Davina Lucy Pascale McCall (born 16 October 1967) is an English television presenter. She currently hosts the Channel 4 game show The Million Pound Drop Live, Sky1's reality talent show Got to Dance, and ITV shows The Biggest Loser and Long Lost Family. McCall is best known as the presenter of reality series Big Brother during its run on Channel 4 between 2000 and 2010. Having fronted the weekly live eviction shows every year since the beginning, she decided not to return as host after it was dropped by Channel 4 in 2010 and relaunched by Channel 5 the following year. McCall is also the face of cosmetics brand Garnier and Swarfega in the United Kingdom.
After a difficult childhood, by her early twenties McCall had pursued various jobs including solo singer. Having recovered from a drug problem, she embarked on a career in television with a first job presenting for satellite music channel MTV in 1992. After further work on terrestrial channels she became a household name thanks to Big Brother, while also continuing to work with other hosting vehicles on various channels, from game shows to talent shows. From 2005 she has also been a regular co-presenter for the Comic Relief annual telethons.
Departures from presenting into other television roles, through a sitcom, a documentary series and fronting her own chat show, have all proven to be unsuccessful, and beyond Big Brother she has continued in the main as a presenter on Channel 4, ITV and Sky.
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.
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!.
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.
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 Brothershow, 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.From 2013, McCall will present new Channel 4 game show Five Minutes to a Fortune.