Jorgie Porter is an actress and model who's perhaps best known for her time spent playing Theresa McQueen on Channel 4's 'Hollyoaks', but having reached the final five in last year's 'I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here', she showed the nation that there's much more to her than meets the eye.
After recently signing off from the Channel 4 soap, Jorgie is set to spread her acting wings at home and in LA taking on more versatile roles which show her fun personality. Kim O'Meara caught up with Jorgie to hear all about what's next for her and to meet her sidekick, Lady.
Tell us about your dog - we'd like to know everything about her! Lady's a rescue dog isn't she. What made you decide to rescue?
Lady's a two year old Bichon Frise cross Jack Russell Terrier. She has one ear and I adopted her when she was three months old and tiny, tiny, tiny.
I kept saying to my mum, who I live next door to, that I wanted a dog. I'd said it every year growing up and she kept buying me teddy dogs. By the time I'd got 54 teddies I was like, 'mum, I'm going to get a dog'. At the end of the day, I knew I had to have a dog in my life.
So I went to Leigh Cats & Dogs Home. I'd visited the rescue the day before and had seen a Cocker Spaniel which I thought was gorgeous. I went back the next day and she'd been adopted, so I thought 'okay, they go quick!' and then I saw this small, shy, fluffy one-eared little puppy sitting at the back of a kennel and I asked if I could hold her.
I knew the moment I did that I couldn't put her down. She snuggled right into me and I fell in love instantly.
There was a family of girls there and I remember them saying 'ah, I want her' and I just said, 'sorry you can't'. She was mine, she was perfect and I knew I couldn't let her go.
I do think with a rescue dog they also know you've saved them and so you have an extra bond, and in Lady's case I've saved her twice – she ate a screw once and I took her to the vets straight away not knowing what was wrong (or what she'd eaten) and it was only afterwards we found out!
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So it was love at first sight! Did you grow up around animals at home?
We had cats growing up and I always felt like I was trying to force them to love me (laughs), trying to get them to sit on my lap.
(Laughs) They were so blasé about it all, I just remember thinking 'why won't you love me?'.
We had two cats when they died it was heartbreaking, you think you'll never replace or get another but you do, don't you.
A huge chapter in your life has now finished as you've recently exited 'Hollyoaks' where you've played Theresa McQueen for six years. What are you looking forward to most about the next chapter and can you tell us about anything in particular that you've been working on?
It has! Very sad but very exciting at the same time. I've got one big thing which I'm really excited about, but can't say anything about yet.
But I've also just filmed for 'Are You Being Served?' which is airing later this year and was so, so much fun. I was going to LA and then got told I had to come back quickly to film for the show and it was really the greatest job ever. It's 80s themed and just hilarious. It was filmed in front of a live studio audience and I watched the rehearsals laughing my head off. I really loved every minute.
The characters you've played then, comparing Theresa McQueen to your character in 'Are You Being Served?' are obviously quite different then. Who are your acting idols who've crossed the threshold into straight acting and comedy?
I watch a lot of women like Rachel McAdams, Zooey Deschanel and Lena Durham who not only acts in 'Girls', but writes and directs the show also. I think she's an absolute genius. I think it's so inspiring to see beautiful women who can do straight acting and comedy, showing it's possible to be both.
Last year you took part in 'I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here' and did hugely well. Looking back what were the highs (and lows) for you from the experience?
The jungle was so hard for me to go into but was such an amazing experience. It taught me a lot about myself, but it was equally the hardest thing in the world that I've ever done. You do learn to appreciate the basics in life, like food, and when you see your friends and family you're running to them like 'oh my god, where have you been - I love you, I missed you so much'.
I remember the highest point for me came right after a real low point. I'd done a task with Kieron (Dyer) and I'd done badly, I came back to camp and my confidence was really low.
The next day we had the cyclone task and I was put forward to do the first part, which was the hardest, and still thinking about the previous day's task I was like 'I don't think I should do this' thinking I should swap with someone else, and the group were like okay, but in the end I went first and we won all of the stars. It turned out to be the greatest day of my life.
It taught me to just push through because everything comes to an end and there's always light at the end of the tunnel.
You also took part in ITV's 'Dancing on Ice' a few years ago didn't you. Did that prepare you for the jungle?
(Thinks about it) 'Dancing on Ice' was quite different because I was learning a skill and after the training, shows and interviews that was it, whereas in the jungle it was 24 hours a day.
I know I'm a bit weird, I'm a bit of a goofball and I just kept thinking everyone's going to see that. I'll be there with no makeup and there go the lads mags – everyone will know what I look like (laughs).
I've never watched 'I'm a Celeb' back though. I do however go out without makeup on now (laughs) – everyone's seen me without makeup anyway!
We know you're a big advocate of dog adoption so wearing another hat on behalf of our dog adoption site (www.dogsblog.com), we're fast approaching National Dog Adoption Month here in the UK. With over 100,000 dogs in rescues across the UK and more dogs being abandoned every year – what would you do to help change people's perceptions about dogs in rescue centres and encourage them to consider adopting a dog?
I'd definitely encourage people to go and adopt a dog. I know for a fact they'll love you more than you could ever imagine. They'll know you saved them.
Jorgie, get ready to anthropomorphise with our next set of questions...
If you were to swap roles with Lady for a day, how do you think she'd cope being you and what would you love most about being her?
(Laughs) I think I'd like being Lady, I'd love to get away with everything she gets away with. I'd be her size wouldn't I?
Would she have her head on my body, like a fully sized dog/human? (laughs).
