Janet Street Porter
TV PRESENTER and writer Janet Street Porter reveals her health regime and justifies her controversial attack in a national newspaper on middle-class women claiming to suffer stress and depression.
An unrepentant Janet says: “I didn’t say depression doesn’t exist. Of course it does, and I certainly think post natal depression and post-traumatic stress disorder exist. What I was commenting on was that suddenly there seems to be a misery movement of middle-class women moaning about their meaningless lives.
“To me, a lot of it is self-indulgent and something low-income working-class women simply don’t have time for, because they’re too pre-occupied with trying to earn a living and look after their kids.”
And she adds: “I think it would help some of those who complain about being depressed to get off their arses and do something.”
She’s renowned for a no-nonsense attitude to life and has written two books, the first, Life’s Too F****** Short, followed by, Don’t Let the B******* Get You Down.
But she stresses that she totally sympathises with anyone who suffers loss or genuine depression.
“When my sister died it reduced me to despair, and a close friend’s death recently also hit me hard. But I was simply suffering normal grieving. And my life goes on, and I certainly haven’t retreated under the duvet with a bottle of pills.”
A columnist on the Daily Mail at the age of 22, Street-Porter went on to present radio and TV shows in the 1970s before becoming a BBC producer, the founder of L!ve TV and the editor of the Independent on Sunday.
Janet, 63, is unphased that her south London accent and her distinctive teeth have often made her the butt of comic routines.
“I don’t pay much attention to people who laugh at me. They’re not worth bothering about. I look after myself but I’m never going to live a monastic life worrying about avoiding everything that might do me harm or aiming for a mythical perfect body,” she says firmly.
“I know the only way to keep my weight stable isn’t by fad dieting but exercising for around an hour a day.”
“A few years ago I gave up on rich food and drinking spirits. Now I enjoy freshly cooked food, wine and fruit juices.”
She’s ambassador for Red Tractor Week, which on June 14-20 celebrates the 10th anniversary of a logo on products allowing shoppers to identify the source of quality food and know production follows food safety, animal welfare and environmental standards.
“When I’m at my house in Kent or my home in Yorkshire I buy food sourced from nearby farms and small local shops in those locations,” she says.
Janet, who’s 6ft, exercises by walking, stretching and playing tennis.
She defines her wellbeing philosophy as: “Never dwell in the past, or compare the present with it. It’s a myth that there was a golden era when life was better. Be happy with the here-andnow.”
And her remedy: “The easiest way to make yourself feel good and lift your mood is by going on a daily 90-minute walk, without taking a mobile.”