Gail Porter opens up about sleeping on park bench after TV work dried up

by 24britishtvNov. 15, 2022, 9:40 p.m. 14
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Scots TV presenter Gail Porter has opened up about a difficult time in her life where she was forced to sleep on a park bench after work 'dried up'.

Back in the noughties, Gail was diagnosed with alopecia which she says resulted in people not wanting to work with her as she didn't look 'the same'.

Prior to this the 51-year-old had a successful career, and she hosted TV shows including Top of the Pops, Children in Need, Fully Booked and Dead Famous. Then in 2005, she was diagnosed with alopecia.

She refused to wear a wig as they were itchy and uncomfortable and as she wasn't getting booked for any work, Gail was then left penniless, meaning she lost her home.

This left her with no choice but to sofa surf between pal's houses and sleep on park benches.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain today with Susanna Reid and Richard Madeley to raise awareness on homelessness, Gail opened up about this time in her life. She said: "I did sleep at Hampstead Heath which was a bit scary. I was on the bench. My friends, don't get me wrong, were absolutely brilliant, but they all have families and things, so I was sort of going from place to place.

"Spare rooms, they'd taken some of my bits and pieces, and I just wish I'd known more about Centrepoint when I was homeless."

Host Richard then asked her how she dealt with the huge change, Gail replied that loads of things were going on in her life at the one time. She said she was suffering with alopecia, going through a divorce with her ex-husband Dan Hipgrave and her mum was diagnosed with cancer.

She said: "Well it wasn't easy at all. My hair falling out, my mum had passed away, everything was going wrong. Everything was getting worse and worse and worse and the work wasn't coming in.

"I just couldn't pay my bills and of course the bills were going out, the rent has to be paid and there was no money coming in, it was a tricky one and, of course I have a daughter too, but she was with her dad because I didn't have a stable place to stay."

In 2011, Gail was sectioned under the Mental Health Act, however, she was determined to turn her life around because of her daughter Honey.

Speaking previously about it, she said: "I went to rehab for my depression, self-harming, if I didn't have Honey I wouldn't be here. One hundred percent. I would not be here. But I thought, I can't do that to my daughter at all."

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