FOOTBALL legend David Ginola is proving a big hit on I'm A Celeb and is already tipped to be crowned King of the Castle.

Current odds put the ex-Newcastle and Spurs man, 54, as hot favourite to win this series, ahead of fellow campmates Danny Miller and Frankie Bridge. 

He’s already caught the eye of some of the contestants – with Emmerdale actor Danny admitting he has a “man crush” on the Frenchman after watching him doing press-ups and chopping wood.

The blue-eyed striker, who kick-started his career at Paris Saint-Germain before moving to the Premier League, was a pin-up in his day and clearly hasn’t lost his charm, bagging a stunning girlfriend 22 years his junior.

Though his love of the ladies has at times bordered on the inappropriate. In his memoir Le Magnifique he admitted to falling in love with his teacher, and hinted she may have felt the same way.

He shared: “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.

"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."

He went on to date a string of glamorous women during his footie career, but fell hard for fashion model Coraline Delphin, whom he married in 1991.

The pair lived together near St Tropez and had two children, Andrea and Carla, and enjoyed a jet-set life with parties in Paris and exotic holidays.

But their marriage was dogged by accusations of cheating and scandal.

In 2000 it was alleged that David had fathered a daughter, Joy, with Parisian businesswoman Joelle Pinquier during an affair which lasted several months in 1991. 

In 2009 the Frenchman hit the headlines again when it emerged he was facing prison for failing to keep up child maintenance payments. 

He was ordered to pay £30,000 in fees to Marseille-born dog breeder Ms Pinquier, after allegedly refusing to take a DNA test to prove whether the child was his.

Ms Pinquier said at the time: “We met through common friends in the football world, when David was playing for the club PSG.

“I broke off our relationship in December 1991, when I discovered he was married and that his wife was pregnant.

"But it was after that that I discovered I was pregnant too… I want him to act like a father, not as an actor or a star. She wants to carry his name, for him to recognise her.”

'Eurostar divorce'

Coraline filed for divorce in March 2016, reportedly claiming his affairs destroyed their marriage. At this point David was spotted with a young French model, Maëva Denat.

Their split was confirmed a year later, and Coraline told pals she felt “reborn” after agreeing a multi-million pound settlement.

But the couple continued to do battle for another two years over Coraline’s pay-out.

She used the British courts system to terminate their marriage – dubbed a “Eurostar divorce”, as they historically tend to be more generous to women than their continental counterparts.

In the agreement, Coraline – who reverted to her maiden name Delpin – was left the family mansion in St Maxime on the French Riviera, one of three luxurious properties the couple owned.

Their final settlement figure was never revealed, but it’s believed to be in the millions.

The couple are reportedly on civil terms and still speak to each other for the good of their two children.

Meanwhile David set up home with Maëva – who was dubbed the French Angelina Jolie when their relationship went public.

She too is from the south of France, and the couple welcomed a child together in 2018.

But David's older two children were reportedly unhappy that he moved on with another woman so soon.

His son Andrea took a swipe at Maeva, claiming: "She is not the next Angelina Jolie, she's struggling. I want my dad to find someone who earns a decent living and has goals in life."

He added that David's alleged cheating and subsequent love child "caused a lot of damage" to his parents' relationship.

'Dead' for eight minutes

Meanwhile Maëva has been outspoken about the ex-footballer's stint on I’m A Celeb, telling The Sun on Sunday she fears for his health.

Her concerns are justified; in May 2016, David suffered a near-fatal heart attack just months after the breakdown of his marriage.

He was playing in a charity football match when he suddenly collapsed after suffering a cardiac arrest, and was "clinically dead" for eight minutes.

Fellow friend and footballer Frederic Mendy performed emergency CPR before the paramedics restored a pulse in his heart with defibrillators.

Surgeons had to perform a quadruple bypass surgery to save his life.

Speaking about the moment he “hit the ground face-first” in 2016, he told The Sun: “I swallowed my tongue and my friends fought to get it out of my throat, but my teeth kept clamping down on their fingers.

“My heart stopped for eight minutes at least. There was no pulse. I was dead. Then the air ambulance arrived and they hooked me up to a defibrillator.

My heart stopped for eight minutes at least. There was no pulse

“They sent three electric shocks to my chest and when the third didn’t work they started to lose hope.

“After the fourth and fifth my heart started again. The ambulance worker turned to my friends and said, ‘I have a pulse.’ Everyone started cheering and crying.”

After retiring from football, David began drinking and smoking more and, whilst it was a genetic defect which caused the cardiac arrest, the lifestyle did him no favours.

Maeva said: “My biggest fear is he goes away and then something happens. I dread the thought of him not coming home.

“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.”

It may come as no surprise, given his love of wine, that David owns a vineyard, and he won a silver medal for a rose plonk he produced at the International Wine Challenge in 2008.

And his talents don’t stop at booze and football.

David’s chiselled jawline and long flowing locks saw him obtain “sex symbol” status during his footballing career – and a move into modelling and acting seemed a natural progression.

He became the face of a number of products, notably L’Oreal – “because he’s worth it” – and Renault.

David took acting lessons at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and made his screen debut in an Anglo-French short film called Rosebeef, playing the lead role of Didier the butcher. The flick won an award at the Dijon film festival.

For his first feature he played a renegade German sniper in The Last Drop, a 2005 action movie about the Nazi occupation of Holland.

Maëva is confident about her husband’s prospects on I’m A Celeb, claiming: “There is almost nothing that scares David, not even death. 

“He is a force of nature and will go outside bare-chested when it is snowing.

“He doesn’t feel the cold and he loves the wind and rain. He is incredibly strong and says I make him feel young again.”

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