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TV Presenter
Channel 4

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00:00:04 I’m Davina McCall and I’m a TV presenter. At the moment I am presenting Celebrity Big Brother and in the summers for the last ten years I’ve been presenting Big Brother. Bizarrely, I never thought that TV presenting was a job when I was little.

00:00:21 My passion when I started was music, and I’d tried to be a singer and it hadn’t worked because I wasn’t good enough. Don’t tell anyone. I was actually…my day job was I was working in a model agency but I was trying to get into the music field any way that I could. And MTV started and so I thought, ‘Right. I’m going to get a job there’ and I started sending them tapes until finally, they gave me an audition. And I’ve got thirty seven letters of rejection. Lots from people that have since then employed me. Just because you get knocked down doesn’t mean that they won’t employ you at some time in the future, it’s just that you’re not right for now.

00:00:56 My sort of school reports from all teachers, all the way through my school was, ‘Davina is an enthusiastic member of the class. Could do better’. I scraped through two A levels but by the time I got to A levels, I was in a bit of a mess, but that was, you know, nothing to do with school. It was just sort of me.

00:01:14 I was having sort of like a really tough time as far as family goes and things with my mum were quite tricky. She drank a lot and it was quite sort of…it was a mad time for me. I ended up starting to take drugs. And I started to take drugs really through the beginning of sort of sixth form and then it got kind of more and more, and then by the time I was twenty four, I had a proper drug problem.

00:01:37 My best friend sort of confronted me about it and said, you know, ‘You are the talking point. Everybody is on the phone to each other all day in our group of friends and we’re all talking about you’. And I suddenly felt this kind of shame of disappointment that everybody was looking at me and disapproving. So I thought, ‘well look, I’m going to go to a 12-step fellowship meeting’ and I sort of went round to see my friend the next day that had confronted me, and I took her a bunch of flowers and I said, ‘I’m going to change’, and I couldn’t wait for my new life to start.

00:02:07 And it was almost like it was instant, and it was almost as if I’d been given a gift because MTV called me up about three or four months later and said, ‘we’d like you to come in for an audition’. And this was my one chance, I’d been trying for three years and then I got the job, and I thought that was kind of like a little gift from somewhere, saying, you know, ‘well done’.

00:02:28 Spending time with my family’s kind of the most, the most amazing luxury that I have. I love it. I love exercise…oh I love exercise! I love the cinema, love film. I love even watching trailers for films. I get very excited about trailers. I know, bit sad, a bit nerdy. Even worse, knitting. What’s that about? I used to knit when I was younger. I’ve just got the needles out again. Love it. I can only do scarves because I can’t quite turn a corner, but it’s fine, fine.

00:02:56 I’m very lucky because I have parents that, you know, when I did walk in and go, ‘I’m going to be a singer’, they’d go, ‘Great!’ I think my father’s big thing was that, ‘I don’t care what you do, but do it with all your heart. I think if you can’t find a parent that’s prepared to invest that kind of time and love in you, find a mentor. I had a kind of mentor that came out of nowhere who then went on to be the Head of ITV, and he was a researcher when I first met him, and he thought I was okay, and he said that I was allowed to call him sort of once a week just to find out if there were any jobs going on, and he was so helpful to me.

00:03:30 If I wasn’t a presenter, I would have loved to have been a mid-wife. I’m completely passionate about women giving birth and babies, and I would have loved to have been a judge or a lawyer, or something legal because I love the law. I love kind of fairness and justice and things like that. So those are the things that I feel passionately about, and if you feel passionately about something, you’ll work harder at it and you’ll enjoy your life.

00:03:52 I hope some of that’s helped and thanks for listening. Good luck!

Davina McCall is a TV presenter. “Bizarrely, I never thought that TV presenting was a job when I was little.” She had to try hard and not be put off by setbacks. She had 37 letters of rejection before she got an audition at MTV. “If you feel passionately about something, you’ll work harder at it and you’ll enjoy your life.”

More information about Actors, entertainers and presenters

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

53%  male 
47%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Actors, entertainers and presenters sing, portray roles in dramatic productions, perform comedy routines, gymnastic feats and tricks of illusion, train animals to perform and perform with them, and introduce and present radio and television programmes.
Entry does not depend on academic qualifications although some drama schools require candidates to have GCSEs/S grades or A levels/H grades or a degree. Entry can be based upon an audition. Membership of the appropriate trade union is usually required. NVQs/SVQs in performing arts are available.
  • Studies script, play or book and prepares and rehearses interpretation;
  • Assumes character created by a playwright or author and communicates this to an audience;
  • Performs singing, comedy, acrobatic, illusion and conjuring routines;
  • Trains animals to perform entertaining routines and may perform with them;
  • Introduces and presents radio and television programmes, reads news bulletins and makes announcements;
  • Conducts interviews and prepares reports for news broadcasts, current affairs programmes and documentaries;
  • Plays pre-recorded music at nightclubs, discotheques, and private functions.
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