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Alexander Matthew Wright (born 8 July 1965 in Richmond upon Thames, Surrey[1]) is an English television presenter and former tabloid journalist.

Since 2000, Wright has been the host of the topical discussion series The Wright Stuff, which airs on weekday mornings on Channel 5. He previously wrote for The Sun and was a showbusiness gossip columnist for The Daily Mirror.

In 2013, Wright took part in the thirteenth series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!. He was the fourth participant to be eliminated.

Early life and educationEdit

Wright started his career at the age of 14, appearing in the Children's Film Foundation production Big Wheels And Sailor (1979).[2] He was educated at the voluntary-aided Roman Catholic boys' John Fisher School in Purley, Croydon, Surrey and was in the same class as the artist and sculptor Diarmuid Bryon O'Connor and DJ Gilles Peterson. He also attended Croydon Youth Theatre. Following school, Wright attended the University of Exeter, graduating in English and Drama.[2]

CareerEdit

Wright became a showbusiness correspondent with The Sun and later wrote a column for the Daily Mirror in the 1990s, with future 3AM girl Polly Graham as his assistant. During his time at the Daily Mirror, Wright covered numerous celebrity stories, including the wedding of Phil Collins and Orianne Cevey in 1999, which he claimed was the longest wedding he had ever been to.[3]

He left the Daily Mirror in 2000 to pursue a television career and launch the website mykindaplace.com.[4] He was chosen to front Channel 5's daily topical discussion series The Wright Stuff, which started broadcasting in September 2000. Wright originally co-presented the series with panellists James O'Brien and Kate Silverton. After a couple of years, O'Brien and Silverton were replaced by a new panel every week and the series began attracting celebrities to guest on the panel every day.

In 2002, Wright was a contributor to Phil Collins: A Life Less Ordinary, a BBC television documentary which profiled the life and career of the Genesis band member and solo musician.[5] The documentary, narrated by Mariella Frostrup, was released on DVD on 9 June 2003.[6]

Since 2007, Wright has been the lead presenter on BBC One's Inside Out programme in the London area.[7]

In September 2011, Wright joined the Daily Star Sunday as a columnist, but was dropped by the newspaper in March 2012.[8]

In November 2013, Wright appeared in the thirteenth series. During this time on the show, The Wright Stuff was guest presented by Richard Madeley for almost a month. He was the fourth participant to be voted out of the series in a double eviction with campmate Vincent Simone on 3 December.[9]

In February 2014, Wright hosted The Big Benefits Row: Live on Channel 5, a debate broadcast live from 9:00pm with guests including Ken Livingstone, Annabel Giles, Edwina Currie and Katie Hopkins.

In March 2014, he appeared on Sport Relief's Top Dog with his dog, Wiggy.

ControversiesEdit

In 1998, Wright and the Daily Mirror were successfully sued for libel for £20,000 by actor David Soul, after Wright referred to the play The Dead Monkey in a review as being "without doubt the worst West End show I have ever seen", despite not having seen it. Wright also made several other false claims about the play in his article. Soul stated that Wright was "using the play as an excuse to attack me personally".[10]

In 2002, Wright named John Leslie live on air as the television presenter being linked to the alleged rape of Ulrika Jonsson. Wright subsequently claimed he couldn't remember blurting out Leslie's name during the show. In a Sky 1 show, John Leslie: My Year of Hell, Wright offered John Leslie an apology. Leslie confirmed he wouldn't sue Wright, claiming: "I think he just made a really big mistake and unfortunately I was the one paying the price."[11]

In October 2011, Wright caused a controversy when he asked male viewers of The Wright Stuff if they would have sex with Amanda Knox, who had just been acquitted of the murder of Meredith Kercher. Wright introduced a debate on Knox's future with an on-screen caption headed "Foxy Knoxy: Would Ya?" and told viewers: "She's entirely innocent. She's also undeniably fit and loves wild sex. Or did. So if you were a guy who'd met her in a bar and she invited you back to hers, would you go?" Wright apologised for the segment the following day, stating: "While I'm not going to apologise for discussing Amanda Knox's future after all the terrible things the media has said about her these past four years, I do want to say sorry for the way I framed the debate. The on-screen title was wrong, no doubt about it."[12]

In December 2011, Wright made a joke during a discussion on his show of the murder of Scottish teenager Liam Aitchison, resulting in more than 2,000 viewer complaints and an investigation by regulator Ofcom.[13] This edition of The Wright Stuff resulted in more complaints being made to Ofcom than any other programme in 2011.[14] Wright personally wrote to Aitchison's family by way of apology.[15]

Personal lifeEdit

Wright's first marriage ended in a bitter legal battle that he claims "made me wary of relationships".[16] In 2003, he started a relationship with Closer columnist Caroline Monk.[17] He met his second wife, Amelia Gatte,[18][19] at a garden party held by their mutual friend Miriam Stoppard.[16] They married in 2010.[19] In 2013, they revealed they were trying to conceive a baby with the help of in vitro fertilization but three of their IVF pregnancies so far had ended in a miscarriage. His wife is unable to become pregnant naturally following an ectopic pregnancy.[19] Despite his relationships with women, has acknowledged that he is "a slightly camp man. I can't be any other way, so if people want to imagine that they're my gay lovers, more power to them."[20] Wright has acknowledged that "everyone thinks I'm gay".[16]

Wright is a fan of live music and regularly attends concerts. In 2003 he performed on stage with his favourite band, Hawkwind, at the London Astoria, after interviewing the band's frontman Dave Brock on radio. He is now a friend of the band.[16] He also released a single with them, "Spirit of the Age", in 2006, and is credited on their album Take Me To Your Leader, released the same year.[21]

He claims that Here & Now's 1983 record Fantasy Shift is the album that changed his life.[22] In 2015, Wright was the host of the fourth annual Progressive Music Awards, staged by Prog magazine.[23][24]

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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