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Gail Porter

Real name: Gail Porter
Birthdate: March 23, 1971
Status: Married
Partner: Dan Hipgrave

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In the late-'90s she began to pose for photos in men's magazines such as FHM and Loaded. She has appeared on the FHM 100 Sexiest Women in the World list four times (1999–2002), ranking her highest in 1999 at number eight. In 2004 she was voted 59th sexiest woman of the decade.

Probably the best-known product of her many photo-sessions is one particular still in which she is seen completely nude from behind, but turning her head back to make eye contact with the camera, thus permitting a simultaneous full view of her face, back and bottom, and a glimpse of one of her breasts from the side.Porter projected onto Palace of Westminster in 1999.

The image earned its near-iconic status due to the events of one night in 1999, when FHM famously beamed an enormous projection of it onto the exterior of the Houses of Parliament, with an accompanying message urging people to "Vote Porter". This stunt coincided with a period of plummeting turnouts in British elections, with particular concern being expressed about a so-called "lost generation" of young people showing themselves to be less interested in serious political issues than in the allegedly vacuous currents of modern celebrity culture, of which the seemingly unquenchable craving to see someone like Gail Porter without her clothes on was offered as a prime example. There were thus suggestions by commentators that FHM's stunt had a deeply symbolic significance, with the world of escapist celebrity-fetish managing to appropriate the very seat of power to exalt its triumph. Other commentators responded by suggesting that the political class, rather than simply bemoaning developments, ought instead to see if it could learn any lessons from the evident inclination of so many to accept the invitation to "Vote Porter". In her autobiography, Porter claims that she did not know about the stunt until it was reported in the news the following day.

In 2001, Porter took part in the Reality TV show Celebrity blind man's buff and in 2003, she was a contestant on Channel 4's The Games, although injury truncated her participation.

Porter married Toploader guitarist Dan Hipgrave in August 2001, with whom she had a daughter, Honey, in 2002. The relationship has since broken down—they separated in the summer of 2004—and Gail has spoken publicly about her ensuing battles with stress, drugs and post-natal depression. In 2005 her conditions triggered alopecia, causing her to lose all of her body hair. She refused to wear a wig, deciding instead to maintain a public profile and raise awareness of the condition. On an appearance on the Richard & Judy show February 15, 2006 she showed that her hair, eyebrows and eyelashes were beginning to grow back. Recently there were rumours that her hair loss had been deemed permanent, these are however untrue. Gail herself refuted these rumours on 12 April 2006 saying "It is possible that I'm going to get my hair back. My doctor just said not to get my hopes up", and she has since been spotted in public bearing evidence of renewed hair growth.

Porter's experience with alopecia was the subject of the BBC ONE life documentary Gail Porter Laid Bare on May 31, 2006 .


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