Davina McCall’s refusal to talk about her relationship to be fair to her exes is a lesson we could all learn
Davina McCall, the professional seat and the only sane person on the set of a Big Brother series, said she and her boyfriend Michael Douglas (not that one) had an agreement never to discuss their relationship in public.
Why? Because Davina and Michael have been married before, they fear that their exes and children may not have the right to respond to what they said, good or bad, so it’s not fair.
Boring! Why do celebrities think they’re here? Does Davina think we’re seriously interested in her fitness videos, bikini photos, and game shows? No, neither are we interested in Kim Kardashian’s law degree, Gwyneth’s weird health stuff, or Johnny Depp’s bracelets.
We want dirt and heaps of it. We want some gushing bullshit about the new compression, which makes it totally obvious that the last one was boring and petty about money. We want side eyes and shade.
There is absolutely nothing more captivating, hilarious and eerily heartwarming to hear glamorous people talk about the hideous inside of a falling relationship. Or the hideous interior of a collapsing object.
We don’t just want it, we need it. The most disappointing part of Adele’s interview with Oprah was how kind she was to her ex, Simon Konecki. Go on! Tell us the truth.
Everyone, not just the celebrities, are claiming that everything is fine and that it was “conscious decoupling” not divorce, and everyone’s friends now anyway. Also, the dog didn’t shit on the bedroom floor and the dishwasher didn’t just explode and the nanny didn’t just quit.
It’s not fun, it’s not interesting. Catastrophe is what is fascinating and reality is what we aspire to, to make us feel good in ours. I think celebrities think we expect them to be perfect, but quite the opposite, we expect them to have flaws despite looking perfect, especially when it comes to relationships.
Taylor Swift might have gone through the fire for it, but her derogatory old songs like “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and “I Knew You Were Trouble” were a refreshing tonic. It’s easy to forget how revolutionary they were.
I wish singer Gayle’s viral hit about an unnamed ex, ‘abcdefu’, existed when I was her age (she’s 17). It’s a gloriously petty and bitchy hymn, scraping “a Craigslist couch” and “that shit you call art”. The only breakup songs when I was a teenager were ‘Ordinary World’ by Duran Duran or ‘Never Ever’ by All Saints. Sad, bleak and self-blaming.
Where was the anger, the helpless rage? Alanis Morisette helped a bit, I guess. It’s a mystery that Helen Fielding based Daniel Cleaver on (and it must be someone), but what if she was afraid to publish it?
If she had refused to immortalize him and their breakup in Bridget Jones’s Diary, we would have been denied the best breakup book ever written. Wait, I’m wrong. The best breakup book ever written is Heartburn, by Nora Ephron, in which she spits her ex, Carl Bernstein, and her lover, Margaret Jay.
All of the above has a special dispensation, for it is art. And real life isn’t art no matter how badly you squint at it.
Of course Davina is right. Talking about relationships in an unartistic way, past or present, good or bad, other than carefully chosen, Adele-type therapy language is a huge mistake.
Not for listeners, we love it, we never tire of it. This is an error only for the spilling of the beans. But our gain in terms of insight, intrigue, gossip is the loss of the storyteller, in terms of a tiny bit of his soul. And that applies to people like you and me.
From very dark and distant memory it’s almost a physical compulsion to blurt out things about your ex or gush about a new person in a tactless way, Tom Cruise hopping on the couch to the masses. of people possible.
And while it may be nice in the moment, these things have a way of coming back to haunt you.
So you win Davina. Talking about your relationship isn’t really fair to anyone, let alone you.