I'm A Celebrity Interview : Linford Christie
Thursday 11th November 2010
Date of birth: 2nd April 1960
Phobias – I am about to find out!
Missing any special occasion? No.
Relationship status: Long-term relationship
As a former Olympic and World Champion, Linford Christie is used to training hard but he says nothing can prepare him for life in the jungle.
The 50-year-old track runner, who is the only British man to have won gold medals in the 100 metres at all four major competitions open to British athletes, admits taking part in the programme is something completely out of his comfort zone.
“When you are competing for a race, you know what you are doing,” he explains. “This is unknown. It is going to be hard work and you do wonder what it is going to be like.
“I am trying not to think about it too much though as otherwise it will stress you out. The best thing to do is face it all when you get there.”
Amazingly for someone so used to winning, Linford says he is not hatching up a plan to make sure he walks away with the title ‘King of the Jungle’.
“People will be going in there to win and they have an agenda. But I am going in there to meet people and have fun,” says Linford.
Now retired from British athletics, Linford runs his own sports management company and helps coach other athletes. His main reason for taking part in I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! he explains, is to do ‘something for himself’.
“I have spent years since I retired doing things for everyone else,” he adds. “I am always coaching. I grew up in Jamaica and we played with insects. I don’t do that anymore and I haven’t been camping in my life either. It would be nice to pick up some tips! This is going to be a challenge for me and it will be an experience. This is very much ‘me’ time.
“I don’t know if I have got any phobias, but I will soon find out!”
At this stage, there is nothing he will refuse to do, but he admits the thought of eating testicles fills him with horror.
“I am not sure about the testicle thing,” he confides. “I am a guy. I don’t eat testicles. But you do have to pull your weight and if it means you won’t eat, you will have to do things you don’t want to do.”
He says he will be over the moon if he makes his kids laugh.
“They don’t actually know I am doing this yet but whenever they watch the programme, they tell me to go on so they can laugh,” he says. “I am sure they will think it is cool and they can laugh at my expense. If they laugh, it means I have done well.”
And it’s his children who he will miss the most. “I used to go away for months when I was competing but I could talk to them on Skype or on the phone,” he adds. “In the jungle I won’t be able to and I will miss my kids the most of course.”
He sees his role in the camp as a cook. “I do enjoy cooking and I can cook,” he says. “Mind you, I have watched this programme in the past where people have had bad habits and they have put their spoon in the food to taste it (whilst it is cooking). I don’t like that and I won’t tolerate that.”
He thinks he is an easy going person and he says he doesn’t have any misconceptions to dispel. “What you see is what you get,” he continues. “It takes a lot for me to get angry and I do like discussing things. I have never had a room mate before and this will give me a chance to get to know some other people.
“I do have a sense of humour. I am nuts, I laugh a lot and I am crazy!
“As for not having too much food, that doesn’t bother me as I can go through a whole day without eating. And I sleep – so don’t worry about me!”
And what is he most looking forward to? “Having fun,” he replies. “But a bit of eye candy would go down well too!”