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TV presenter Davina McCall talks to Jack White about fresh starts, finding her happy size and why she’ll never Google herself
Can you believe it’s been almost 20 years since Davina McCall presented the first episode of Big Brother? And ever since the controversial hit show catapulted her to household fame in 2000, it’s felt like she’s been part of our extended family.
Davina admits after so many years in ‘the biz’ she’s now landed in a very good place, saying, ‘People like Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield probably can’t take the train because they’ll end up getting hounded, but I do, and I just have nice chats with people!’
And, like the British public, the years have also been incredibly kind to Davina, now 52, whose age-defying looks can be attributed to her enviable youthful vigour – and being happy.
Happiness is something she places great importance on these days. ‘There’s a great phrase,’ she says, ‘“You’re only as happy as your unhappiest kid”. And mine are happy so everything is good.’
However, we all know that Davina also loves a challenge, and now, along with her children Holly, 18, Tilly, 16, and 13-year-old Chester, she’s embarking on her biggest adventure yet…
I’m building a house! My kids and I have been renting and we were trying to find a plot of land. So we’re doing it together.
This year is going to be super stressful, but really fun. It’s the next phase of our lives – a house that we’ve all built and everyone gets to choose how they want their bedrooms. We’re unbelievably lucky. It was tough for the kids when we sold our house after Matthew and I split up [Davina’s marriage to former TV host Matthew Robertson, ended in 2017], so it’s nice to say, ‘fresh house, fresh start’.
I don’t Google myself because you end up seeing the good and bad.
What happens when you see a story that’s a load of twaddle is that you immediately want to defend yourself – it’s a natural instinct. But actually there’s no point. You can see I’m not too thin, so by defending myself it almost makes it worse. I just go through life blissfully unaware of that stuff. If I feel OK in myself and I know I’m in a good place, then I don’t need to worry about it.
Weight is not about the social norm of acceptance.
It isn’t about telling people, ‘You should be a size 10’. It’s about asking, ‘Where are you comfortable?’ I have girlfriends who are comfortable being a size 8, but they’re petite and have small frames. I can’t be a size 8, my build just isn’t made for it. My happy place is a size 10-12. I’m in the middle somewhere and that’s where I feel the most comfortable.
Sign up for a free 10-day trial of Davina’s new website at ownyourgoalsdavina.com
Davina appears on The Masked Singer Saturdays on ITV
For our full interview and shoot with Davina, pick up the March issue of woman&home on sale 6 February