‘If I was an alcoholic would you encourage me to have a drink?’ Kate Thornton says TV boss fat-shamed her by telling her to go to boot camp to lose weight despite knowing she had battled eating disorders
- For help and support with eating disorders contact SEED on (01482) 718130 or visit www.seedeatingdisorders.org.uk
Kate Thornton has told how a TV boss fat-shamed her by saying the show wanted to send her to boot camp to lose weight – but she told him where to go and also later put the knife in years later.
The TV presenter, 49, who has appeared on X Factor, Loose Women and This Morning, struggled with the eating disorders anorexia and bulimia when she was a teenager and was regularly beaten to the ground by bullies for being ‘chubby’ – to the extent the police were involved following death threats.
But she said even after she’d made it big on TV as an adult she was insulted by powerful senior figures.
Fat-shamed: Kate Thornton has told how a TV boss fat-shamed her by saying the show wanted to send her to boot camp to lose weight – but she told him where to go and also later put the knife in years later (pictured in Feb 2022)
She said: ‘There was one incident in telly where I was working on a show where I was pulled to one side and told that they would like me to go and maybe go to a boot camp to lose weight, but ‘don’t worry we’ll pay for it.
‘It was a television person – let’s just leave it there.
‘And I said to this person ‘If I was an alcoholic would you encourage me to have a drink because I’m not fun on camera?’.
‘I said “Do you know what, I’m going to tell you two things now. I’m going to tell you first of all I’m going to tell you why you can’t say that because I’ve had a history of eating disorders, but you do know that, you are alive to that, so I’m just going to try to do the education piece of why this is not acceptable – and secondly go f*** yourself”.’
Bullied: The TV presenter, 49, struggled with the eating disorders anorexia and bulimia when she was a teenager and was regularly beaten to the ground by bullies for being ‘chubby’
She added: ‘Funnily enough, ten years later I was in the house and this person wandered past and goes ‘Hi, it’s me, did you not recognize me?’.
‘I said ‘yeah, I ignored you’. And I just watched this person want on his own vine.
‘So I thought ‘Mate, you did that to me on the most spectacular level, so just taste some of the coolaid you forced down my throat because it’s not nice.’
WHAT IS ANOREXIA?
Anorexia is an eating disorder and a mental health condition.
People diagnosed with it try to keep their weight as low as possible by eating little or excessive exercise.
Men and women can develop the illness, however it typically starts in the mid-teens.
Those with anorexia can have a distorted image of their bodies, thinking they’re fat when in fact they are severely underweight.
Causes of the condition are unknown, but those with it have either low self-esteem, have a family history of eating disorders or feel pressured from society or place of work.
Long term health complications can include muscle and bone problems, loss of sex drive, kidney or bowel problems or having a weakened immune system.
Treatment for anorexia can include cognitive behavioral therapy.
Kate also said years after being bullied at school over her size she also met again with her tormentor in chief.
Kate said: ‘I was chubby because in as much as my body was going through all of the changes that teenage bodies do. I was being really bullied, I was getting death threats and the police were involved, by the girls at school.’
‘We thought it was normal in my house to have a whistle next to the phone, so that when they phoned we’d just blow the whistle down the phone to them. And I remember all the names to this day and I will never forgive them.
‘One of them I saw her, not long after I’d started on Pop Idol. I recognized her from her ankles – I spent a lot of time looking at her ankles because she’d often knock me to the floor.
‘I saw her and I pulled in. I was driving past and I pulled in. And I said her name and she was like ‘My God you’re doing so well, it’s. so nice to see you’.
‘She has no recollection of the stain that she’s left on my childhood actually, her and her mates, and the way that they carried themselves.
‘It was learned behaviour. They weren’t taught different. She was the bruiser, she was the one that would throw the punches, and this was every week.”
But Kate told the Two Pints with Will & Ralph podcast: ‘I have to remember she was a kid.
‘She was pushing a buggy with two kids in when I saw her. I certainly didn’t want to pick a conversation like that up in front of children.
‘But you just have to forgive people sometimes for ignorance and I think she was just acting out and I was the easy target. Their behavior was awful.’
For help and support with eating disorders contact SEED on (01482) 718130 or visit www.seedeatingdisorders.org.uk
Candid: But she said even after she’d made it big on TV as an adult she was insulted by powerful senior figures (pictured 2021)
WHAT IS BULIMIA?
People who have bulimia go through periods where they eat a lot of food in a very short amount of time (binge eating).
They then make themselves sick, use laxatives (medicine to help them poo) or do excessive exercise, or a combination of these, to try to stop themselves gaining weight.
These symptoms may not be easy to spot in someone else because bulimia can make people behave very secretively.