Footballers On Reality TV
Is Kieron Dyer a celebrity? Really? According to a brief poll of friends and family with no interest in football, he’s not exactly a household name.
Which makes the former England midfielder a perfect candidate for the upcoming series of I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here – where’s he’s been installed at 8/1 in the early betting.
The jungle coverage will certainly boost his profile, but how have other footballers fared when they’ve left the confines of the sporting world for reality TV?
The former Leeds United and England defender was known throughout his career for serving up some tasty tackles, but he resorted to serving up the likes of sirloin steak on Celebrity Masterchef in 2012.
The pundit was the surprise of the series and was favourite in the final before being beaten by underdog Emma Kennedy. It was only the second final he’d ever appeared in, having won the League Cup with Middlesborough in 2004.
Razor Ruddock’s almost had more TV appearances than clubs since he finished his football career, which spanned ten clubs.
He made his reality TV debut on 2004’s I’m a Celeb, but was sent off well before the likes of Kerry Katona and Peter Andre made the final.
He subsequently starred in Wife Swap, where he was hilariously lumbered with Pete Burns, who constantly nagged him about his drinking.
Ruddock even appeared on The Jeremy Kyle Show before finishing outside the top four on last year’s Celebrity Big Brother – a position he was no doubt accustomed to from his time at Liverpool in the mid-90s.
Ruddock popped up again alongside Carlton Palmer on a Come Dine With Me football special in 2010.
Palmer was famously the cause of Graham Taylor’s “do I not like that” quote but even the former England boss would have liked what Palmer cooked up.
In an episode featuring some of the worst food ever seen on the series, Palmer impressed Ruddock and fellow ex-players Frank Worthington and John Fashanu with his dishes – having taken cooking lessons prior to the show.
He also stole the show with his musings on the likes of banoffee pie – “I assume it’s some kind of pie?, I have no idea what’s going to be in it though” – and his insistence on wearing an Elvis wig throughout.
Sharpe lived up to his ladies man image with his appearance on the long-forgotten Celebrity Love Island in 2005. He competed with the likes of Callum Best and Beppe from Eastenders for the ladies’ affections, focusing his sights on Abi Titmuss and Jayne Middlemiss. The latter fell for him, admitting she’d never “felt like this before about someone” but he ended up dating the former.
He’s made quite the career out of reality TV, starring in Celebrity Wrestling under the name Sharpe Shooter and was a credible seventh to be eliminated on 2007’s Dancing on Ice.
The controversial pundit has made quite a name for himself in broadcasting following his retirement from football.
Alongside his punditry work, he’s been no stranger to our screens – most famously on 2011’s Strictly Come Dancing, where he finished sixth.
However, his appearance was probably most memorable for his dramatic knee-slide towards the camera – leading to a broken nose.
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