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Davina McCall
Davina1
Profile
Birth Date 16 October, 1967
Died Davina McCall
Hometown East Sussex
Occupation Presenter
Years Active 1992–present

Davina Lucy Pascale McCall (born 16th October 1967) is an English actress and television presenter. Davina presented every main series and every celebrity series of Big Brother UK from 2000-2010.

Early CareerEdit

McCall's first career was as a singer. McCall had been performing in a band while still at school. The band went under the name Foghorn. By age 19 she had decided to pursue a professional career as a solo artist, assisted by her then boyfriend Eric Clapton who produced her demo music disc.

Dissatisfied with near misses in the music industry, McCall gave up singing and took a job at Models 1 on the men's desk as a booker. Later she ran a restaurant for two years before a brief spell in Paris as a Moulin Rouge style cabaret performer. On her return to London she worked on the nightclub scene as a hostess. Work in this period also included an appearance as a dancer in the video for the 1991 Kylie Minogue single Word Is Out, wearing a striped sweater and beret in a nod to her French ancestry.

PresentingEdit

Before Big BrotherEdit

In 1992 McCall was hired as a presenter on Ray Cokes' Most Wanted on MTV Europe. In 1995 she went on to host the ITV late night game show God's Gift and in 1998 to present the cult Channel 4 dating show Streetmate. From 1998 she co-hosted the Sky TV show Prickly Heat with Julian Clary and presented the ITV game show Don't Try This at Home!.

Big BrotherEdit

Her usual phrase was still on her website pictures on the page Big Brother and it was,

Big Brother House, this is Davina. You are live on Channel 4; please do not swear.

–Davina


McCall was chosen as the inaugural presenter of the first series of Channel 4's reality television show Big Brother, in which 10 housemates entered a sealed house for up to nine weeks and their every move would be filmed and then broadcast as a daily highlights show. McCall hosted the weekly live eviction show, where one contestant would be removed from the house, until the last housemate became the winner. McCall also hosted the celebrity version Celebrity Big Brother, whose first series ran for eight days in March 2001. Days before the celebrity series, McCall also hosted the 2000 BRIT Awards.

McCall continued to present other shows in the Big Brother period. When ITV's game show Don't Try This at Home! ended in 2001, she continued with that channel presenting series such as the talent show Popstars: The Rivals and game show The Vault (1st series) in 2002, the talent/reality series Reborn in the USA in 2003 and the entertainment series Love on a Saturday Night in 2004. She also hosted the British Academy Television Awards 2004 for ITV, returning in in 2006. McCall's performance on the final night of the sixth series in 2005 attracted press attention and some complaints for her treatment of housemate Makosi Musambasi. In December 2007, McCall presented a New Year's edition of Channel 4's The Friday Night Project, entitled "The Friday Night New Year Project 2007", alongside Alan Carr and Justin Lee-Collins.

By the ninth series of Big Brother in 2008, McCall was earning a reported £85,000 per episode. Responding to tabloid claims before the series that she was about to quit Big Brother she said, "I'm not leaving ... They would have to kill me before I'd stop doing it". The ninth series proved to be a low point however, becoming the least watched summer series in the show's history.

McCall became the regular presenter of the live Big Brother companion show Big Brother's Big Mouth for the tenth and eleventh series, after it was recast into an hour long show after the weekly live eviction show, having previously occupied the slot after each daily highlights show. In December 2009, McCall began hosting the Sky1 reality talent show Got to Dance which judges was Kimberly Wyatt,Banjo,Adam but he was axed and was replaced woth a member of JLS, Aston.

Leaving Big Brother and beyondEdit

With audience figures falling, Channel 4 decided that the eleventh series in Summer 2010 would be the last Big Brother broadcast on their channel, although the show's future was in the hands of the rights holder Endemol. After presenting the seventh and final series of Celebrity Big Brother in January 2010, she fronted her eleventh and final regular edition over the Summer. As a finale to the series on Channel 4, McCall also presented the Ultimate Big Brother show, which started immediately after the regular series, and featured selected past regular and celebrity housemates.

Having made the decision to leave the show after Ultimate Big Brother, McCall confirmed she would not be returning as host when Channel 5 announced in April 2011 that they had secured the rights to relaunch Big Brother in Summer 2011. She gave her backing to Emma Willis as her replacement, stating she still believed the show had potential. Big Brother 2 and Ultimate Big Brother winner Brian Dowling was ultimately chosen to take over McCall's role as presenter of the Channel 5 version.

In between the final celebrity and regular editions of Big Brother on Channel 4, McCall began presenting a new Channel 4 game show called The Million Pound Drop Live, and has continued to do so into 2012. Beyond the end of Big Brother on Channel 4 McCall also continued as host of Got to Dance on Sky1 into 2012. From 2011 to 2012, McCall hosted ITV reality weight loss game show The Biggest Loser until its axe in September 2012. Since April 2013, McCall has presented Channel 4 game show Five Minutes to a Fortune.

