Footballing legend Ian Wright was one of the first I’m a Celebrity contestants to land at Brisbane Airport, having been rumoured to be taking part in the ITV series for quite some time – and said to have been offered a six-figure salary to appear.
Here’s all you need to know about the Arsenal striker turned pundit…
Born in London in 1963, Wright initially struggled to land a professional footballing contract, having trialled as a teenager for Southend and Brighton.
However, after playing semi-professionally for Greenwich Borough, he was scouted by Crystal Palace, signing a contract in 1985 aged 21.
He quickly established himself as a key player and, after six year’s at Palace, remains their third highest goal scorer of all time.
Signing for Arsenal in 1991, Wright’s stellar goal scoring reputation was kept intact. He hit a hat-trick on his debut and, in his seven years at the club, scored 185 goals in 288 appearances, making him Arsenal’s second highest goal-scorer of all time behind Thierry Henry.
Wright also played for England, last appearing in the squad in 1998.
After brief spells at West Ham, Nottingham Forest and Celtic among others, Wright retired from football in 2000. He was awarded an MBE for his services.
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Which TV shows has Ian Wright starred in or presented?
Following his success on the pitch, Wright established himself as a popular presenter. Following his own chat show, Friday Night’s All Wright, he starred on sports panel show They Think It’s All Over, Gladiators, Big Brother’s Celebrity Hijack and Live from Studio Five.
The ever outspoken Wrighty regularly appears as a football pundit, featuring on Match of the Day and Match of the Day 2.
What has Ian Wright said about doing I’m a Celebrity?
Wrighty admits his footie manager friend Harry Redknapp – 2018 King of the Jungle – helped convince him that the time was right to take on the I’m a Celebrity challenge.
“I have been asked to do it every year and every time, I have always thought I am definitely not doing that because there was more and more jeopardy involved,” said Wright. “But I think the last series was one of the best I have seen in respect of camaraderie.
“Harry and I play golf together and we spoke about it. He had a really great time, it was a fantastic thing for him to do and he is still talking about it to this day!
“Now it does appeal to me at this particular time. I like the vibe, it is a really cool show and I am really intrigued.”
Wright is also aware that the intensity of football rivalries may well lead to him being voted to do his fair share of Bushtucker Trials during his time in the jungle.
“The football fraternity will be watching,” admits Ian. “Not only do they want to see me do well but for the ones who may not be so keen on me will want to see me go through stuff that they would never dream of!
“And it’s the Spurs fans opportunity to get me back! I’ve caused them so much heartache!”