Celebrity Big Brother 2013: Ron Atkinson

All you need to know about the life and times of the disgraced former football manager and pundit

Name: ‘Big’ Ron Atkinson


Age: 74

Famous, why?: Football manager and disgraced pundit

Bio: There were times in the late ‘90s and early 2000s when you couldn’t go a week watching football on TV and not hear ‘Big’ Ron Atkinson.

He was living the good life, working as a Champions League co-commentator for ITV, being gently jibed for bizarre turns of phrase (his ‘Ronglish’) and taking credit for the now ubiquitous footie cliché ‘early doors’.

Before that, he had been one of the most high profile managers of the 80s, managing Manchester United from 1981-6 and taking them to two FA Cup victories.

That all changed on 21 April 2004, when he pressed the career self-destruct button by making a shocking racist remark about black Chelsea player Marcel Dessaily live on air.

Although the British transmission had finished, the words were still broadcast in the Middle East. Big Ron later said, “I think I’d have been better off shooting somebody.”

As the oldest in the CBB House he’ll be easy to pick out from the pop star dropouts, with his manager’s squashed nose and grey comb-over.

However, seeing as a microphone gaffe has already cost Ron once, maybe going live 24 hours a day isn’t the best way to kick the former footballer back into the headlines.

Blast from the past:

Managerial overlord at Man Utd