Why Davina McCall had to ‘grieve’ alcohol after giving it up

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Susan Devaney
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TV presenter Davina McCall has opened up about her battle with alcohol, and why she now feels like she “could deal with anything”. 

Since making her presenting debut in 1992, Davina McCall has been a formidable force in the world of television - and become a well-loved and respected household name.

Part of this is down to McCall’s incredible resilience: she’s never been anything but honest about her past, sharing details about her battles with both alcohol and heroin in order to raise awareness. 

Now, the TV veteran has opened up once more about the importance of facing life’s ups and downs as she navigates her way through a divorce from her husband, Matthew Robertson, of 17 years.

“[You] need to experience difficulty to learn how to be resilient,” she tells Red magazine. “If you haven’t been through anything difficult, the minute you do, it will hit you like a freight train and you won’t know what to do because you’ve never been given the tools to deal with it.”

During her early twenties, McCall battled with an alcohol addiction and, after her estranged mother passed away, she turned to drugs to find solace. But, she looks back knowing that all of these experiences have empowered her to be able to “deal with anything”.

“When I think of all the stuff that happened with my mum in my childhood, and the drugs and the alcohol, and my sister dying, and knowing I got through all that… all of those things make you think ‘throw anything at me – I’ll be okay’,” McCall says. 

Having been clean since the age of 25, McCall has focused her energy on living a very healthy lifestyle – but she recalls having to “grieve” giving up booze.

“I dance a lot better without booze than I did with booze,” she says. “If you don’t have to give up booze, then for God’s sake, don’t give up booze.

“I had to grieve not drinking. That was so sad. But I knew that alcohol was the gateway to drugs for me, and it would still be the gateway. It’s just not worth it,” she explains. 

The mum-of-three says in 2018 she’s “the happiest she’s ever been” in life.

You can read all of the wisdom McCall has (thankfully) dispensed over the years here.

You can read the full interview in Red magazine’s June issue.

Images: Getty / Instagram