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Former model Gail Porter cries as she wears a wig for the first time since alopecia diagnosis in 2005

Gail Porter cried as she wore a wig for the first time in 13 years. Photo: ITV News/Loose Women

Gail Porter broke down in tears as she appeared on television wearing a wig for the first time since losing her hair to alopecia in 2005.

The former model refused to wear wigs and hairpieces since her diagnosis.

On Monday, she debuted her custom-made blonde wig on ITV’s Loose Women.

A tearful Porter said: "It feels really nice but really weird.”

“I keep wanting to do this all the time,” she said as she flicked her hair.

“I felt really nervous, I was worried about your reactions and what people think,” she added.

Porter said that she “gasped” when she saw the wig for the first time, and that “it reminds me of being young”.

Porter attending a film premiere in 1999. Credit: PA

Asked if she felt pressure to stay bald to inspire others, she said: “I think I’ll always be bald half the week. I don’t know when I’ll wear this. Maybe go out for dinner or something.

“I enjoy feeling bald, I understand what you’re saying, I want people to be aware you have a choice. It’s beginning to feel normal now.

“It’s not just for people with alopecia… [there is] cancer, people lose their hair for all different reasons. If they can go bald, that’s brilliant, I might take this off afterwards and go shopping in Westfield. I might have it in my handbag, have the option.”

Porter became a household name in the 1990s as a television presenter. Credit: PA

Porter, rose to fame in the 1990s as a television presenter for shows including Top Of The Pops and The Big Breakfast and then as a model in men’s magazines such as FHM.

She told the panel on Loose Women: “I’m used to being bald. This is fun."

“People have got wardrobes, you can put your hair up… I can take mine off. I can put a different colour on.”

She said her teenage daughter Honey told her she “looks lovely” with the wig on.

Porter first lost her hair in 2005 and several years later, she was delighted when her hair began to grow back, starting with her lashes and brows.

Porter has not worn in a wig in public since her diagnosis in 2005. Credit: PA

She then sported a short, cropped look, but in 2010, she revealed her hair had started to fall out again, and the following year she unveiled her shaved head again.

Porter developed the condition in the wake her marriage to musician Dan Hipgrave ending, which also led to an overdose.

The former model was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which is characterised by periods of depression and mania.