‘ This is my decade of
not giving a damn!’
f you ever wanted proof that
your 50s really are the new
30s, look no further than
Davina McCall. At 52 she looks
sensational, with an ageless
glow that explains exactly why
she’s Garnier’s longest serving
Davina, who’s been on our
tellies since the nineties, is one
of those stars who is just as
friendly and fun in real life as
she seems on screen. The
mum-of-three is refreshingly
candid about her struggles,
from divorce to the menopause,
but when we catch up with
her for a chat she’s mostly
buzzing with happiness.
And it’s no wonder, with her
career going from strength to
strength and a new love in her
life. She’s dating her best friend
of 20 years, hairdresser Michael
Douglas, and although they are
keeping it low-key they recently
started a podcast together.
Here, Davina talks about
family life, why she’ll eventually
embrace cosmetic surgery
and the secret behind her
Hi Davina! You’re certainly flying
the flag for women in their 50s...
When I was a kid, women in
their 50s looked like they were
in their 70s. It was like, “I’ve shut
up shop.” It could not be further
from the truth now. I’m really
proud of being 52. I feel like I’m
quite good fun still, and I look
good for a bird my age. So I owe
it to anybody under 40 to live my
best life and show them it’s all
PHOTOGRAPHER: David Venni HAIR: Michael Douglas MAKE-UP: Cheryl Phelps Gardiner SHOOT DIRECTION: Megan Rees STYLING: Angie going to be OK.
Smith and Dani Whiteman
You’ve been through some
tough times lately. How have
The divorce was hard. But in
comparison to what I’ve been
through in my life, like Caroline
dying [Davina’s sister passed
away from cancer in 2012],
nothing can be as bad as that.
You always hear it takes two
years from when you split up to
when you start feeling better.
Now Matthew and I go out for
lunch with the kids. It’s miles
better. We both want to be the
couple who can be invited to
the wedding or graduation of our
kids, and sit down and watch
them do something amazing.
Have you managed to salvage
I think we’re both trying and I
really appreciate that. We’ve
always said the kids come first.
I would hate for them to think,
“We can’t ask Dad to come
to something because we’ve
asked Mum.” That would be
my worst nightmare.
Have your kids been a big
support to you?
My oldest one [Holly, 18] wants to
be a support. I’ll say, “You don’t
need to do this. I’m your mum,
you don’t need to mother me.”
But she’s a real mother hen – she
looks after everybody.
You’ve chosen to keep your
new relationship private...
Neither of us want to shove it
down anybody else’s throat.
Firstly, it’s nauseating for our kids
to listen to any of that stuff, and
it’s a bit weird for our ex-partners,
the parents of our children. It’s
not right to wax lyrical about
somebody else, and it’s all still
relatively new. But we’re happy.
You’re doing a podcast, Making
The Cut, together...
It’s just two best friends reviewing
stuff. We’re not flirting, it’s just us
doing what we’ve done for 20
years in the hair and make-up
room. We’ve always shared
information – products, shows,
parenting tips, anything. It’s so
funny how we’ve influenced
each other’s lives for so long. We
always used to say, “We should
do this on telly!” Now podcasts
have come along and one day
we just said, “Let’s just review
stuff and see what happens.” At
the end of each podcast, I think,
“God, how lucky are we that we
get to do this together?”
Do you feel like you’re starting
a new chapter in life?
I feel like the start of it was
when I went on a girls’ holiday
and did a picture of myself
topless, in a thong bikini, with
my arms up in my air. I thought
“This is going to be my press the
f**k it button era. This is going
to be my decade of not giving a
damn and just going for it.” I think
there’s a weird freedom that
comes with wrinkles and getting
older. I’ve got nothing to lose.
Many women seem to struggle
with this time of life, though...
The menopause is a huge
turning point. I started the
perimenopause when I was 44
and for a couple of years it was
really tough. I thought I’d lost the
plot. My keys were in the fridge,
my phone was in the bin. It was
like somebody had laid a blanket
over my brain. Normally I’m as
sharp as a knife, but I was finding
it really hard to read autocues
and I thought, “I’m going to lose
my job if I don’t get my shit
together.” In the end I saw a
gynaecologist, who talked me
TV presenter Davina McCall opens up about finding new
love, surviving divorce and living her best life at 52