Davina McCall has described her fifties as a “time of liberation” and not “giving a damn”.
“It’s a time of shedding the shackles of inhibition and of giving a damn…Because I haven’t always felt like that,” she said on turning 50.
“It’s not just being on TV and it’s not just being a show-off. It’s that I don’t really care what people think, which is very liberating.”
McCall also reflected on going through menopause at age 44 and her upcoming Channel 4 documentary, Davina McCall: Sex, Myths and The Menopause.
The programme, which interviewed several women about their experiences including Baroness Sayeeda Warsi and presenter Zoe Ball, earned high praise for breaking taboos associated with menopause.
“I lost myself. Broken sleep and brain fog, emotional, a bit all over the place, and I was frightened,” McCall said of her own experience.
“I’ve heard from teenagers who’ve lost their mums because they just couldn’t cope anymore.”
She is currently working on a subsequent documentary, Davina McCall: The Menopause Brain Drain, which will explore how menopause affects women in the workplace.
A 2019 survey, carried out by Bupa, estimated that almost 900,000 women in the UK have left their jobs over an undefined period of time because of symptoms associated with menopause.
Common symptoms include anxiety, brain fog, poor concentration, hot flushes, fatigue and irregular and heavy bleeding.
“With the success of the documentary and then the subsequent outpouring from people that they just don’t have enough information, I realised that there’s still so much information to give,” she said.
The presenter revealed that one major company she had spoken with about the importance of supporting menopausal women at work was setting up a specific nurse practitioner within their office building who women can visit for advice,
This support could help “halt the menopausal talent brain”, McCall said.
“Sometimes, you feel like you’ve lost your marbles so badly that you are unable to continue [your work],” she said.
“Now imagine the drain on businesses and the economy if 13 million women leave their jobs because they just felt like they couldn’t continue.
“If you could get back to feeling yourself, there is a really high chance that you will stay in your job – because most of us really enjoy our jobs.”