Other workEdit

TelivisionEdit

In fictional television, in 2001 McCall appeared alongside Ed Byrne, Tristan Gemmill and Tameka Empson as the title character in Sam's Game, a Friends-style sitcom. Slammed by the critics, it aired in just one six-episode series. In self-portrayals, McCall has voiced the android Davina McCall in the 2005 Doctor Who episode "Bad Wolf", and in 2008 she played herself as both a human and a zombie in Dead Set, a five-part horror parody of Big Brother set in the House.

From early 2006 McCall also fronted her own prime-time chat show on BBC One called Davina, featuring guests such as Pierce Brosnan, Gordon Ramsay, Dawn French and Piers Morgan. Receiving scathing reviews and with viewing figures falling to below half of the 6 million watching The Bill on ITV1 at the same time, the show was axed in April for not reaching expectations.

In documentary television, McCall has fronted Let's Talk Sex about sex education and how it's taught in the United Kingdom (one of the countries of Europe with the highest teenage pregnancy levels). She also published a companion book to the series. McCall has also appeared in a video for schools called "Watch Over Me," talking about her drug addiction and peer pressure. During 2005 she presented the BBC documentary series He's Having a Baby, in which she was to follow and advise eight young men who were to become first time fathers at various stages during the shows 10 week run. It received poor ratings.

TelethonsEdit

Since 2005 McCall has been one of the co-presenters of the annual British charity telethons are organised by Comic Relief. Organised on an alternating comedy/sport theme and televised live in March, McCall has co-hosted Red Nose Days in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013 also for Sport Relief in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012. She has also presented or appeared on various related Comic Relief shows, including: The Record Breaker (1999), Naked Red Nose Ground Force in Practice and Say Pants to Poverty (2001), The Big Hair Do (2003) and Comic Relief Does Fame Academy (2005).

Other appearancesEdit

On 5 July 2007, McCall was a panellist on the school's edition of the BBC's Question Time political panel show.

In 2010 McCall was subjected to Channel 4's version of the popular American practice of a 'comedy roast', in which a famous personality has to endure mocking by a host of celebrity friends in silence, only being allowed to deliver a rebuttal at the end. Davina McCall: A Comedy Roast featured roasts from Rich Hall, Debra Stephenson, Patrick Kielty, Ed Byrne, Jack Whitehall, Chris Moyles, Dermot O'Leary, Julian Clary, Fearne Cotton, Brian Dowling, Nikki Grahame, Sophie Reade, Brian Belo and Sam Pepper.

BiographyEdit

Early lifeEdit

McCall was born on 16 October 1967 in Wimbledon, 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 – whom McCall has described as something of a "wild child" and later, specifically as "an alcoholic" – 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 St Catherine's School, Bramley in Guildford, Surrey and Godolphin and Latymer Girls School, an independent school in Hammersmith, West London. At secondary level, McCall studied for nine O levels and two A levels. During her teens McCall developed the eating disorder anorexia. In the words of Hello Magazine, McCall's sunny disposition, one of her greatest assets as a TV presenter, stems from overcoming her fractured childhood and this eating disorder.

FamilyEdit

McCall is married to Matthew Robertson, presenter of Pet Rescue, with whom she has three children – two daughters, Holly Willow (born 22 September 2001, Hounslow, London) and Tilly Pippy (born 23 September 2003, Surrey), and a son, Chester Micky (born 14 September 2006, Surrey). Robertson is McCall's second husband; they were married on 29 June 2000 at Eastnor Castle, Herefordshire. Her first marriage was to Andrew Leggett in 1997 in Westminster, London. McCall's pre-marital relationships included old family friend Eric Clapton. He also helped her when in early 20s she developed a drug problem; it was only after turning things around that she gained her own television show on MTV.

McCall had a maternal half-sister, Caroline Baday, who died of lung cancer aged 50 on 1 August 2012.

AncestryEdit

McCall's ancestry was examined for a 2009 episode of Who Do You Think You Are?. With the help of historians Jean-Marc Berliere and Simon Kitson, McCall learned that she is the great-granddaughter of onetime Prefect of Police Célestin Hennion (1862–1915), and 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. Participants in the show included Françoise Hennion (Hennion's granddaughter and McCall's mother's cousin) and Pierre, Hennion's son and McCall's grandfather. Pierre gave McCall his father's Royal Victorian Order medal. McCall met with Alfred Dreyfus's great-granddaughter, Yael Ruiz, after learning of the part her ancestor played in the Dreyfus affair.

Big Brother Presenting HistoryEdit

Year Series Show Role
2000 Big Brother 1 Big Brother Main Presenter
2001 Celebrity Big Brother 1
Big Brother 2
2002 Big Brother 3
Celebrity Big Brother 2
2003 Big Brother 4
2004 Big Brother 5
2005 Celebrity Big Brother 3
Big Brother 6
2006 Celebrity Big Brother 4
Big Brother 7
2007 Celebrity Big Brother 5
Big Brother 8
2008 Big Brother 9
Big Brother's Big Mouth One-Time Presenter
2009 Celebrity Big Brother 6 Big Brother Main Presenter
Big Brother 10 Big Brother
Big Brother's Big Mouth
2010 Celebrity Big Brother 7 Big Brother
Big Brother's Big Mouth
Big Brother 11 Big Brother
Big Brother's Big Mouth
Ultimate Big Brother Big Brother
Big Brother's Big Mouth

GalleryEdit

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