Football star David Ginola has reflected on wanting to experience new things after he got a second chance at life when he survived a heart attack – and feels competing on I’m A Celebrity will get him out of his “comfort zone”.
The French former Premier League footballer, 54, suffered a cardiac arrest during a charity match in France in 2016 and received CPR on the pitch from fellow footballer Frederic Mendy, who he said had saved his life.
Ginola will now swap the pitch for the Welsh basecamp as he joins the other famous faces on the ITV show as it returns to Gwrych Castle near Abergele in North Wales.
Discussing life after the 2016 incident, Ginola said: “I am absolutely fine right now. Obviously, when you’ve got a second chance in life, you want to experience different things.
“I’m not saying that being in the show is experiencing something different but knowing what my life is every day, I know it’s gonna be completely different.
“I always talk about getting out of your comfort zone and this is exactly what it’s going to be.
“We’re going to wear the same clothes, sharing the same shower, very little food. We’re going to try to win trials to get more food.
“It’s an experience and I’m taking it as an experience, as something to discover, something I will probably never do again in my life.
“It will probably be an experience of a lifetime.”
The footballer – who played for teams including Newcastle, Tottenham and Everton before retiring in 2002 – said he is a fan of co-hosts Ant and Dec as they are Newcastle fans.
He also said after 20 years in the industry, he has gotten used to team-building with a wide variety of people on a regular basis.
Ginola added: “You get to know each other, and if you want to succeed, you need to like each other and make sure that even if we don’t like certain things, let’s try to forget about it, and let’s try to make sure that the spirits will be as high as possible to get successful.
“The success for me in the castle will be all together – not just one or the other, but all together as a team.”
The former footballer is in a relationship with model Maeva Denat and they share a daughter together.
He admitted that he is already missing his daughter while he is in the quarantine period before the show starts, adding: “Obviously missing my little one it’s something… because she doesn’t really understand why daddy is not home anymore.
“So it’s difficult for her to understand that I’m going to spend three weeks in the castle with people I don’t know, with snakes and bugs. I try not to explain that that way.”
– I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! launches Sunday at 9pm on ITV