I think she's love to be me and travel as far as possible meeting as many dogs on the way. She's so sociable, my mum came with me to your photoshoot and afterwards she went for a walk around the pub with Lady meeting everyone.
For this question, we ask our celebs to match up the following people’s personality to a breed of dog, for example, Winston Churchill = Bulldog or J.Lo = Afghan Hound, Frank Bruno = Boxer etc. If the following celebrity actors and actresses who are also dog lovers were breeds of dogs, based on their personalities alone, what type of breed do you think they'd be...
Nicole Barber-Lane (past K9 Magazine cover star and co-star on 'Hollyoaks') – (Laughs) I love her. I think she'd be a Shih Tzu with a pom pom tail and a bobble on the top of her head.
Ricky Gervais (owner of Ollie the cat and a huge animal welfare advocate) – I think he'd be a Bulldog, he properly loves his country doesn't he.
Gemma Merna (also a past K9 Magazine cover star and part of the McQueen clan on 'Hollyoaks') – Although she's a brunette now I always see her as a blonde so I think she'd be a beautiful, tall Afghan Hound with flowing blonde hair.
Kieron Dyer – I think he'd be a Gundog breed who'd go direct to the prize. Very handsome and good looking.
With the same logic in mind, if you were a dog breed what would you be Jorgie?
(Laughs) I know what I'd be! I'd be a Labrador, an Andrex puppy. My friends are always telling me!
I shared a video on Instagram recently of this puppy playing who was easily distracted and my friends told me it was me (laughs).
Here are our quick fire questions, are you ready?
Which do you prefer and why?
Big dogs or little dogs – I love big dogs for big dog hugs, but I love little dogs because they can travel with you more easily.
Lady comes with me on the train and to work sometimes, she can also come to lots of other places much more easily because she is small.
Like today at the Horse & Jockey in Chorlton for your photoshoot, it's great because it's dog friendly and we've loved it, but I wish there were more dog friendly pubs around.
Pedigree dogs or cross-breeds – I've got no preference to be honest.
Days off or days at work – I love my job and I have so much fun that it doesn't feel like it's work when I'm working. Work feels like a day off.
Describe the last time you laughed out loud because of something you saw Lady or another dog do.
Lady always makes me laugh. She's been an absolute pro today at your photoshoot posing and doing her tricks.
We're so pleased you've had a great time, her modelling career with Urban Paws should be a huge success then!
Her coat is so fluffy it's made me laugh, but she's always making us laugh.
What is your current favourite…?
TV show – I keep trying to start watching shows on Netflix. I've just started watching a show called 'Love' which is a comedy show about different relationships. It's really funny.
Album or Spotify Playlist – I love Spotify! I love the mood playlists and just searching based on my mood and seeing what comes up.
Film – I'm so excited for the new 'Batman v Superman' film. I don't know what side I'll pick! I'm really into Marvel comics and I love 'Transformers' too.
Place to be – I love LA. There's so much to do and everyone has the same vision. You can share ideas and it's so hot. I love hot places.
Who are your heroes (or idols)?
My mum is one of my heroes, she is a pet portrait artist and does caricatures also. She did one of Lady which I love.
Pictured above, Lady sat alongside her portrait
I love Beyonce, she gets so much done in a day! I also love my eyelash lady, Denise, I tell her all the time that she's my idol (laughs), she has so many crazy and fun stories.
Do you have a bucket list? If so, what's on it? If Lady had a bucket list, what do you think would be on hers?
I don't have one, to be honest, I think I do more without having one. Like for example, I jumped out of a helicopter. I think if I'd had a bucket list I would never have thought to put being in a helicopter on it, let alone jump out of one.
So I think I do more through not having one. Lady would be the same I think (laughs).
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I'm quite a tomboy at heart and I don't like pink. I never wear it. People always think I like it (laughs).
What do you never leave home without?
A comb, me and my friends call it a 'very important instrument' (laughs). Twelve lipsticks, because I like to change colour throughout the day. Sometimes I leave without my card or money though (laughs).
If you could sum it up, what do you think is the best thing about being a dog owner?
I think they help you to get out and about and meet more people.
Sometimes you'll meet people with their dogs and you recognise the dogs before the people or only recognise the owners when they're with their dogs.
Finish the following sentence, my dog is...the most chilled, relaxed dog who will wake you at 7 o'clock to lick your face (laughs).
And finally, this is always a tough question and often requires a fair degree of thinking time but….If Lady had the ability to speak and answer one question and one question only, what would you ask her and what do you think that she would say?
Instead of a question if we could communicate I'd really love it if she could have a 'dog phone' so I could text her to tell her I was coming home soon or just check in with her.
They worry you won't come home, don't they. I'd really love a way I could just contact her to stop her worrying.
I bet you've Facetime'd with her, haven't you?
(Laughs) I have. When I'm away my mum will put her on. It's funny because when I used to come on screen on 'Hollyoaks' and she could hear my voice she'd run to the window to see if I was coming home. She does the same thing when she hears my car coming as well.
It's funny because I'm quite dramatic when I'm at home on my own, like I'll take a sudden breath in like 'oh my god where are my keys' and she'll dramatically be like 'oh my god, what?' and I'll rush around to find them while she mirrors me following me until I find them. Then we're both okay again (laughs).
Many Thanks, Jorgie!
K9 Magazine’s Thanks Go To…
Collared Creatures – For Their Handmade Collar & Lead Set
Paws Couture – For Their Designer Harnesses for Dogs
Pets Love Scruffs – For Their Designer Wilton Pet Carriers
Urban Paws – Dog Modelling Agency