One contestant this year who might be slightly surprised to find himself among the I’m A Celebrity 2019 line-up is James Haskell – he had hoped to make the England squad for this year’s Rugby World Cup, before deciding to retire earlier than he had originally planned.
Here’s everything you need to know about the former Wasps and England star with some famous in-laws…
I’m A Celebrity 2019 line-up: James Haskell
Famous for: A 17-year rugby career that saw him pick up 77 England caps
Phobias: “I’m not going to tell you!”
Who is James Haskell? How successful was his Rugby career?
Hailing from Berkshire, Haskell is one of the most successful English rugby players of the last decade, turning out 77 times for his country between 2007 and 2019 and scoring four tries.
A forward who played mainly as a flanker and number eight, Haskell was at Wasps for the majority of his club career, but also enjoyed spells in France and Japan at Stade Francais and Ricoh Black Rams respectively.
Haskell’s career achievements include making the England squad for the World Cups in 2011 and 2015, being named ‘man of the series’ during England’s 3-0 series victory over Australia in June 2016, and making two appearances for the British and Irish lions the following year.
He announced his retirement from the game in May of this year, but soon after made public his intention to enter another sporting arena – as he looks to embark on a career in mixed martial arts.
Haskell will be able to count on support from some famous faces in the jungle – he is married to Chloe Madeley, the daughter of Richard and Judy, and he says that the presenting couple will be out in Australia.
What has James Haskell said about doing I’m A Celebrity?
“To be asked is such a special opportunity,” he said. “You will get to test yourself in amazing surroundings and find out a little bit more about yourself. I am excited.”
Haskell says he has a terrible poker face and claims that his attempt in the past to fast for 24 hours was “pretty horrific” – so is well aware that there will be challenges on the show.
And he admits that he might be a divisive figure among viewers. “I am very aware I am like marmite – you either love me or hate me,” he said. “I created this persona amusingly for jokes about being a lad. But I am not like that at all. I am not going in to try to change perception. I just want to have fun!”