Monday 20 November 2017

I planned my babies around Big Brother, says Davina McCall

Davina McCall presented Big Brother for 11 series
Davina McCall presented Big Brother for 11 series

TV presenter Davina McCall has confirmed all three of her children have September birthdays because she did not want to miss hosting Big Brother.

McCall has two daughters and a son with husband Matthew Robertson and McCall has admitted they were all born in the same month because of her television commitments during the summer.

She told Kirsty Young on Desert Island Discs: " I love Big Brother so much and the idea of someone else presenting it was 'over my dead body' so I said to Matthew 'We are not trying for a baby until after December so there we are, three birthdays in September."

McCall presented the reality show for its 11 series run on Channel 4 between 2000 and 2010, as well as Celebrity Big Brother between 2001 and 2010, and once sported a T-shirt emblazoned with "Big Mutha" when was heavily pregnant on the programme.

McCall, who has battled drug addiction, told Young she found it difficult to relax as a parent because she didn't want to make the same mistakes as her own addict mother.

She said: "I was constantly just trying to be perfect, I was so uptight.

"I thought I was being relaxed but I was desperate not to repeat the same mistakes. I was trying to be everything and you can't. I had to let go of the reins a bit."

McCall told Young her first memory of her French mother Florence was one of abandonment, saying: "M y first recollection was that she would just forget me.

"When I was about eight or nine I nearly downed, I was hit on the head in the sea by a little boat. I choked and a woman saw it and waded out to me and lifted me out and hugged me. I remember standing on the beach and thinking 'Should I tell Mummy?' and then thought there is no point because she won't mother me.

"She always came first, her feelings and worries and life were always more important and we always worked around her."

McCall said her drug use began after she moved to London to live with her father and stepmother and discovered the music scene.

She told Young: "Taking drugs is like Russian roulette, some people can take drugs then put them down and walk away and have an adult life and never touch them again and some people pick up the drugs and can't put them down and that was me."

She added: " Until the last year you would never know my life was in complete mess. I had a job. I didn't steal, I didn't inject.

"These things made me different from other awful drug addicts over there, thinking 'I'm not as bad as them so it's OK. I would have been destroyed if other people thought I had a problem with drugs.

"The turning point was when I realised other people knew I had a problem with drugs."

Since completing a 500 mile triathlon from Edinburgh to London for Sport Relief in 2014 and raising more than £2 million in the process, McCall said she knows she is capable of more than she thinks so believes she has what it takes to survive on the desert island.

After choosing tracks including Kate Bush's Jig Of Life, Sarah McLachlan's Angel and Can You Feel it by Todd Terry, she opted for a bath as her luxury item and Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins as her book of choice.

:: Desert Island Discs is on BBC Radio 4 at 11.15am.

Press Association

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