Who Is Davina McCall? Doctor Who's Celebrity Guest Character Explained

By Sam Hargrave Posted:
Doctor Who Davina McCall

Davina McCall appeared as a celebrity guest in Doctor Who's 2023 Christmas special. But what is she known for and how did she fit into the episode?

Doctor Who's Davina McCall Explained

Doctor Who's "The Church on Ruby Road" featured TV presenter Davina McCall playing herself in an important guest role. The host will undoubtedly be familiar to most British audiences, but for those unfamiliar, who is this celebrity guest?

Doctor Who, Davina McCall
Doctor Who

In the 2023 Christmas special, McCall was presenting a TV show in which Ruby Sunday was appearing as she sought out her birth mother.

Millie Gibson's Ruby Sunday, the new companion to the 15th Doctor, was abandoned by her mother as a baby outside a church on Christmas Eve, leading to her fostered upbringing and quest to find the truth of her heritage.

Now around 19 years old, Ruby had enlisted the help of Davina McCall, getting interviewed for a TV show she was presenting in which she assisted in tracking down familiar members and reuniting separated relatives.

Doctor Who, Davina McCall, Ruby Sunday
Doctor Who

The segment comes in reference to a real show hosted by McCall, the ITV documentary series Long Lost Family which she has been presenting since 2011 alongside the Scottish broadcaster Nicky Campbell.

Unfortunately, McCall and her team were unable to track down a single relative of Ruby, but that wasn't the end of her involvement with the troubled companion.

As the episode's Goblin villains subjected Ruby and everyone around her to endless misfortune, McCall found herself wheelchair-bound. The presenter was even severely injured, possibly even killed, by a falling Christmas tree. At least that was the case until the Doctor went back in time to catch it and save her.

Doctor Who, Davina McCall, Christmas Tree
Doctor Who

This isn't McCall's first appearance on Doctor Who, as she voiced the Davinadroid in the 2005 episode, "Bad Wolf." The android was a parody of Davina herself as it presented Big Brother on a futuristic space station, just as she once did in real life.

The presenter's celebrity guest role is expected to be a one-off for this year's Christmas special and the presenter is unlikely to return anytime soon.

Doctor Who's 2023 Christmas special, "The Church on Ruby Road," is streaming now on BBC iPlayer in the U.K. & Ireland and Disney+ in other territories.

- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.