Davina McCall, 53, is one of the most renowned British TV presenters, having worked on the likes of Big Brother and The Masked Singer to the tear-jerking Long Lost Family. But before all that she faced something a lot more sinister – an addiction to heroin. The 53-year-old admitted that her issues with drugs in her 20s stemmed from her mum being an addict too, but beating her own demons helped the presenter become a “stronger person”.
Recalling some of the darkest times of her life, she said during Advertising Week Europe 2021: “I dealt with a very difficult, alcoholic, drug-addict mother and in turn ended up a drug addict myself,
“But it’s just made me a much stronger person and a person that doesn’t take no as the end of the line.”
She confessed honestly: “I was a heroin addict – that was my drug of choice.
“I loved heroin, more than my family, more than myself.
“I hated myself, but I loved heroin more than anything.”
Davina admitted she “would have stolen” and got herself into “terrible mixes” to try and get it, she was that desperate.
“Getting through that, going to go into Narcotics Anonymous meetings, made me realise that if I can get through that I can pretty much get through (anything),” she beamed proudly.
Alongside TV, the presenter has also thrown herself into her fitness, sporting an incredibly toned figure and has numerous successful DVDs to her name, including Super Body Workout, Body Buff and 30 Day Fat Burn.
But as a former addict, it was something she never thought would be possible.
Symptoms of fighting addiction, commonly known as ‘Cold Turkey’, include sweating, difficulty sleeping, shaking, fatigue and nausea and she revealed she experienced some of the same signs during the perimenopause.
Using her platform to raise awareness of ‘The Change’, she partnered with Channel 4 for a new documentary, Davina McCall: Sex, Myths And The Menopause which begins tonight, discussing the lack of information around the condition.
Speaking of her own experience, Davina said: “I had a tough experience when I got to perimenopause at 44 and I really didn’t know who to talk to or where to go.”
“[The] really horrible thing for me about getting night sweats was I’m a recovering addict and it really took me back to being sick and trying to recover from addiction.”
Detailing her ordeal further, the mum-of-three continued: “I was waking up with just a pool of water. And it wasn’t all the time, it was maybe two or three times a month.”
After continuous stints of not being able to sleep, constantly needing to go to the toilet, and experiencing a terrifying ‘brain fog’ at work, she was prescribed HRT by a private gynaecologist and revealed she feels “better” than she has done in several years.
“I am working hard, I’m at the top of my game and feel like I’ve been reborn,” she smiled.
Davina McCall: Sex, Myths And The Menopause airs tonight on Channel 4 at 9pm.
If you or somebody you know has been affected by this story, contact Narcotics Anonymous for free support on 0300 999 1212 or visit their website, here.