With this year’s Big Brother just around the corner, Now reveals why host Davina's career is in turmoil

Davina McCall might look super-smug and sparkly on screen, but behind closed doors, the heartbroken star wants to quit her TV career.

For 7 years, 40-year-old Davina’s loved being the golden child of British television – so much so that she presented the Brit Awards twice. But her disastrous BBC1 primetime chat show 2 years ago put paid to a career as a serious presenter, crushing her fragile ego.

The critics ravaged the series and, after plummeting viewing figures, it was taken off air in April 2006. Her agent at the time John Noel admitted that Davina was ‘hurt by the criticism’.

But until now no one knew just how much the criticism had stung Davina. Last week, she suddenly left the management company John Noel, which has nurtured her career for 13 years. She sensationally joined MF Management with the clear directive that it makes her as much money as possible, as quickly as possible.

The new series of Big Brother, which kicks off next month, will bag her £85,000 per episode.

‘She doesn’t want to give up Big Brother because it’s still such a huge show and pays her so much money,’ says a friend.

Fronting Big Brother 9 might boost her bank balance, but will it help Davina’s delicate state of mind? Maybe not. She was ridiculed for her over-the-top presenting on last year’s BB, which proved to be a turn-off for many viewers. She was also criticised for not even watching the programme as she spent the whole series at her villa in Saint Tropez, France, and commuted back just for the Friday evictions.

When we contacted her former agency John Noel, they refused to speak about the split and would only say: ‘We’ve enjoyed working with Davina over the last 13 years and wish her all the best.’ A spokesman for MF Management failed to respond to our calls.

By Chris White

See the full story in Now magazine – out now!