Gail Porter talks about her relationship with Keith Flint from The Prodigy on the next episode of Grounded with Louis Theroux.
Gail Porter: Keith was the love of my life, I absolutely loved him, I miss him, terrible what happened. That was a blind date actually, that wasn’t work, I didn’t meet him through work because I had gone to a Formula One race and Keith had been there and seen me and then someone who knew me, knew him said “would you like to go on a date with Keith Flint?” and I was like, “from The Prodigy?...yeah sure, why not”. I was single and we went out and we did not stop laughing for the entire evening and then practically that was us together, almost for two years. The good thing was, he didn’t really talk about work, I didn’t really talk about work, we would just go and do fun things. I was actually doing a programme called Wish You Were Here…I got asked to go to the Maldives…me and Keith went and he had a few issues with a few things.
Louis Theroux: mental health or substance?
GP: A bit of everything, so by the time we got to the Maldives, he had a few wobbles but by the end of it, he was swimming every day, we were going to the gym and both of us, our mental health was just so fantastic. Of course everyone is going to be extremely happy if you’re in the Maldives, we were so lucky and then when we got back I said “right, I’m going to go back to work and you go back to work”, he just didn’t get his mind back into things properly. And he was going that way and I was like, we need to keep our minds positive and it just didn’t work that way. He was on a downer, I was trying to work my hardest, so it was a shame.
LT:…you mentioned he’s the love of your life
GP: I think it was the first time I actually felt like, please don’t leave me, that kind of love.
LT: But it was a healthy relationship, because he had his challenges and you had your issues over the years, but the relationship itself felt like it was bringing the best out of both of you, can I say that?
GP: Yeah I think so, I’m not a great person to hang out with, I get very bored very quickly. But because Keith had his issues, like I had my issues, it seemed to just work. But I always thought there was going to be that moment when we are going to have bad times at different times and it kind of worked that way unfortunately.
Gail Porter discusses mental health, in particularly with people who might be vulnerable working in the TV industry -
Louis Theroux: Very often creative people in TV or big personalities in TV or people who come across well on TV have ups and downs; you know that there is some vulnerability there. Do you think that’s true?
Gail Porter: I think its true in every walk of life, but when you are on TV people feel they’ve got the right to put it in papers or make it worse than it is and you end up reading about it. I don’t read tabloids or anything like that because I had my phone hacked
LT: Who hacked your phone?
GP: Not entirely sure, still going through all that but I was very nervous of all my friends which I now feel extremely guilty about because I was thinking, oh gosh, how did they know I was going to be there….I was just looking at all my friends going well it’s one of you. Not realising that phone hacking was a thing. I had no idea. Stories don’t bother me, you can write what you like, I don’t care anymore but I didn’t like the fact that I didn’t trust my friends and I felt so guilty about that. So that was the worst thing about the whole thing.
LT : On that subject that of, you know I think you’re right there ‘s people with mental health challenges in all walks of life, but there’s a unique set of exacerbaters or stressers that go along with being on TV and then having a profile and then being a tabloid play thing. In terms of your experience of TV and being a celebrity, to what extent was it healthy and fun and brilliant, and then to what extent was it the reverse?
GP: Obviously there are a lot of people that work in television like new young presenters, I never met Caroline Flack but she was popular, her love life was in the papers. Stuff we don’t need to know about, that should be private and to see if splashed across a paper, I know a lot of people say well you know what, you are in the media so you kind of signed up for this. You sign up for being entertaining and being fun and being humorous or doing whatever you are doing. You don’t sign up for, yeah that gives you access to yeah my entire private life and if I’ve had a break up or something bad is happened, it’s nobody’s business. When I signed up to be a kid telly presenter, I just thought you know what, I’m just going to make people smile and be happy and then suddenly the invasion is too much.
Grounded with Louis Theroux is available to listen to on BBC Sounds every Monday and BBC Radio 4 every Wednesday at 8pm.