Big Brother UK Host
Davina Lucy Pascale McCall|
10 April 1967
|Education||Godolphin and Latymer Girls School|
Davina Lucy Pascale McCall is a British actress and television presenter. Davina hosted Big Brother UK every year from 2000 to 2010.
Despite holding many high profile jobs, the one she is best remembered for is Big Brother.
As presenter of Big Brother, Davina hosted only the live shows which, for the most part, would only occur once a week for the eviction of a housemate. On rare occasions a live show will be organised in the event of a twist, such as a surprise or mid-week eviction, the arrival of new housemates or in order to spectate a live task.
Davina became well known for her outgoing and excitable deliveries of news to the camera, commonly speaking in a conversation like way. She always wore black on eviction nights and would address the housemates with the line: "Big Brother house, this is Davina. You are live on Channel 4, please do not swear." After calling the names of all nominated housemates, Davina would say: "The lines are closed, the votes have been counted and verified, and I can now reveal that the xxth person to be evicted from the Big Brother house is...". Davina would also regularly sign out with "I'm coming to get you!" after announcing that it is time for the evicted housemate to leave.
During the eviction of a sixth series housemate , Sam Heuston, Davina controversially conducted the interview in a bikini, mirroring Sam's tendency to wear just a bikini for a large proportion of the day. Later that series, Davina was criticised by the press for her apparently hostile attitude during an interview with finalist Makosi Musambasi.
In May 2008, British tabloid News of the World reported that Davina would leave Big Brother after the 2008 season, which she was reported to have been paid £85,000 per episode to present. This was later denied by McCall at the Sex And The City film premiere in London, where she said "I'm not leaving Big Brother. They would have to kill me before I'd stop doing it".
In 2009 and 2010, Davina took over as the main host of Big Brother spin-off show, Big Brother's Big Mouth.
In addition to her presenting job, Davina played the role of herself in the Big Brother based zombie horror film, Dead Set in which she is bitten by one of the infected and becomes a violent zombie and a threat to two of the main characters. Davina did all of her scenes in one day and later said that she had bruises all over her forearms from repeatedly banging on a door to a room in which two survivors were seeking refuge.
Davina was born in London to Florence (née Hennion) and Andrew McCall, and at the age of three went to live with her paternal grandparents in Surrey after the break-up of her parents' marriage. Her French mother Florence returned to Paris, and McCall saw her only when on holidays. Her relationship with her mother was a difficult one and she has said that her mother "should never have had kids" describing how she once left her, at the age of 12, in a nightclub on her own. She continued to see her father Andrew, a graphic designer, at weekends before moving in with him and his new wife Gaby when she was 13 years old.
McCall attended the Godolphin and Latymer Girls School, a private school in Hammersmith, London. During her teens McCall developed the eating disorder anorexia, which she has attributed to her fractured childhood and a desperate need for attention. At the age of 15, while studying for her nine O levels and later two more A levels, McCall sang professionally with a band; however when she was 19 she decided to go solo.
During this time she dated old family friend Eric Clapton, who also produced her demo music disc and helped her to try to crack the pop music world. Dissatisfied with her near misses in the record industry, she gave up singing and took a job at Models 1 on the men's desk as a booker. She also appeared in a music video for Kylie Minogue, Word Is Out, in a striped sweater and beret, in a nod to her French ancestry.
Later, she ran a restaurant for two years and worked as a singing waitress in Paris, when she later returned to London she quickly became a fixture on the club scene, ultimately finding work as a nightclub hostess. It was at this time, during her early 20s, that McCall was a drug addict. She stated in an interview on Parkinson that she started smoking canabis and moved onto cocaine and heroin from there. She then went on to say that she believed it was thanks to her grandmother that she went clean.
After difficult times, Eric Clapton helped McCall turn things around. In 1992 she landed a job as a presenter on Ray Coke's Most Wanted on MTV. She was the Female Voice Dubber on the first series of Channel 4's Eurotrash in 1993, in 1995 she went on to host the ITV game show God's Gift (transmitted very late at night) and in 1998 went on to present the cult dating show Streetmate. McCall presented every series of Big Brother UK from 2000-2010. She presented the BRIT Awards in 2000, as well as the BBC charity show Comic Relief on several occasions. She presented Don't Try This at Home! from 1998-2001, Popstars: The Rivals in 2002, The Vault, Oblivious, Reborn in the USA in 2003 and Love on a Saturday Night in 2004. In 2004 she also presented the BAFTA television awards.
McCall has also tried a hand at acting appearances in Sam's Game (2001), a Friends-style TV sitcom (also starring Irish comedian Ed Byrne), which was slammed by the critics and lasted only one series. She has also appeared in the Leigh Francis comedy sketch shows Bo Selecta and A Bear's Tail. McCall provided the voice of an android version of herself for the Doctor Who episode "Bad Wolf" in 2005, and played herself as a human and subsequently as a bloodthirsty zombie in Dead Set in 2008.
