Kate Thornton: Therapy saved me from a life of dysfunctional eating

Kate Thornton joins BUILD for a live interview at AOL's Capper Street Studio in London.
Kate Thornton joins BUILD for a live interview at AOL's Capper Street Studio in London.

Kate Thornton has said that therapy saved her from a life of “body dysmorphia and dysfunctional eating”.

The former X Factor host, 47, developed anorexia after being bullied over her weight while at school.

She later underwent psychodynamic therapy, which helped her overcome the eating disorder.

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This week I got to guest on the brilliant @thewhitmore podcast Castaway and talk through some of my favourite podcasts of all time. So if you’re looking for podcast inspiration in lockdown have a listen as we chat through the virtues of Full Disclosure with James O’Brien, @distractionpiecesnetwork with @scroobiuspipyo, @davidtennantpod, @estherperelofficial The Dropout @russell_kane @laurenlaverne Desert Island Discs and @whitewineqt. Thanks so much for having me Laura ❤️ #Repost @thewhitmore with @make_repost ・・・ PODCAST DAY! On this week’s episode, I chat to one of the most hard people I know, @thekatethornton . Kate is a true podcast addict and huge supporter of other women. We chat becoming the youngest editor of Smash Hits magazine, girl power and all things podcasts including her own podcast White Wine Question Time. Some incredible recommendations from Kate as well as an insight into how she navigated the industry with the help of other women. And OF COURSE we talk @spicegirls 💥 #castaway

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Thornton told Laura Whitmore’s Castaway podcast she had “huge respect” for talking therapies, because of the positive effect they had had on her life.

She said: “When I was a teenager, I had quite a tough time in my teens with bullying at school and weight issues, and those two things combined.

“I made a documentary many years later to finally understand that those two things were really big contributing factors to me developing eating disorders.

“And the way I got out of that as a teenager was through a brilliant GP who did talking therapy with me at a time when nobody had therapy – you’re talking about the 80s.

“Therapy became a lifeline for me, it saved me from ultimately living a life under this horrible cloud of body dysmorphia and dysfunctional eating.

The Global Awards 2020 with Very.co.uk – Arrivals – London
Laura Whitmore (Lia Toby/PA)

“And many, many years later I went back into therapy in my adult life, when I became a single parent and I just couldn’t come to terms with the grief of losing what I thought was my future as a family.

“And I struggled terribly with it, and I bored my friends into submission, almost.

“So in the end, I gave up the ghost and I thought, ‘I need to go and talk to somebody professional’.

“So I went back into therapy and again, it’s saved me.

“I have huge respect for talking therapies and I wish that mental health is given the same level, attention and funding as our physical health.”

Ricky Gervais comments
Ricky Gervais (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Thornton said she would like to have Ricky Gervais on her own podcast, White Wine Question Time, to discuss his hit Netflix show After Life, but was too scared to ask.

She told the Love Island host: “I just finished After Life (series two). I just want to sit and talk to Ricky Gervais forever about how he did that.

“I think he’s fascinating, Ricky, and he’s someone that never conforms, he writes his own rules.

“I love him. I’m too scared to DM (direct message) him. I don’t know why because I DM everyone else.”

Thornton, who was a friend of the late singer George Michael, said she was still unable to listen to his music.

The Wham! star died at the age of 53 on Christmas Day 2016.

She said: “I’m still at that stage where I can’t listen to it (his music) without feeling sad.

“The other day we were in lockdown, one of my neighbours blasted out a whole day of George Michael and I had no control over it, I couldn’t turn it down or turn it off.”

Laura Whitmore’s Castaway podcast is available on all major podcast platforms.


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