There was concern last night for Davina McCall when it emerged that her jaw had locked mid-gurn during a live broadcast of Channel 4â€™s The Million Pound Drop. The incident occurred as Ms McCall attempted another of her trademark fish-eyed-gape-with rictus-grin manoeuvres towards the end of the programme.
A spokesman from the channel confirmed: â€™Davina had been pulling all her usual faces and there was no reason to suggest that this last one wouldnâ€™t come off. At first we put it down to pure incredulity on her part, as a couple of competitors had actually won some money. But after a while, we could see that Davina was in real trouble.â€™
As the credits rolled, Ms McCall was whisked off backstage where a veterinary nurse from the audience assisted with emergency manipulation and eventually managed to restore some movement to the jaw. The presenter was later treated in hospital for shock, which she was unable to express, and is to undergo an intensive course of physiotherapy in the race to achieve full facial contortion in advance of this weekâ€™s edition of the show.
Popularly known as the â€˜Gallic gurnerâ€™ because of her French ancestry, 43-year-old Davinaâ€™s ugly mugging has been a staple of British TV for almost twenty years. But at her age – by todayâ€™s standards, positively ancient for a woman on mainstream television – there are fears now that perhaps her best face-pulling days are behind her.
Ms McCall was unable to comment.