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Davina McCall: I Want to Grow Old Disgracefully

Davina McCall: "I Was Scared of Turning 50 — Now I Want to Grow Old Disgracefully"

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LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 04: Davina McCall attends the Garnier Spring Summit revealing the brand's new Ambassador line-up on May 4, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images for Garnier)
Image Source: Dave Bennett/Getty Images

"I've decided to try and be naughtier as I've got older. I don't want to be boring," TV legend and Garnier brand ambassador Davina McCall told an audience of beauty enthusiasts as she hosted a panel yesterday, in celebration of Garnier's cult product, their Micellar Cleansing Water.

Even British icons get scared sometimes it turns out, and McCall admits she was terrified of the inevitable — ageing. The 56-year-old opened up on her former fear of turning 50, how she embraced the personality traits she inherited from her birth mother and her plan on "ageing disgracefully."

The "My Mum Your Dad" host explained that her loyalty to Garnier is down to their innovative nature, which has helped her get over her fear of 50 and lead the best decade of her life. "Can I be honest, I was petrified of turning 50," Davina told Drag Queen and fellow Garnier Ambassador, Blu Hydrangea. "But I'm trying to grow old disgracefully. I'm flying the flag to show you that getting older is actually quite good fun."

"When you're in your 20s and 30s, everybody's asking when you're going to have a baby or get married. And now [that I'm in my 50s] nobody asks that but instead it's this person's died, that person's died. It makes you really think every day is precious. I'm going to enjoy every minute."

Then, as she was quizzed by her daughter Tilly, who video-called from Australia, Davina candidly discussed her difficult relationship with her biological mother and the lessons she's learned from her in the past ten years.

"My birth mum was an alcoholic and we had a difficult relationship. I never lived with her. You'd think she was amazing because she's mad and really fun and kind of outrageous looking. But she wasn't brilliant at mothering," she admitted. "I always kind of wanted a cardigan-wearing Angela Lansbury to give me some food and just sit down and ask me out or to just be proud of me, I guess. But she just wasn't that person."

Davina discovered that her mother had undergone a full hysterectomy at just 28-years-old, plunging her into an early menopause. "She didn't have any HRT, and as a 28-year-old woman, you really need oestrogen in your body to feed everything," she said. "The underlying anger she had, the self-medicating, the pain — suddenly it all fell into place."

Last year, Davina was at a party with her boyfriend, which she believed her mum would have loved. "It made me think of my mum, because it was quite an outrageous party," she said. "Everybody was wearing amazing clothes. I turned to my boyfriend and said 'God, you would have loved my mum' and he said, 'I've met her, she's in here' and put his hand on my chest.

"I had a big cry and suddenly thought, she is in me, even though I've wanted to deny it. My wanting to grow old disgracefully, or wear crazy clothes, that's my mum in me. She's given me the fun side of me that I really like, I need to thank her for that."

Davina, who's been the brand ambassador for Garnier for two decades, also raved about her favourite products, including the Garnier Nutrisse 5 Mocha Brown Permanent Hair Dye (£8) to hide her greys as she's "not ready to have them yet" and the Pride Edition of the infamous Micellar Water Facial Cleanser (£6).

If you or someone you know is struggling with the menopause or a premature menopause, there are a number of charities that can offer support. Women's Health Concern, Daisy Network for premature menopause and Queermenopause for people who identify as LGBT+

Lauren Gordon is the editorial coordinator at PS UK, where she creates lifestyle and identity content. Lauren has a degree in journalism from University of the Arts London and previously worked as a showbiz and TV reporter at The Mirror US. Lauren specialises in pop culture, hair and beauty, focusing on trends, sharing in-depth tutorials, and highlighting hidden gems in the beauty industry.

Garnier Nutrisse 5 Mocha Brown Permanent Hair Dye
Garnier Nutrisse 5 Mocha Brown Permanent Hair Dye
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Micellar Water Facial Cleanser
Micellar Water Facial Cleanser
Buy Now
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