With Alfonso Ribeiro tipped to host brand new quiz show Money Tree, we take a look back at the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star’s glittering career – including that infamous I’m a Celeb breakdown.
Who is Alfonso Ribeiro?
Born in New York City’s The Bronx in 1971, Ribeiro began to traverse the rocky road to showbiz at the tender age of eight – landing the lead role of Broadway musical The Tap Dance Kid.
It was his nimble-footed routine that caught the eye of advertising execs at Pepsi, landing himself a role as a dancer in the Pepsi advert in 1984 alongside Michael Jackson himself.
There was an urban legend that Ribeiro died while making the commercial – which clearly isn’t the case as he’s still around to bless us with his presence.
While he briefly starred on NBC sitcom Silver Spoons, (which lead to him releasing a dance book and a rap record, weirdly) Ribeiro’s big break came when he starred as Carlton Banks on the Will Smith-fronted The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Fast becoming a firm favourite among fans for dancing to Tom Smith’s It’s Not Unusual, his regular routine soon earned its own moniker – ‘The Carlton’.
You’ll be glad to hear that Ribeiro still does the Carlton dance that made him a household name across America – even popping up on the Graham Norton Show in 2013 alongside Smith to show off the dance once again.
What else has Alfonso starred in?
British viewers may remember Ribeiro for his star turn in 2013’s edition I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!, where he told everyone that he was famous “everywhere in the world”, before breaking down in tears when Rebecca Adlington asked him to do the washing up:
“It’s just breaking me,” he said at the time. “I don’t know how much I could take now. Just… f***.
“I feel like I’ve got a knife driving through my back when I’m cleaning the f****** pots. Now I’m in physical pain and I’m in emotional pain and I’m thinking, ‘What the f*** am I doing here?’”
But despite teaching the whole camp how to do the Carlton, it seems that Ribeiro didn’t win over the British public, only coming 7th in the competition. Kian Egan, of Westlife fame, took the top prize.
Has Alfonso done any more dancing?
Yes, actually, he has.
A year after his I’m a Celeb stint, Ribeiro waltzed back to the US in 2014 to take part in Dancing With The Stars – the American counterpart to our much-loved Strictly Come Dancing, complete with Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli as judges.
He went on to win the competition with a perfect score of 40 for each of his three dances.
Did he do the Carlton again? Of course he did:
What’s new show Money Tree all about?
Ribeiro is quite the accomplished gameshow host over in the States, having fronted family quiz shows Catch 21 in 2008 and Spell-mageddeon in 2013.
Alfonso Ribeiro (Getty, KB)
Money Tree has been billed as half Family Fortunes, half Who Wants to be a Millionaire? – two families go head-to-head over a series of trivia rounds. If a family feels more confident about a question, they can boost the amount of money they win should they get that question right.
With the pilot being filmed this week, and rumours of a Fresh Prince reboot featuring a female lead, we’re bound to see a whole lot more of the Carlton dance very, very soon.
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