Big Brother’s Nadia Almada ‘very disappointed’ in Davina McCall

side by side images of trans Big Brother winner Nadia Almada and the show's former host Davina McCall

Big Brother winner Nadia Almada has addressed criticism of Davina McCall after the presenter endorsed a controversial podcast about JK Rowling.

In June, McCall tweeted that she thought The Witch Trials of JK Rowling was “very interesting and balanced”, and that she “highly recommended” it. She was praised by certain anti-trans voices, including Posie Parker, while some trans people and their allies called the tweet a “disappointment”.

The podcast, which is hosted by former Westboro Baptist Church member Megan Phelps-Roper, has attracted criticism for centring Rowling’s own experiences of online hate and abuse over the experiences of trans people, including from contributor Natalie Wynn, known on YouTube as ContraPoints.

Nadia Almada, who became Big Brother’s first and only trans winner in 2004, tells PinkNews that took McCall’s endorsement personally.

When she first saw her tweet, she didn’t know about the Rowling podcast, but after listening to one episode, found it filled with “that victim mentality”.

“With Davina, for me, that was very personal,” she says.

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“I was gonna say I have the utmost respect for her, but I don’t think I do, personally, anymore. I understand her opinion, but I’m not sure if ‘balanced’ is the right word, because it’s not balanced.

“It’s not really representative of who we are.”

Almada thinks that LGBTQ+ community has “lifted” McCall in the past, and questioned why “of all the issues and all the things that she kind of has to comment on, it’s on that?”

Almada suggested McCall perhaps doesn’t understand the “currency of her position”, but admitted she has been left feeling “so despondent” by the incident.

“There’s a question mark around that, with Davina about that,” she added.

Davina McCall has previously praised Nadia Almada for ‘opening Britain’s eyes’ to trans people.

Big Brother gave her an opportunity to be someone completely new, no past, no history and no judgment and people totally accepted her for who she was,” she said in a 2020 programme.

“I think that meant so much to her. It meant a lot to the trans community too.”

In 2010, the presenter apologised to Almada for using her as the punchline in an anti-trans joke while hosting Ultimate Big Brother, the final Channel 4 series of the show, in which Almada returned as a contestant.

“I am horrified and offer my genuine apologies,” she sad.

At the time, Nadia said the comments made her “hate herself”.

PinkNews has contacted Davina McCall for comment.

Nadia Almada was speaking to PinkNews on behalf of ICE 36.