Wayne Bridge Is A Footballing Breath Of Fresh Air

Wayne Bridge is doing football the world of good:

We all have conceptions about footballers. Overpaid, lacking in personality, dull, irresponsible… take your pick. But on this years “I’m a Celeb”, Wayne Bridge is countering all of the above and ridding that cold footballer image.

When it was announced that he would be in the jungle, there was just one thing that sprung to my cynical mind. Go on Wayne, dig some dirt on John Terry. He had remained silent for all this time and I just thought that, being a footballer, Bridge would let loose on his pantomime rival.

But there has been nothing of the sort. In fact, he’s been probed by his fellow contestants but opted for diplomacy and discretion rather than an abrupt attack on a man who once tried to ruin his life. How refreshing is that? The ex-England left back kept stum and has relished in talking freely about his new life, wife and family since the fiasco. And what a mess it was.

About those personality traits I mentioned earlier. Wayne Bridge may well have been overpaid but seems genuinely humble in discussing it with his fellow jungle celebrities. His marginally awkward response to Kiosk Keith’s question on sex life changes after having a baby was anything but witless, if not daring. And irresponsible? The guy breaks down every time he thinks about his family. Maybe not your typical man’s man, but that is ok.

Being one big PR stunt for the celebs, the show has been the perfect opportunity for Bridge to depict his nature against that of John Terry. By going on it and displaying a genuine bond with actors, actresses, dancers and professional TV watcher, Bridge is already 1-0 up. Maybe that’s a plan of his in itself, but it definitely feels candid. Wayne Bridge and Scarlett Moffatt embracing and enjoying drinks together is an odd yet wonderful moment.

Such footballers are hard to come by on game show and reality TV. Jimmy Bullard was entertaining I suppose, but at times he came across that little bit too full-on and try-hard. He was voted out in the first removal, shocking football fans who most definitely do not vote. At least I think. But Wayne Bridge has survived 3 and is evidently portraying a character endearing itself to everyone.

Wayne Bridge has endured the hardships of life through the public eye. While many of us cannot relate to the latter, we can absolutely find links with the former. Almost everyone has come through times of suffering and Bridge’s identity in the jungle is one that we can share.

Now just think about that. A footballer who has amassed millions of pounds over his career, represented England, lived the dream… and here we are identifying with him. The joys of reality TV.

 

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A TV piece written mid-series about I’m A Celeb.

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