Janet Street-Porter: “People think we are like their pals…and we are”


This week, we got together with the frank, no-nonsense and all-round tough cookie that is Janet Street-Porter! From reality TV to Twitter trolls, we left no stone unturned; check out what she had to say…

You’ve done so many things throughout your career, from writing about fashion, right through to editing The Independent on Sunday, and everything else in between. What has been your proudest achievement to date? 

I always enjoy taking on a challenge and doing something I haven’t done before. I get bored with routine.

I loved doing my one-woman show at the Edinburgh Festival….I might write another one for next year!

Do you think your ability to adapt is why your career has continued to flourish?

It’s very hard to categorise me because I have worked as a TV executive, I have written TV shows for other people and I present shows, too. I like writing just as much as appearing in front of the camera.

Of course, you’re a regular panellist on ITV’s Loose Women. Being someone who’s known for not holding back an opinion, how do you curtail your views for live daytime TV?

I have spent years doing live TV shows and I have produced live shows, so I know exactly what you can and can’t say and what is appropriate for a particular time of day. I like having fun but not being offensive.

Let’s talk reality TV. You were a contestant on I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. What made you agree to enter the jungle, and if you were offered another chance to go in, would you take it?

I entered because I like a challenge. I didn’t know any of the others beforehand, except for Vic Reeves. I have done a lot of bush walking and camping in the outback so it wasn’t that horrible for me, and I enjoyed doing the cooking. I don’t get spooked by bugs or bad weather.

Having said that, I wouldn’t do it again because I don’t do things like that twice. I have done other reality shows like driving a cab and working in a hospital and teaching. Each one taught me something new.

Is there any other reality TV show you’d be tempted to try? Big Brother or Strictly Come Dancing, maybe?

I’m not interested in either, really… Maybe one where I run Britain!

You’re a spokesperson for pensioners, but you certainly don’t look like one! How do you keep yourself in shape and looking young?

I eat and drink whatever I like. I don’t believe in diets. I’ve never drunk Coke or rubbish drinks and I’ve never eaten a Big Mac. I cook my own food and bring my own lunch to the studio. I hate bad food. I walk every day, play tennis and spend a lot of time in the open air.

I have not had cosmetic surgery.

Talking about ageing, how do you feel that has an effect on your career? There’s been a lot of stories about ageism within the media, but it seems as though it hasn’t had an effect on yours. 

It’s irrelevant, if you are articulate you’ll always get work.

What are your top three tips for living a happy, fulfilling life?

Laugh a lot! Don’t harp on about the past and say things were better then. Enjoy every day.

Finally, going back to your time on Loose Women, can you tell us who your favourite guest has been and who you would love to interview in the future?

I don’t have favourites, but Bette Midler was great. She didn’t know I was on the show and we are friends – she suddenly recognised me in the middle of the chat and it was hilarious.

What is the best thing about being on Loose Women? What do you enjoy most?

A surprise every day. I love it being live, it’s never boring.

What is the biggest challenge for a Loose Women presenter?

Not repeating yourself, shutting up and letting the others get a word in!

What do you think makes Loose Women so popular? 

People think we are like their pals having lunch with them… and we are!

A big thanks to Janet for giving us a piece of her mind! We’d also like to give a big thank you to Rachael Phillips from RachPhillips.com for putting forward some of the questions for Janet’s interview. You can catch Loose Women, in association with tombola, on ITV every weekday at 12.30pm.


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