Today's Gok Wan is the multi-talented, fashion consultant, cook, author and for the first time this Christmas, star of Panto.
But that follows a very different childhood which included being picked on for being mixed race, tall, overweight and gay.
Facing and dealing with the prejudices that went hand in hand has enabled Gok to offer comfort and advice, particularly to women throughout the country.
He's been in the region promoting his new cookery book, and saying hi to some of his many fans.
Despite this, Gok still had time to talk to ITV News Anglia's Jonathan Wills.
Click below to watch Gok's full interview with Jonathan
More top news
Essex Police say they still want to find out what happened to Stuart Lubbock who died at Michael Barrymore's home near Harlow in 2001.
A High Court judge ruled he was entitled to "more than nominal" damages from police over a wrongful arrest he says destroyed his career.
The Anglia region has suffered its coldest start to August for many years and the summer weather is still on the showery side.