Davina McCall recalled being forced to fly alone to Paris aged three and said her mother Florence Kock forgot to pick her up from the airport when she arrived.
The TV presenter, 55, said that she mostly grew up with her grandparents in Surrey and would fly to France as an unaccompanied minor to see her French mother in the school holidays from a very young age.
She told the Sunday Times travel supplement: ‘The first trip I remember was very traumatic. I was three or four and too scared to ask for help. I wet myself on the flight. My mother would often forget to pick me up at the airport and I’d be waiting and waiting before somebody would call to remind her.
‘That was our normal. I would stay with my Spanish grandmother, French businessman grandfather and my big sister, who my mum had when she was 16. ‘
Davina said her mother was ‘absolutely bonkers, with no boundaries.’
Looking back: Davina McCall has revealed she was forced to fly to Paris aged 3 unattended and her mother forgot to pick her up at the airport
She added that at the age of 12, she would go clubbing with her mum and would wear high heels and make-up — anything went.
She said: ‘Paris was exciting, flamboyant and a bit scary sometimes. In my early twenties I moved there, living on Rue Saint-Martin, near the Pompidou Centre, working as a singing waitress in a jazz club.’
Davina now lives in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, with her partner, hairdresser Michael Douglas, 50, who is also her co-presenter on the podcast Making the Cut.
She has three children, Holly, 21, Tilly, 19, and Chester, 16.
In 2012, Davina revealed her sense of ‘relief’ at the death of the mother who virtually abandoned her as a child.
The former Big Brother presenter said Florence’s passing in South Africa in 2008 finally ended the heartbreak caused by the pair’s troubled relationship.
She said: ‘When she died I felt a sense of relief that I could stop swinging from side to side. And I also think, “Please God, when I die, don’t let it be a relief to anybody.” ’
Davina didn’t attend her mother’s funeral but forgave her for the years of abandonment.
She said of her late mother Florence, (pictured) : ‘The first trip I remember was very traumatic. I was three or four and too scared to ask for help. I wet myself on the flight’
No boundaries: She added that at the age of 12, she would go clubbing with her mum and would wear high heels and make-up — anything went
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.” ’
Davina stayed in contact with her father, Andrew, who passed away in March 2022 after a battle with dementia.
But she saw little of her mother in France. Her holidays there would end in misery as her mother, a glamorous socialite, failed to turn up for pre-arranged meetings.
The star moved back in with her father at 13 but her attempts to repair the relationship with her mother always ended in failure.
Davina said: ‘I tried so hard . . . time after time, I kept thinking, “This is the bridge.’’ ’
She said her mother’s refusal to show her affection left her ‘catatonic with grief’. She said: ‘I couldn’t make her invite me into her bed for a hug when I’d had a nightmare. I felt she’d done something to betray me or hurt me.’
Davina now accepts her mother was ‘damaged’ and ‘did the best she could with what she had’.
But as a teenager she sought solace in drugs and by 16 had experimented with cocaine and heroin. She managed to get herself clean by the time she was 25.
Tragic: Davina has paid tribute to her father Andrew in March 2022 after confirming the devoted family man passed away on Sunday evening following a long battle with Alzheimer’s.
Devastated: The presenter confirmed the news in an Instagram post describing graphic designer dad as a legend who was loved by everyone who met him