel game show, ‘8 Out of 10 Cats,’ and guest-starred in ‘Loose women,’ and ‘The Friday Night Project.’ The same year, she was one of the celebrities in ‘I’m a Celebrity – Get Me Out Of Here!’ Hopkins was one of the housemates in ‘Channel 5’ reality series ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ in January 2015, where she earned a second place. She was often argumentative and aggressive with other participants.
In 2015, she did 2 shows for the channel ‘TLC.’ For her show ‘My Fat Story’ she initially gained 3 stones/19 kg. and later lost that weight over 6 months. This entire process was recorded on camera, through which she wanted to prove that obesity can be controlled. Her other ‘TLC’ show was ‘If Katie Hopkins Ruled the World,’ which was discontinued after first series due to low ratings.
On a national radio station ‘LBC’ she hosted a Sunday morning talk show from April 2016. But on May 26, 2017, after her Twitter comment about the ‘Manchester Arena Bombing,’ wherein she stated that ‘we need a final solution,’ the radio station announced discontinuation of her services.
Work As A Columnist
Initially, till 2007, she wrote for an Exeter newspaper ‘Express & Echo.’ Hopkins joined ‘The Sun’ as a weekly columnist from October 2013. She was publicized as ‘Britain’s most controversial columnist.’ She worked with ‘The Sun’ till autumn 2015 and then joined ‘Mail Online,’ the online portal of ‘Daily mail.’ On October 5, 2017, she wrote her last column for ‘Mail Online.’ Her contract was not renewed after November 2017.
Hopkins is active on ‘Twitter’ and expresses most of her views through posts or tweets. She joined a Canadian far-right website, ‘The Rebel Media,’ as a columnist from January 2018 and writes the column ‘Hopkins World.’
She ran for the ‘2009 European Parliament Election’ as an Independent candidate for the South-West England constituency and received 0.6% of total votes.
Controversies & Legal Disputes
During her career, Hopkins was involved in a number of controversies and legal issues.
Continue Reading Below
In July 2013, Hopkins received criticism for her comment on the given names and her dislike for ‘lower-class names,’ on ITV’s show ‘This Morning.’ She added that she wasn’t in favor of ‘geographical location names.’ When pointed out that she has named her daughter ‘India,’ she claimed that the name wasn’t related to place - a claim that was refuted by viewer’s poll.
In December 2013, her tweet about ‘Scottish life expectancy,’ which she posted after participating in an ‘ITV’ debate on Scottish Independence, resulted in condemnation, as it had just followed the ‘Glasgow helicopter crash’ of 2013. There were petitions and signature drives to ban her from ‘ITV’ shows. Later she issued an apology.
Her comments about Scottish aid worker Pauline Cafferkey’s Ebola infection (2014), and victims of Camber Sands drowning (2016), and calling dementia patients as ‘bed-blockers’ (2015), were found distasteful and were severely criticized.
In March 2015, she was reported (by MP Simon Danczuk) for possible race-hate crimes, when, based on ‘Rochdale sex trafficking case,’ she objected to ‘National Pakistan Day’ celebrations in Rochdale.
In April 2015, ‘United Nations High Commission for Human Rights’ condemned her column in ‘The Sun,’ wherein she compared migrants to cockroaches, advising the use of gunships to stop them from crossing the Mediterranean. There was also considerable criticism on Twitter and in media, with petitions demanding that ‘The Sun’ should remove Hopkins. (It registered 310,000 signatures). She and the publication were reported to the ‘Metropolitan Police Commissioner,’ she was questioned, but not charged. Finally the article was removed from the website by December 2016.
During Trump’s presidential candidacy, Hopkins lent her support to Donald Trump. Thanking her, Trump called her a ‘Respected Journalist.’ During a ‘LBC’ radio station program in January 2017, she was called as ‘Racist’ (by a listener-caller), to which she replied, ‘Call me racist, I don’t care…’ With the charges of spreading hatred, she was detained and her passport was briefly impounded in South Africa, in 2018.
After the ‘Manchester Arena Bombing’ in May 2017, Hopkins wrote that ‘We need to find a final solution.’ The term ‘final solution’ was originally used by the Nazis for the ‘Holocaust.’ Later the tweet was removed and replaced with ‘True Solution.’ Her comments were condemned and there were calls for boycotting ‘LBC’ radio station for employing her. In an interview she clarified that by ‘Final solution’ she meant a lasting solution. Hopkins left ‘LBC’ after this incident.
Hopkins falsely accused cookery writer Jack Monroe of vandalizing a war memorial. Later she realized her mistake in confusing Monroe with journalist Laurie Penny (who had written in support of that vandalism). Monroe asked for an apology and £5,000 donation to a charity. He took legal action in 2016 and in 2017, received £24,000 in damages and £107,000 in legal costs.
In December 2015, Mahmood family from Walthamstow found out at the Gatwick airport that their entry visas to the US had been cancelled. In 2 articles on ‘Mail Online,’ Hopkins asserted that the family members were extremists and the officials were right to stop the family. In December 2016, the family won £150,000 in damages, from the ‘Daily Mail.’
Hopkins alleged that a teacher, Jackie Teale, had taken her class to a protest against Trump. Hopkins was no longer working for ‘Mail Online,’ but they had to pay damages to Teale in November 2017.
Hopkins married Damian McKinney, a former Royal Marine, in Exeter, in September 2004. They have 2 daughters. The couple divorced in 2005, after their second daughter was born. She met design manager Mark Cross at the Met Office. They were married in 2010, and the marriage was captured on camera as a part of the reality show ‘Four Weddings.’ They have a son.
As a treatment for her epilepsy, she underwent a brain surgery in February 2016, and later claimed to have been cured of epilepsy.
In November 2017, she released her autobiographical book, ‘Rude.’