David Ginola entered the I'm a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! castle last week and the Frenchman is already the current favourite to win with odds of 9/4.
Ginola said that he was willing to give the competition a go after he was given a ‘new chance at life’ after his quadruple bypass surgery in hopes that the experience will put him out of his comfort zone, explaining: "It will probably be an experience of a lifetime."
Although he’s currently braving the extreme weather in the Gwrych Castle for this year’s series of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, David is used to the warmer climes of France.
He lives with his girlfriend 32-year-old Maeva Denat, who he’s been with since 2016, and their three-year-old daughter.
Although the couple rarely share snaps inside their home, it seems as though they are living in luxury with an illuminated swimming pool and sprawling sofas – quite a contrast to the campsite.
David split with his ex-wife Coraline after 25 years of marriage, and they share two daughters.
His daughter Carla is a fashion blogger, while his son Andrea followed his father into the world of football. He became a football agent and opened his own clothing store in St Tropez.
After David and Coraline separated in 2016, David suffered a near fatal cardiac arrest whilst playing a charity football match in France. He was 25 minutes into the game and had just scored a goal when he collapsed to the ground and swallowed his tongue.
He was declared "clinically dead" for twelve minutes but was fortunately revived by defibrillator. The former Everton midfielder was airlifted to hospital in Monaco where he endured a six-hour quadruple heart bypass to clear his arteries.
After the terrifying incident, David discovered that he had inherited the heart condition from his mother, who passed away due to a heart attack in 2005.
Before he entered the castle, David's girlfriend Maeva said: "David’s biggest fear is he won’t live to see our daughter ever grow up and I feel the same way […] I am always worried about David’s health and what if something happens like before?"
"I push him to take care of himself but it is a constant battle. David loves to cook and to eat and can eat three plates of food when you have just one. Like most French people, he likes to drink wine and smoke, but I’ve been trying to get him to stop."
David opened up about the heart attack on I’m A Celebrity when DJ Naughty Boy asked him: "Is that true about something that happened to you? You died and came back?" to which David then explained the full story.
"Just playing football and at one stage you just fall on the floor.
"So they have to perform CPR for 12 minutes and they arrive with the defibrillator and they shocked me one time, two times, three times… they said, ‘I think your friend is dead.’
"A fourth, fifth time… the fifth time, a heartbeat. The surgeon said, ‘You’ve been very lucky David, it’s a miracle. In your condition 9 out of 10 would have died.’"
He added: "When you come back from that you just have your mind full of questions: 'Is it a message, am I going back for a second life for a purpose?'
"When you’re fighting when you’re dead, you’re on the crossroad – there’s life and death."
He ended on this note to his campmates: "It’s one of a kind, because you don’t have any warnings. You could just walk like this and boom, fall over and it’s over. It is crazy when you think about it."
Aside from his football career, David also showed off his acting skills – and incredible body – when he starred in a L’Oreal campaign back in the 90s.
The athlete’s iconic locks landed him an advertisement role with the cosmetics company in 1998, showing off his impressive, sleek 'do in slow motion, telling the camera that the shampoo keeps his hair "clean, shiny and controllable."
The heartthrob also admitted that he had a crush on his teacher when he was a boy and recalled the infatuation in his memoir Le Magnifique: "She was brunette and had a lovely body, with nice eyes and a pretty face. I used to sit in the front row of class and would stare at her all the time to the point where it unnerved her."
"She knew I was staring into her eyes and used to look back into mine, but it was always she who had to turn away first and look to the floor."
The inappropriate glances were all too much for the teacher: "She even called my parents to tell them that I made her feel a bit uncomfortable and asked them to have a word with me."
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