TV's Gail Porter reveals how her pet cat Pickles keeps her going

GAIL Porter has revealed how her cat Pickles keeps her going every day.

Narrator Gail Porter feeding gentoo penguins at Edinburgh Zoo
Narrator Gail Porter feeding gentoo penguins at Edinburgh Zoo

The TV star, who narrates BBC Scotland series Inside the Zoo, told how spending time with animals at Edinburgh Zoo had helped her mental health.

But she said her own animal companion, seven year old black cat Pickles, gives her "a positive focus" each day.

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Gail, 49, said: "Pickles is great, she keeps me going every day. Having a little cat to look after and love each day gives me a positive focus.

Gail Porter and Pickles

"She is seven but still looks and acts like a kitten, though she is quite possessive of me. She is very loving but she’s not keen to share me with other people.

"She snuggles up to me all the time and she even tries to sit on my neck, which can make watching TV a little difficult and I have to move her…But she is lovely."

Inside the Zoo focuses on life at Edinburgh Zoo and the Highland Wildlife Park (HWP) in Invernessshire. In the final part tomorrow/today [MON], Gail highlights ongoing work to help ensure the survival of countless threatened animal species.

A successful breeding season makes life busy for the keepers at HWP -- especially in the arctic foxes’ enclosure where two foxes have become twelve -- and snow leopards Animesh and Chan have also become parents.

In Edinburgh, the gentoo penguins get busy pairing up and preparing their nests, giving an insight into the complexities of penguin relationships and revealing some ritualistic nest building skills.

Gail said: "Animals are such a positive thing for anyone’s mental health and it was great voicing a series like this during the lockdown, because it was just so lovely to make this connection with nature and to see animals getting on with life and living. It certainly lifted my spirits.

"That is the thing about animals, they just cheer you up, they make you smile and they engage you with life beyond your own problems."

The presenter, from Portobello, opened up about her mental health issues in the documentary Being Gail Porter earlier this year. The programme has now been nominated for a BAFTA Scotland award.

* Inside the Zoo is on BBC Scotland tonight at 8pm - 9pm

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