The tickets said 'Antigua'. But we ended up in a hotel at the airport

PASSPORT; DAVINA MCCALL

"I'VE TRAVELLED an awful lot with my work," says Davina McCall, whose plucky presenting of MTV, God's Gift and Good Stuff among others, has taken her to the four corners of the earth. "But when you travel so much, you can end up making ridiculous journeys - like recently, when I went to New York to interview a member of the band Dog Eat Dog, and flew back later that evening. I'm going to New York for the day again, but this time it's by Concorde, so that'll be really exciting."

So which destination takes pride of place in Davina's passport?

"The first holiday I ever took was probably my worst," she recalls. "I was 17, and went with a group of friends to Ibiza. The first thing we did when we arrived was get extremely drunk on Tequila - the measures were so big out there. I was really ill, I practically collapsed for two days. My friends were in the same state, too, so they weren't much help.

"When we finally emerged from our apartment, we realised we were staying in the worst part of the island, San Antonio - the Benidorm of Ibiza. We'd asked for a place in the trendier Ibiza Town area. Anyway, you couldn't move for English bars and baked bean meals - it was a hell-hole. We hired out mopeds and got away from the place every day. By the end of the holiday we were so broke, we'd stopped eating just so we could buy cigarettes."

These days, Davina's passport stamps are a little more exciting.

"Every year, I try to get out of the country on Boxing Day, to spend New Year's Eve abroad. Last year, I went with a girlfriend to Reethi Rah in the Maldives, which is an island and resort all rolled into one - it only takes you 30 seconds to walk all the way round. It was just paradise; crystal clear waters, palm trees, snorkelling, a real 'Bounty advert' island."

But disaster struck on another trip to a paradise island. "I booked a surprise birthday holiday for my boyfriend. We turned up at the airport and when he saw the destination 'Antigua' on the tickets, he was really thrilled. But the plane was cancelled, and we were put up at the a hotel to wait for a plane the next morning. So much for the surprise," she laughs.

"When we woke up the next morning, an alarm was going off. I opened the door and saw smoke pouring into the corridor - the hotel was on fire. We had to evacuate, and almost missed our second flight because we weren't let back in to get our suitcases for ages."

Does Davina have any tips for those living out of a suitcase?

"I always take little knick-knacks with me, like soap - because I hate hotel soaps - and candles, because they make the room look less impersonal. And the first thing I do when I arrive is unpack everything, to make it feel more homely. On long-haul flights, earplugs and a neck-support cushion are a must."

PENNY LOOSEMORE

Davina McCall is presenting the ITV holiday series "Dream Ticket" on Fridays at 6.30pm.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Buttoned up: Ryan Reynolds with Helen Mirren in ‘Woman in Gold’
filmFor every box-office smash in his Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. Now he says it's time for a reboot
News
people
News
Actress Julianne Moore wins the Best Actress in a Leading Role Award for 'Still Alice' during the 87th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California
people
Sport
Ross Barkley
footballPaul Scholes says it's time for the Everton playmaker to step up and seize the England No 10 shirt
News
'We will fix it': mice in the 1970s children’s programme Bagpuss
science
Life and Style
2 Karl Lagerfeld and Choupette
fashion
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
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.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Car Sales Executive - OTE £36,000

    £12500 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This established Wakefield Deal...

    Guru Careers: .NET Developers / Software Developers

    Competitive (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: our .NET Developers / Software Dev...

    Sheridan Maine: Accounts Assistant

    £25,000 - £30,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you looking for a fantastic opportunity...

    Ashdown Group: Management Accountant - Manchester

    £25000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Management Accountant - Manchester...

    Day In a Page

    War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

    War with Isis

    Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
    Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

    A spring in your step?

    Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
    Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

    Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

    Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
    Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

    Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

    For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
    Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

    Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

    As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
    The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

    UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

    Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
    Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

    Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

    Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
    Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

    Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

    If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
    10 best compact cameras

    A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

    If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
    Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

    Paul Scholes column

    Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
    Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

    Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

    Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
    Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

    Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

    The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
    General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

    The masterminds behind the election

    How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
    Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

    Machine Gun America

    The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
    The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

    The ethics of pet food

    Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?