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Strictly doing it for the publicity: sports stars and Reality TV...

With Robbie Savage and Audley Harrison set to mambo their way around the BBC studio floor, we take a look at some other former sports stars who sacrificed their dignity for all of 15 minutes…

Image: Yui Mok/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Lee Sharpe:

THE FORMER MANCHESTER United winger carved a bit of a reputation for himself when it came to Reality Television. Once his football career had come to a halt he participated in an ITV show called Celebrity Wrestling. When that proved a little too bitey for a man so into his looks, Sharpe paddled out to Celebrity Love Island. After making Jayne Middlemiss fall in love with him, he (like most other men) dated Abi Titmuss.

Here he is on Podge and Rodge…

Dennis Rodman:

The NBA legend also had a spell on the Island but is better known in this part of the world for his part in Celebrity Big Brother, where he boasted about sleeping with 1800 women and flirted with everyone except Rula Lenska. We include Pete Burns and that hideous Jodie Marsh in that.

Vinnie Jones:

The former football hard-man entered the Big Brother house in 2010 as he wanted to shed his image as, well, football hard-man Vinnie Jones. It didn’t work and he was booed as he left the house, finishing in third and comparing it to ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.’

Chris Eubank:

The boxing gent lasted 36 hours in the Big Brother House way back in 2001, during the very first Celebrity Big Brother competition. Vanessa Feltz, Claire Sweeney, Keeeeeeeth Duffy and Jack Dee were with him, as well as Anthea Turner. Not sure what Chris did afterwards, apart from buy himself a very big truck…

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I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here – Assorted Sports Personalities:

Nigel Benn’s none too successful foray into the jungle in 2002 was just the beginning (he came seventh out of eight contestants), and 2003 was a glorious year for, well, overhyped cricketer Phil Tufnell and former Wimbledon bruiser John Fashanu. They came first and second respectively, with Tufnell managing to start a successful presenting career as a result. Fashanu, on the other hand, recently competed against Calum Best and Chico Slimani in Celebrity Total Wipeout, and hosts the Nigerian ‘Deal Or No Deal.’

In more recent years, any sporting element to the Bushtucker Trials came from Sheree ‘wife of Harry Kewell’ Murphy and Neil ‘how could that man have ever been a professional athlete?’ Ruddock, before Jimmy White came third in 2009, behind two people whose names we can’t be bothered remembering.

Finally, most people wait until the end of their sporting careers before making a show of themselves on Saturday evening television, but not Gavin Henson. The Welsh rugby player took a sabbatical to pursue such outside projects as foxtrotting and not looking too terrified…

View from New York: On the Young and the restless

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