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Gail speaks about mental health

gail porter
gail porter Image credit: bbc.co.uk

TV presenter Gail Porter has opened up about her struggles with mental health in a new BBC documentary.

In ‘Being Gail Porter’ the 47-year-old and past host of the ABLE2UK Accessible Concert shares her journey with anorexia, self-harm and depression.

Following a successful modelling and TV career, which in 1999 saw her naked body projected onto the Houses of Parliament to sell copies of FHM magazine Gail’s health started to deteriorate.

In 2014 she was sectioned under the Mental Health Act and saw herself sleeping on a park bench.

Speaking to Glasgow Live Porter said: “If I can help just one person by going back and looking at my own life, it’ll be worth it.

“I’ve always been quite vocal about my mental health issues but this one was a bit harder because I had to go back through things, to try and figure out were I’ve come from and why I am the way I am.

“But it was something I wanted to do, more for other people. I’m old enough and dumb enough and I can look after myself, but I just think if you have a platform you have to share your experience for someone else and if it helps just one person, that’s great.”

“Some of it was great, but some of it was a bit ‘ouch’ because I’ve been through my well-documented ups and downs; I lost my house, went bankrupt, lost my hair, lost my mum.

“It was just one thing after another and when I got back on my feet I thought, let’s talk about it, let’s let people know it’s alright not to be alright.”

Backstage at the ABLE2UK Concert in 2016 Gail told us she had no idea her nude cover shoot for FHM was going to be beamed on the Houses of Parliament.

In the TV documentary she says: “The FHM thing would never happen now, I never agreed to being projected onto the Houses of Parliament and I didn’t get paid for it, I'd just turned up for a photoshoot, I was 28 and everyone was having champagne and having a laugh, so I thought 'why not' when I was asked.

“But there’s no point being mad about it, that didn’t cause any of my issues, I was always up and down when I was wee, always extremely happy or extremely sad.

“Now when I look back, I think ‘well I’ll never look like that again’ and ‘no one else has had their arse up there so I’ll take that’.

Being Gail Porter, which was shown on BBC Scotland this week, is now available on the BBC iPlayer.