Gillian McKeith’s daughters said they were the butt of the jokes growing up as their mum rose to fame inspecting people’s poo and fainting during her stint on 2010’s I’m a Celebrity
Gillian McKeith’s girls today hit back at claims she is Britain’s most annoying woman to claim their mum is just “misunderstood”.
Skylar, 28, and Afton, 23, spoke out after Gillian and Shaun Ryder became the first stars to be evicted from ITV ’s I’m A Celeb after five days on Friday.
The sisters admit Gillian’s rise to fame as the ‘Poo Lady’ made them the butt of jokes when they were growing up.
Skylar told how she was bullied at school because of her diet guru mum’s passion for studying other people’s stools on You Are What You Eat.
She said: “I was at secondary school in London and I had people shouting down the hallway, ‘Skylar, I saw your mum sniffing poo on TV last night’.
“They were horrible and made fun of me. I really struggled.
“One day, a boy pushed me against a wall and held a lighter to my face. I was like, ‘I’m done’, and was homeschooled for a bit.”
Her little sister was in primary school at the time and escaped much of the torment – but has had years of dating woe instead.
Afton said: “I get nervous dating men from England as they know my mum from TV. I stopped going out with them because it was too weird.”
Lawyer Skylar – who joined Gillian in South Africa when the series was recorded last September – said: “Mum sat my sister and I down after and asked if we were OK with what she was doing. We told her she had our full support.
“People have got her wrong – she’s not an irritating woman. They don’t know the real her… she’s misunderstood and a wonderful mum.”
The siblings also follow their mother’s advice to inspect their poo regularly for health reasons, which has been a part of their life for as long as they can remember.
Afton, who lives in Austin, Texas, said: “We check our poo in my family. It’s always a topic of conversation at the dinner table.
“My last boyfriend was American and didn’t know about it until I explained Mum used to inspect poo on the TV. I’d ask him how his looked to make sure we were both healthy.
“If you really care about somebody and want to make sure they’re healthy, it’s the best thing to do.
“Do you know how many people’s lives have been saved just by looking at it?”
Skylar, who lives in South Dakota, with her American husband Aaron and son Landon, two, added: “I’m raising my son the same way. It’s not a weird thing.”
The sisters were 16 and 10 when their mum was first on I’m A Celeb in 2010 – and they haven’t forgotten Happy Mondays singer Shaun clashing with their mum. He branded Gillian “a f***ing irritating woman”.
Skylar said: “I was in Australia with Shaun’s wife and children. We spent a lot of time together so it was upsetting to hear the stuff he was saying.”
The girls also find it frustrating that Gillian gets slated for wearing daring outfits at 63 – while 62-year-old Carol Vorderman is praised.
Afton said: “If you saw her outfits on You Are What You Eat, she covered everything up.
“ Channel 4 wanted her to dress how they thought a 40-year-old should. She even had to cut her hair the way they wanted.
“My mum has amazing legs – they’re better than mine. Me and Dad always tell her to show them off. She’ll go to an event and there will be 25-year-old guys trying to date her because of her legs.
“People who criticise her aren’t confident in themselves. They’re stupid because my mum’s obviously beautiful. She’s never had surgery or botox when most people her age in the public eye have.”
Afton grew up among other celebs as her mum, who came from a council estate in Perth, Scotland, found fame.
She said: “Mum and Dad were part of Kabbalah, a centre for spirituality.
“Madonna and her son Rocco would go there and we played together every weekend. Madonna is not a fan of adults – you can probably understand why – but she was amazing to children and a great mum from what I could tell.”
Afton added: “There was never alcohol in our house and my parents never took us to fast food places. I don’t even know what McDonald’s tastes like.”
Gillian’s youngest daughter trained as an actress alongside Rocco, Sting’s daughters and Brooklyn Beckham.
But despite their A-list families, she claims the other students would be most starstruck when they met her mum.
Afton said of her time at prestigious performing arts school Italia Conti: “When I joined, Mum had been on I’m A Celeb and everyone knew who she was. It attracted kids from famous parents, but even though theirs were super A-list, they were still fangirling over my mum. If she showed up, they’d all be staring.”