Davina McCall, on why her late mother dying was 'a relief'

The television presenter recalls her difficult relationship with her mother

Davina McCall has described how it was “almost a relief” when her mother died in 2008, thus ending their difficult relationship.

Her French mother, Florence Koch, left the family and returned to Paris when McCall was three. She lived with her paternal grandparents until she was 13 when she moved in with her father.

"I never doubted for a moment that she loved me," said McCall. "It was almost a relief when she was gone and I could stop asking her to be something that she just couldn’t be. Motherhood is about being selfless, to some degree, and she just needed to be the centre of attention."

Her attempts to rebuild a relationship proved futile and her mother couldn’t bring herself to offer her daughter any affection.

"That’s all I ever wanted from my mum," McCall told The Telegraph. "To be held tight in a protective cuddle. To get out of the bath and be wrapped up in a towel, in her arms. That’s why it takes me so long to put my kids to bed every night; I need to hold them."

The 46-year-old – who has three children – still clearly remembers being let down by her mother when she was a child. She has previously said that she was left in a nightclub by her, aged 12.

"I remember once my elder sister and I were really excited about going on holiday to Spain with my mother and some of her friends, when it occurred to them that because I was only little, I would need a babysitter when they went out at night," said McCall. "So my mother decided I wasn’t coming and I had to stay at home."

The television presenter said in 2012 that she felt "relief" that she could "stop swinging from side to side", when her mother died.

"And I also think, 'Please God, when I die, don’t let it be a relief to anybody,'" she said.  "I imagined her in the hospital bed, and I imagined these shoots of light going from my palms, all over, across the world, to South Africa, to the hospital where she was at, and going straight into her heart."

"All I kept saying was, ‘I forgive you. I forgive you. I forgive you.’"

Read more: DAVINA MCCALL PRESENTS THE JUMP SEASON FINALE
McCall collapses during triathlon
Why Davina McCall is harder than Danny Dyer
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the world's leading suppliers and manuf...

Recruitment Genius: Multiple Apprentices Required

£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Apprentices are required to join a privat...

Sauce Recruitment: HR Manager

£40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is an exciting opportunity for a HR...

Ashdown Group: Interim HR Manager - 3 Month FTC - Henley-on-Thames

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established organisation oper...

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore