Davina McCall and Kevin Kennedy tell This Morning how they were 'high-functioning' addicts

Davina McCall
(Image credit: Davina McCall)

TV presenter Davina McCall and former Corrie star Kevin Kennedy have talked in-depth about how they were able to maintain their careers while battling heroin and alcohol addictions

Former Coronation Street star Kevin Kennedy and presenter Davina McCall have discussed how they both manipulated friends and family to conceal their addiction problems.

Speaking during a special segment on ITV’s This Morning, they described themselves as 'maintenance' addicts who did everything possible to avoid confronting their problems.

Kevin, who played Curly Watts in the soap for 20 years, changed his life around more than 18 years ago after realising he had become a 'high-functioning alcoholic'.

Curly was a Corrie regular from 1983-2003.

Curly was a Corrie regular from 1983-2003 (Ian West/PA)


The 55-year-old told the show on Thursday: “I have never come across a stupid addict. You have to be quite clever and manipulate people well… I was being manipulative with my wife and family at the time.”

Opening up about her own past battle with heroin addiction, Davina, 49, said: “I was a maintenance user and I liked to keep the facade on and always liked to think when I look OK and I’m not stealing, ‘I’m all right, I’m not as bad as them’.’

“There’s always that comparison, so you don’t do anything about it.”

Kevin added: “You are pointing the finger all the time and normally you try to look immaculate as possible.

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“It’s the swan routine – on top it’s all nice but underneath …”

Revealing how he overcame his alcoholism, he said: “The recovery started when I’d had enough… I was on the way to the Corrie set and it was a moment of sanity.

“There were no bright lights, it was just my voice saying to me you are going to die.”

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But, he continued: “That moment of surrender was bittersweet because I had a long love affair with alcohol.

“I was married to alcohol, I loved alcohol, alcohol was my friend and I wouldn’t go anywhere without it.”

He eventually succeeded in stemming his habit after Coronation Street bosses helped him into The Priory rehabilitation centre, which Kennedy said 'absolutely saved my life'.

Now staring in The Commitments in the West End, Kevin said he fills his prop pint glass with apple juice instead of beer to 'keep himself safe'.


Patrick McLennan

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 

An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.