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Davina McCall shares her best life advice for women in their twenties and thirties

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Sarah Biddlecombe
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The TV presenter offers her words of wisdom for women in their twenties, thirties and beyond

She’s a veteran TV presenter who is instantly recognisable to any millennial woman worth her salt – after all, our generation has practically grown up watching Davina McCall on our screens. A formidable force in front of the camera since making her presenting debut in 1992, McCall’s been the face of some of the biggest programmes on TV, from Big Brother to Streetmate, This Morning and The Jump. And she did all of this while launching her own fitness DVD empire, too.

But McCall isn’t loved for her presenting and interviewing skills alone. Despite having an infectiously huge enthusiasm for anything she does on-screen, the 50-year-old has also spoken openly about facing various battles in her life, making her a relatable and inspirational figure for many.

Back in 2012, she discussed having a “sense of relief” when her estranged mother died, and has spoken frankly about how their troubled relationship led her to seek solace in drugs. Last year, she spoke honestly about how she finally managed to overcome a long-term heroin addiction that left her a “mess” in her twenties, and most recently she shared a powerful message about being hopeful for the future when announcing her split from her husband of 17 years, Matthew Robertson.

All of this makes McCall perfectly placed to offer some words of wisdom to women in their twenties and thirties, with the presenter even saying that she receives messages from such women thanking her for being, well, her. ‘Speaking at the launch of Ryvita’s Positivity Panel in London, McCall said, “I often get messages from 30-year-old women saying ‘thanks for being a little bit embarrassingly enthusiastic, because it gives me hope that when I’m 50 it’s all going to be OK’. And actually, it is.”

Throughout the panel, the presenter shared all manner of sage advice, which we’ve compiled below into takeaway pieces of wisdom…

Own up to your weaknesses

“Sometimes I think [the key to confidence] is owning your weakness. Perfectionism is a terrible strife of today, and so many people are obsessed with being perfect.

But something I’ve come to terms with as I’ve got older is accepting my defects of character. They might always be with you, but you know what they are, and you know how to park them. I spent my twenties trying to get rid of them and getting angry at myself for not being perfect, but now I know that is part of me, and I am sometimes a bit insecure and so on, but these are the good bits and I can move forward. I know what my strengths are.”

Your confidence will increase with age

“That journey to confidence is something you’re endlessly seeking in your twenties. How do I become more confident? How do I become the person that can just talk to people? Or maybe it just comes down the question of how to talk to that guy or girl that you like. I think it’s funny because for me, it’s been something that’s come with age - but I’ve had to fake it a lot.

Now, I feel much more confident and that I can literally talk to anybody. I feel like I’ve got nothing left to prove and I’m alright in my own skin.”

Don’t forget to take care of yourself

“For a long time I’ve been number 110 on the totem pole of important things to look after, and now I’m edging my way up that totem pole. And I’m thinking, well hang on a minute, what would I like?”

Having a confidence crisis? Fake it

“The other day, my daughter was going to do some work experience and she was absolutely petrified. I said, ‘just fake it until you start feeling it’. And people reacted to her differently because she was faking it, and then it became real.

With me though, I feel like I can’t tell people I’m nervous, because people expect me to be confident. I can’t be nervous – so I just have to fake it until I feel it.”

The future is bright

“In the previous generation, at the age of 50 they thought, this is the age where this happens, or that happens, and I’m not going to be able to wear a bikini after 55. Rubbish! That’s all gone out of the window. It feels quite nice. I think we’re the first generation who are doing whatever we want, whenever we want, so that’s exciting.

And we may have a few more wrinkles now, but with that comes a sense of wellbeing and life experience.”

Davina McCall is Ryvita’s new ambassador. Together, with Cancer Research UK and The Positivity Panel, Ryvita and Davina are on a mission to inspire people to enjoy positive healthy living every day and ‘get more good into their lives’

Images: Rex Features