Some time ago, I went to the Horse of the Year Show. A queue of girls, accompanied by their mothers and grandmothers, snaked around the venue. At their age, I would have eagerly done the same for a chance to meet the heroes of the day – John and Michael Whitaker had the status of rock stars. However, it turned out these pre-teens were there for Katie Price, who was launching a range of pink equestrian-wear. The mothers and grandmothers were equally starstruck, and told me they thought she was a wonderful role model.
There is something about Price – perhaps the fact that she appears unfiltered, or her resolve to keep going where others would give up – that provokes admiration from some and exerts a grim fascination from others. It is why she has never gone away. Katie Price: Trauma and Me (Channel 4) is the latest in a seemingly endless conveyor belt of shows about her.
In this one, she discussed the post-traumatic stress disorder to which she ascribed the latest dramas in her life, namely a drink-driving episode in which she flipped her 4×4 onto its side, and breaching a restraining order against her ex-husband’s new partner.
Price deserves the greatest of sympathy for the terrible events in her life: raped at seven, and the victim of a brutal carjacking in South Africa in 2018 during which she believed she would die. Of course these things will have had a lasting impact. Price said she had been suicidal and had spent time in the Priory. “Mental health is cruel, people don’t understand it. You can’t see it, and it’s horrible when you go through stuff,” she said. This programme, then, was an attempt to discuss how those things had affected her. In the way of all these kinds of shows, she spoke about herself and then met fellow sufferers, including a woman who had started a PTSD charity. The figure was that one in 10 will suffer PTSD in their lifetime.
But when Price began railing against media intrusion, the programme lost its way. Her career is built on tabloid coverage. Openness is valuable when talking about mental health, but here Price barrelled off into complaining about her ex-husbands, and giving details of custody issues involving two of her children. These domestic dramas, she said, were among “the triggers around me that cause me to react”. But dragging them into this cheapened a worthwhile programme.