11 footballers who did reality TV – and what happened to them

Harry Redknapp, I'm a Celebrity

Harry Redknapp is among the contestants on this year's I'm A Celebrity, sending Tim Ellis to take a look at some of the other stars who couldn't resist the lure of reality TV

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1. Higuita’s face gets scorpion scalpel

The former Colombia goalkeeper participated in La Isla de los Famosos: Una Aventura Pirata ("The Island of the Famous: A Pirate Adventure") in 2005, along with fellow ex-players Leonel Álvarez and Ricardo Pérez.

After being voted his country's ugliest icon, Higuita then had extensive plastic surgery – including a silicon chin implant, 'aggressive' liposuction and abdominal muscle enhancement – live on Extreme Change. "Bodily, I'm perfect," he boasted afrerwards. 

2. Byron Moreno soaked by angry Italians

Ecuadorian referee Moreno became a figure of hate in Italy when the Azzurri were dumped out of the 2002 World Cup after a number of dubious decisions in their last-16 clash with co-hosts South Korea.

Moreno clearly had a sense of humour, though: he appeared on RAI TV's Stupido Hotel a few weeks later, carrying a briefcase stuffed with bank notes and claiming he was right to dismiss Francesco Totti and disallow Damiano Tommasi’s golden goal. How did the Italians response? By pouring gallons of water over him. Sore losers.

3. Lee Sharpe let loose on Love Island

Football’s love machine fell for Abi Titmuss on the original series of Celebrity Love Island in 2005, memorable chiefly for Kelly Brook’s wooden presentation and Patrick Kielty’s inability to deliver anything resembling humour.

4. Jamo creates centre-half-sized canapes

David James gamely entered into the spirit of things by appearing on the Sports Relief edition of The Great British Bake Off in 2016. Unfortunately for the former goalkeeper, his canapes looked more like sausage rolls from the half-time pie stand. 

Jamo's unconventional approach of sticking a fork in his cake in order to "conduct heat and make it cook quicker" didn't impress, either.

5. Marsh’s senior citizen jungle clash

“People are going to find out stuff about me they might find surprising – in particular my love of Shakespeare and art,” Marsh claimed before entering I'm A Celebrity in 2007.

It didn’t take Rodders long to slip into old habits, though. When he was beaten in a task by American model Janice Dickinson, he moaned: "I lost to a f***ing woman," before adding: "Joke, joke, joke." Right...

6. Maradona, the supermodel and his son

In April 2001, Diego Maradona paid a flying visit to the Big Brotherovi! house in Argentina, which just so happened to contain a woman he'd supposedly had an affair with in supermodel Silvina Luna. 

Maradona's son Diego Jr. was also a brief television star in Campioni, a reality show which the followed the fortunes of Italian side Cervia. "Maybe now he knows where I am, so close to him, he will come to find me," the youngster said of his dad, who refused to recognise Diego as his son until a DNA test intervened.

7. Schmeichel’s Strictly birthday blues

Peter Schmeichel appeared on Strictly Come Dancing in 2006, with judge Arlene Phillips praising his "heart, soul and footwork" – although she did also politely label the big Dane "cumbersome". 

"I have no luck on my birthdays," Schmeichel Snr. sobbed, in an attempt to explain why he finished bottom of the judges' and viewers' poll. "I once missed World Cup qualification on my birthday. I'm used to it."

8. Brady does the business on Comic Relief

The West Ham vice-chairwoman showed her smart business brain when she led the girl’s team to victory on Comic Relief Does The Apprentice in 2007. Brady then featured as a guest interviewer in Series Four of the regular show, before becoming a permanent aide to Lord Sugar in subsequent editions.  

9. Colly shows animal instinct on the farm

Haven of calm Stan Collymore walked out of Channel Five's The Farm in October 2004 after a four-letter bust-up with one-hit wonder Vanilla Ice. The thing that sparked the ex-Liverpool man's exit? The length of time that the rapper spent on the bog.

"[He's always] on the toilet," Collymore huffed to his fellow contestants. "Doesn't it bother any of you?" 

Just you then, Stan.

10. Bruce quits Hell’s Kitchen for home cooking

“Bruce will be compulsive viewing,” boasted the agency that signed Grobbelaar up for the 2009 series of Hell’s Kitchen, with the ex-Liverpool goalkeeper quickly installed as the bookies' favourite after impressing enfant terrible and leading chef Marco Pierre-White.

Grobbelaar's march to glory was ended by his better half, however. "My wife was sitting outside eating," he explained shortly after exiting. "That was the defining moment. I knew my prize was outside." 

Bruce takes charge in the kitchen

11. Fash the Bash goes Bushtucker crazy

John Fashanu finished runner-up of I'm A Celebrity in 2003, when he performed five Bushtucker trials and gave the injured Wayne Sleep a piggyback to the lavatory.

Later that year, the former Wimbledon marksman presented Fash's Football Challenge, where he managed an amateur team that included a former Mr Wales and a full-time Versace model. FFT wonders what sort of initiation they'd have received from the Crazy Gang.

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