Davina McCall candidly discusses taking cocaine with her mum at 15, getting clean and her mindset today

<span class="caption">Davina McCall on her tumultuous childhood </span>
Davina McCall on her tumultuous childhood

Former WH cover star Davina McCall has shed further light on her difficult childhood, the drug addiction that took hold in her subsequent years, the tragic death of her sister and the inspiring story of how she made her way to success.

Speaking to Dragon's Den star Steven Bartlett for his Diary of a CEO podcast, the TV presenter spoke candidly about her story, including that she began smoking weed age 12 during visits to Paris to see her mother, who was an alcoholic. She also shared that she took cocaine with her sister age 14, and with her mum age 15.

In the interview, Davina elaborated on how, from the age of 3, she was raised by her grandmother in Surrey with her father coming to see her at the weekend. This followed her parent's split, following which the courts awarded her dad and her grandma her custody and her mother went to live in her native France.

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This event, she says, gave her a 'fear of abandonment' which led her to 'make some stupid decisions through my teens and into my 20s.' (Davina has previously spoken about her time taking heroin, to which she was briefly addicted, and cocaine in her early years.)

At 25, after an intervention from a friend, Davina began to attend Narcotics Anonymous meetings and got clean from drugs, after realising that 'all drugs are my problem... I have to stop.' Following this, after 3 years of attempting to get a job presenting on MTV, she was granted a screen test and began her career in television.

In one particularly emotional moment, the 55-year-old cries as she recalled the last days of her sister Caroline's life, describing her sibling's premature passing as 'the worst thing that's ever happened to me'. Tragically, Caroline died age 50 after being diagnosed with lung and bone cancer, as well as brain tumours. Davina cared for Caroline until she died, months later.

While the facts of her childhood are heartbreaking, Davina is clear that she does not see herself in a victim role. 'I am absolutely not a victim,' she said.' Sure some of it has been hard – life does throw me curveballs – but I choose to learn and be happy rather than cling to the curveballs and let them bring me down.'

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