Gail Porter 'slightly weeping' after BAFTA Scotland nomination for mental health documentary

A documentary showcasing Gail Porter’s mental health struggles has been nominated in this year’s BAFTA Scotland awards.

Being Gail Porter has been nominated.
Being Gail Porter has been nominated.

Being Gail Porter, which aired on BBC Scotland in January 2020, is nominated in the single documentary category alongside The Battle of Skye Bridge and Dooman, a documentary about pigeon flying in Scotland.

In it the 49-year-old revisits her past, covering highs and lows from presenting Top of the Pops in the 1990s to being sectioned under the Mental Health Act in 2011, falling into debt and sleeping rough.

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Porter wrote on Twitter that she was “slightly weeping” on hearing news of the nomination this week.

She said: "When I heard about the award nomination, I just burst into tears! I was totally overwhelmed and honoured. Still smiling from ear to ear.”

Porter, who has lived in London for the past two decades, returns to her native Edinburgh in the documentary to “where it all began”.

She visits the suburb of Joppa where she grew up, to walk along the beach where she played as a child and discuss her past with childhood friends.

Another site returned to is the Houses of Parliament, where a nude photograph of Porter was projected in 1999 as part of a marketing campaign after a shoot with magazine FHM. Porter shares “her side of the story”, maintaining that she did not know of the plan to project the image, and thought it was just for the cover of the magazine.

Porter also speaks about her “eating problems”, and experience of anorexia nervosa, saying that she only realised there was a problem when she was banned from her gym after fainting.

Porter says she still struggles with food, and visits headquarters of charity Beat to find out more about how eating disorders affect others.

Congratulations flooded in from fans on social media, including the Scottish SPCA, for whom Porter is an ambassador.

"All the animals and team at the Scottish SPCA are rooting for you,” the charity said.

Other nominations for the 2020 awards include black comedy Guilt, Elizabeth is Missing, Outlander and River City.

A digital awards ceremony will be hosted by Edith Bowman on December 8.

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