ian wright

Who is Ian Wright? Everything you need to know about the I'm a Celeb contestant

Ian is no stranger to TV

Aisha Nozari

Ian Wright is known for being one of the most bubbly, hilarious football pundits on the telly. Having played for the likes of Arsenal and Crystal Palace, the sports star certainly knows his stuff when it comes to the game. Much to the delight of his fans, Ian officially announced in November that he would be joining the I'm a Celeb 2019 line-up, and he's already proving himself to be a fan favourite Down Under. But who exactly is Ian Wright? And what is the star best known for? We take a closer look at the former England player…

Who is Ian Wright?

Ian Wright was born in London in 1963 and is best known for being a footballer during the 90s, most famously playing for Crystal Palace and Arsenal. Ian celebrated his 56th birthday in 2019, and shared a snap of his big day on Instagram. The former Arsenal player married his wife Nancy Hallam in 2011 and the pair share two children, Lola and Roxanne. Before meeting Nancy, Ian was married to Debbie Wright and the exes also share two kids, Stacey and Bobbi. Ian has another four children from previous relationships, including professional footballers Bradley and Shaun Wright.

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Ian Wright's footballing career 

Ian trialled for both Southend and Brighton football clubs as a teenager however struggled to secure a footballing contract initially. He eventually started playing semi-professionally for Greenwich Borough, which is when he was scouted by Crystal Palace. He signed a contract with the team in 1985, when Ian was 21 years old. To this day, Ian remains Crystal Palace's third-highest scoring player of all time. Ian signed to Arsenal in 1991 and appeared on the pitch 288 times for the club, scoring an incredible 185 goals. Ian is Arsenal's second-highest goalscorer of all time. Of course, Ian also played for England's national team before retiring from football in 2000. The star player was awarded an MBE for his services to the sport.

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What does he do now?

Ian is just as successful off the pitch as he is on. He's appeared on scores of sports panel shows including Gladiators, Big Brother and They Think It's All Over. What's more, the football legend has even hosted a chat show of his very own, Friday Night's All Wright. But these days, Ian is perhaps best known for being a football pundit, and can often be seen on popular shows such as Match of the Day offering his opinion. 

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What has Ian said about being on I'm a Celeb?

According to Ian himself, he was inspired by his close friend – and King of the Jungle – Harry Redknapp's stint Down Under in 2018. The Radio Times reported that Ian explained: "I have been asked to do it every year and every time, I have always thought I am definitely not doing that because there was more and more jeopardy involved."

He continued: "But I think the last series was one of the best I have seen in respect of camaraderie. Harry and I play golf together and we spoke about it. He had a really great time, it was a fantastic thing for him to do and he is still talking about it to this day! Now it does appeal to me at this particular time. I like the vibe, it is a really cool show and I am really intrigued."

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