Porter says she got no money for infamous Houses of Parliament photo

Gail Porter, the television presenter has revealed she “never got a penny” for the naked photo of herself which propelled her to stardom.

Gail Porter was forced to sleep rough in 2014 and 2017. Picture: contributed
Gail Porter was forced to sleep rough in 2014 and 2017. Picture: contributed

Porter, 48, who was born in Edinburgh, posed for the infamous photo for lads’ mag FMH which was then projected on to the Houses of Parliament in 1999 as a publicity stunt at the height of the Cool Britannia era.

“It was the biggest-selling FMH ever and I didn’t get a penny, didn’t even get a copy,” said Porter. “It was just meant to be a little picture in the magazine. I didn’t give permission. I first saw it on the news, the same as everyone else.

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“Trusting everyone, that’s one of my big downfalls.”

Porter was speaking ahead of a BBC Scotland documentary ‘Being Gail Porter’ being shown next Tuesday at 10pm.

Porter, who attended Portobello High school, started her television career presenting children’s programmes and Top of the Pops.

At the height of her career she married Dan Hipgrave of rock band Toploader in 2001 and had a baby daughter.

However, she suffered post-natal depression and the couple divorced three years later.

In 2005 she went bald overnight due to alopecia.

In 2007 her then-boyfriend had her sectioned and sent to a mental hospital as he feared for her safety.

Her problems did not end there – due to severe financial problems she ended up sleeping rough in 2014 and then in 2017 was declared bankrupt.

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Since then, despite continuing to deal with these illnesses, Porter has become a high-profile campaigner helping others cope with mental illness.

She has worked with charities such as Bipolar Scotland, mind and the Samaritans. In the documentary she describes being sectioned.

“That was a shock. It was like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. I couldn’t believe I wasn’t allowed out. No doctors came near; it was just a whole bunch of us nutters and security.”

She also speaks about being given conflicting mental health diagnoses.