Any time I grab the chance to speak to a household name, I prefer speaking to those with character and life experience. After all, what can we really learn from the squeaky clean? Twelve years ago I sat in the audience of a now defunct celebrity game-show. An adolescent sixteen year old I gazed at a real-life FHM model sitting happily alongside one Mark Owen – quietly confident that I would soon be the envy of all my friends. Today as a real-life grown up I look beyond the cover shoots of old to have an even greater respect for this TV presenter, writer, documentary-maker and of course doting Mum. Recently I caught up with fellow Scot Gail Porter for a brief chat about life, love and dating.
Hi Gail, you first came to our attention in the mid-90s. How did your everyday life change once cast into the public eye?
My everyday life changed in the fact that I went from a wee girl from Edinburgh who would plod around unnoticed, then suddenly strangers would come up to me in the street to talk to me. I love a chat, so that wasn’t a problem. Paparazzi scared me though. I never like dressing up and I hate makeup and suddenly I was having my picture taken wandering out of Budgens. I never understood what was interesting about my shopping habits.
Was there a time when dating had to take a backseat in order to pursue your career or was it easy enough to juggle the two?
I was not a big dater. If it happened, it happened. To tell you the truth I loved working and dating was not a big concern of mine.
Were you ever concerned that guys might be interested in you purely for your celebrity status as opposed to who you are as a person?
I guess I am quite naive. I always believed that if someone wanted to take me out it would be for myself as a person, not my job. Unfortunately I was proved wrong on quite a few occasions.
Any odd requests from fans?
I have been sent a request to send a picture of myself naked with whatever cereal I had for breakfast covering my lady parts!
Any dating horror stories?
The worst date was with a guy who wanted to sing to me over dinner. Awkward…and he had a shit voice and loved Mariah Carey.
My teen crush was Nick Kershaw. I think it was a height thing.
What advice would you give to young women looking for Mr Right?
No advice to give. Single and 43, say no more!
What do you look for in the ideal partner?
My ideal partner would have to be breathing. Oh…and funny!
Ignorance and shit shoes.
Do you think our perception of love changes as we get older?
Love is love. I haven’t found it but I won’t stop looking.