In 1992, Davina 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!.
Davina McCall continued to present other shows during the Big Brother period. When ITV’s game show Don’t Try This at Home! ended in 2001, she continued with the channel, presenting series such as Popstars: The Rivals and The Vault (1st series) in 2002, Reborn in the USA in 2003 and Love on a Saturday Night in 2004. She also hosted the British Academy Television Awards 2004 for ITV and again in 2006.
Davina McCall was chosen as the presenter of the inaugural series of 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. Davina McCall hosted the weekly live eviction show, where one contestant would be removed from the house, until the last housemate became the winner. Davina McCall also hosted the celebrity version Celebrity Big Brother, whose first series ran for eight days in March 2001.
Davina 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 The Friday Night Project, entitled The Friday Night New Year Project 2007.
By the ninth series of Big Brother in 2008, Davina McCall was earning a reported Â£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.
Davina 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 re-formatted into an hour-long show after the weekly live eviction show, having previously occupied the slot after each daily highlights show.
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 Brother show, which started immediately after the main series, and featured selected past celebrity and non-celebrity housemates.
Having made the decision to leave the show after Ultimate Big Brother, Davina 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 Davina McCall’s role as presenter of the Channel 5 version, though in 2013 Emma Willis became his successor as the new presenter.
In between the final celebrity and regular editions of Big Brother on Channel 4, Davina McCall began presenting a new game show, The Million Pound Drop. In 2012 and 2014, Davina McCall co-hosted charity telethon Stand Up to Cancer with Alan Carr. As part of the 2014 telethon, Davina McCall and Carr also hosted a companion series Stars at Your Service. In April 2013, Davina McCall presented one series of Five Minutes to a Fortune. Since 2014, Davina McCall has presented reality competition The Jump which is broadcast live over ten nights from a mountainside in Austria.
On 20 December 2009, Davina McCall began hosting reality programme Got to Dance. On 24 October 2014, It was confirmed that the show had been axed after five series. Beginning in September 2015, Davina McCall has presented One Hundred and Eighty, a darts-based game show for Sky1.
In 2011, Davina McCall began hosting The Biggest Loser and Long Lost Family. After just two series, it was announced that The Biggest Loser had been axed by ITV in September 2012. Long Lost Family, however, is still being broadcast on the channel, with Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell as hosts. In 2013, Davina McCall presented Stepping Out which was seen as a rival to BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing. In 2015, Davina McCall will present two new series for ITV, Life at the Extreme and This Time Next Year.
During 2005, Davina McCall presented He’s Having a Baby, where she followed and advised eight young men who were to become first-time fathers at various stages during the show’s ten-week run. It received poor ratings.
Davina McCall has been one of the co-presenters of the annual British charity telethons that are organised by Comic Relief on BBC One. Organised on an alternating comedy/sport theme and televised live in March, Red Nose Day has been co-hosted by Davina McCall since 2005. She had previously presented or appeared on various related Comic Relief shows, including: The Record Breaker (1999), Naked Red Nose Ground Force in Practice and Say Pants to Poverty (2001), The Big Hair Do (2003) and Comic Relief Does Fame Academy (2005).
From early 2006, Davina McCall fronted her own prime-time chat show, Davina. Receiving scathing reviews and with viewing figures falling to below half of the six million watching The Bill on ITV at the same time, the show was axed in April for not reaching expectations.
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