She has featured as a guest on numerous chat shows, and in 2005 appeared on the BBC Two motoring show Top Gear, participating in the programme's "Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car" segment. She rounded the track in 1:57.1, which earned a lowly 67th place on the scoreboard.
During 2005, McCall presented the BBC series "He's Having a Baby", which received poor ratings. In December 2005 it was announced that she would be hosting her own BBC One prime-time chat show called Davina in early 2006. Early reviews were scathing of the show, and viewing figures flirted around the 3 million mark (at one point, dropping as low as 2 million), compared to over 6 million watching The Bill on ITV1 at the same time. In April 2006, BBC One axed the show due to the ratings not reaching expectations.
It was revealed in March 2006 that ITV1 had signed up McCall to host the BAFTA television awards for the second time in May. In April 2006 McCall was confirmed as the main presenter on Sport Relief on BBC One in July of that year, alongside friend Chris Evans. She has since appeared as a host for Red Nose Day 2007 and, in conjunction, appeared in the video for Girls Aloud and Sugababes' cover of "Walk This Way", walking down a catwalk. In Red Nose Day 2009, she volunteered to donate £50.00 for kissing Doctor Who actor David Tennant who also co-hosted the charitable programme with her. Also on the programme, McCall had been competing against David on the celebrity version of MasterMind. Davina also presented Sport Relief 2010 alongside James Corden and others.
McCall has starred in a documentary, Let's Talk Sex, about sex education, and how sex education is taught in the United Kingdom. She also has published a book under the same title and appeared in a video for schools called "Watch Over Me," talking about her drug addiction and peer pressure.
In 2006, BBC Radio 1 DJ, and friend to McCall, Chris Moyles parodied The Feeling's song "Love It When You Call" to create a song entirely about her. The song, simply titled "The Davina McCall song" is one of the most popular parodies downloaded from website ChrisMoyles.net.
On 5 July 2007 McCall was a panellist on the BBC's Question Time. It was a special 'Schools' edition, partly produced by students. In December 2007, McCall presented a New Year's edition of The Friday Night Project, entitled "The Friday Night New Year Project 2007", alongside Alan Carr and Justin Lee-Collins.
Beginning in 2009 Davina became the host of dance competition, Got to Dance which carried on into early 2010. A second series of the show has been confirmed. Also in 2010, Davina hosted a new gameshow on Channel 4 called "The Million Pound Drop" from the 24th-29th May. "The Million Pound Drop" will return in 2011. She was then the subject of the show Davina McCall: A Comedy Roast on October 15, 2010. Additionally, she presented the last series of Big Brother - known as Ultimate Big Brother - this year, bringing an end to Davina's decade long reign as face of the reality show.
Davina has replaced Kate Garraway as presenter of the British version of The Biggest Loser which airs in 2011.
After dating Eric Clapton, McCall married Andrew Leggett in 1997, in Westminster, London, however they divorced in 1999.
In 2000 at Eastnor Castle Herefordshire, she married Matthew Robertson, presenter of Pet Rescue. The have three children together: two daughters and a son. Holly - the eldest - was born on 22 September 2001, Tilly was born on 23 September 2003 and the youngest, son Chester, was born on September 14 2006. Coincidentally, they were all born in the same month of different years, and McCall has been heavily pregnant during Big Brothers 2, 4 and 7 and in the early stages of pregnancy with her third child during Celebrity Big Brother 4. She gave birth to all of her children at home, being an advocate of home birth. When McCall was pregnant with her third child, she recorded a DVD/video workout geared towards pregnant women. When hosting the Friday Night Christmas Project, McCall revealed that if she could have any other job besides presenting, she would be a midwife.
The first episode of the 7th series of the BBC television programme Who Do You Think You Are? revealed that Davina is the great-granddaughter of onetime Prefect of Police Célestin Hennion (1862–1915). She is also the great great great-granddaughter, on her father's side, of James Thomas Bedborough (1787–1860), a stonemason, councillor, Mayor, property developer, and entrepreneur who worked on Windsor Castle and Upton Park in Slough. Pierre, Hennion's son and McCall's grandfather, gave McCall his father's Royal Victorian Order medal, which she showed on the programme.
She stated on the 31 July 2005, episode of Top Gear that she once had her nipples pierced but removed the rings to breastfeed.
McCall was estranged from her mother, who died in 2008. McCall is close to Caroline, her half-sister from her mother's first marriage.
A sound clip of her daughter Holly saying "International Radio 1" is played on weekdays by Radio 1 presenter Chris Moyles during his breakfast show at the end of the opening link before the first segue.
McCall has a house in Wadhurst, East Sussex.
She has produced several exercise DVDs along with her personal trainers, Mark and Jackie Wren, including Superbody Workout, High Energy Five, The Power of Three and My Three 30-Minute Workouts' and the latest 'Davina Fit'
McCall speaks fluent French, following her time living in Paris.