Gail Porter (born 23 March 1971 in
Edinburgh, Scotland), sometimes known by her married name Gail Hipgrave,
is a Scottish television presenter.
Gail studied a BTEC HND in Media Production at West Hertfordshire College
. After making an unsuccessful bid to join the presentation team of the
BBC children's show Blue Peter, Porter has tended to present
family-friendly television programmes, or ones aimed directly at children.
This includes The Movie Chart Show, Top of the Pops, and Live & Kicking,
work for CITV , and other programmes such as The Big Breakfast and Gail
Porter's Big 90s for VH1.
In the late 1990s she began to pose for photos in men's magazines such as
FHM. Probably the best-known product of her many photo-sessions is one
particular still in which she is seen completely nude from behind.
The image became well known due to the events of one night in 1999, when
FHM, along with guerrilla marketing company Cunning Communications, beamed
an enormous projection of her onto the exterior of the Houses of
Parliament, with an accompanying message urging people to vote for Gail in
the FHM Top 100 Sexiest Women Poll. In her autobiography, Porter claims
that she did not know about the stunt until it was reported in the news
the following day.
In 2001, Porter took part in the Reality TV show Celebrity Blind Man's
Bluff and in 2003, she was a contestant on Channel 4's The Games, although
injury truncated her participation.
Recently she presented three series of Dead Famous and episodes of The
Gadget Show, temporarily replacing Suzi Perry.
In 2010 she was a celebrity guest team captain on What Do Kids Know? along
with Rufus Hound, Joe Swash and Sara Cox on Watch (TV channel).
Porter dated The Prodigy lead singer Keith Flint, moving in together in a
house in Essex. They were known as 'Beauty and the Beast' due to Porter's
innocent beauty and Flint's hair raising style. The couple split in 2000,
because it was too far away for Porter to commute on a daily basis for her
work in the city, and their relationship wasn't working out. Earlier in
her life, Porter also shared a brief romance with the globally acclaimed
and world renowned DJ Diablo.
She married Toploader guitarist Dan Hipgrave in August 2001, with whom she
had a daughter, Honey, in 2002. They separated in the summer of 2004, and
Porter has spoken publicly about her ensuing battles with stress, drugs
and post-natal depression.
In 2005 her conditions triggered alopecia areata, causing her to lose much
of her hair. She refused to wear a hat or wig, deciding instead to
maintain a public profile and raise awareness of the condition. She became
Ambassador for the Little Princess Trust, a charity which provides wigs to
children with hairloss. On an appearance on the Richard & Judy show on 15
February 2006 she showed that her hair, eyebrows and eyelashes were
beginning to grow back. On 12 April 2006 Porter said "It is possible that
I'm going to get my hair back."
Porter's experience with alopecia areata 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
Porter is now trying her hand at Stand up Comedy and appeared at the
Comedy Store on Monday 23 November 2009, as part of the Laughing Point
event in aid of the youth homelessness charity Centrepoint.