Thursday 24 May 2018

Davina McCall: I had to grieve giving up alcohol

The TV star said she gave up booze because she knew it was the gateway to drugs for her.

Davina McCall (Ian West/PA)
Davina McCall (Ian West/PA)

By Laura Harding, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Davina McCall has said she had to “grieve” giving up alcohol because she knew drink was the gateway to drugs for her.

The TV star, who turned 50 last year, had spoken openly about her battle with addiction in the past.

She told Red magazine: “I dance a lot better without booze than I did with booze. If you don’t have to give up booze, then for God’s sake, don’t give up booze.

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“I had to grieve not drinking. That was so sad. But I knew that alcohol was the gateway to drugs for me, and it would still be the gateway. It’s just not worth it.”

McCall, who recently split up with her husband of 17 years, Matthew Robertson, also said that going through tough times was important to make you stronger.

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Davina McCall marriage

She said: “[You] need to experience difficulty to learn how to be resilient. If you haven’t been through anything difficult, the minute you do, it will hit you like a freight train and you won’t know what to do because you’ve never been given the tools to deal with it.

“When I think of all the stuff that happened with my mum in my childhood, and the drugs and the alcohol, and my sister dying, and knowing I got through all that… all of those things make you think “throw anything at me – I’ll be okay.

“It might be hard, but I do feel I could deal with anything.”

She said she she has embraced turning 50, adding: “When I was 30 and looked forward to 50, I was like, ‘Life’s going to be over, 50 is going to be terrible, I’m going to be in Scholl shoes. I’m never going to wear a bikini ever again’.

“And actually, I obsess about categorically busting every myth. It’s becoming a bit of a personal mission. If somebody tells me, ‘Well, you’re his age, you shouldn’t be doing this anymore’, I’m going to do it even more, just to annoy them.”

She continued: “I’m probably the happiest with my body that I ever have been. I’ve got more saggy skin because of my age, but that doesn’t bother me – not a f**k is given.

“People are always going on about [wearing] bikinis on beaches and I’m like, ‘Why wouldn’t you? Who cares?’ We need to get out there and do it. We need to show them it’s fine and we don’t care.”

She has also embraced going through menopause, saying: “Not having periods is quite a relief. For a week a month I’d be in such a bad mood. You can forget about that completely,” and is feeling optimistic about the future.

She told the magazine: “I’m in a good place. I’ve realised that I don’t need much. When I was in my 30s, I was like, ‘I want the house, I want the dog, I want the car’. But I don’t need it. I don’t really want it.”

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The full interview appears in the June issue of Red, on sale 2nd May

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