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
The first ever Chelmsford marathon kicked off at the weekend at Central Park with nearly 2000 runners taking part.
Largely cloudy, with only limited bright or sunny intervals. However most places will remain dry, as showers will be isolated.
Relatives of a man from Cambridge feared missing in the Himalayan mountain disaster have spoken of their relief that he's safe.