WHEN David Ginola takes his shirt off on I’m A Celeb, millions of fans – and even fellow campmate Frankie Bridge – are left hot under the collar.
But the toned ex-Tottenham and Newcastle legend has revealed he likes to ditch his kit as often as he can, even to do gardening or a beach walk.
David Ginola taking part in Sky One show Naked Britain in 2009Credit: Handout
David takes his top off next to Naughty Boy on I’m A CelebCredit: Eroteme
French ace David, 54, says being in the buff helps him feel “closer to nature” and he adds: “I like walking naked, anywhere.
“Not in public places, obviously, but at home in the South of France in my villa I spend most of my day naked in the garden.
“I’m gardening naked. It’s probably being back to nature, back to what we were at the beginning.
“It’s for myself, not for others. I’m not an exhibitionist, I’m not showing to anyone.
“If someone is coming I will dress up but when I’m alone in my house I will walk in the grass outside, and I like to be like that.
“I would be able to walk on an empty beach like that. I think it’s very good, it’s not that bad. It’s just nice to be like that.”
In a fascinating, previously unseen interview which gives an often hilarious look into David’s enviable life, he reveals how he loves cooking and watching Only Fools And Horses, is obsessed with buying shoes and says his favourite spot in the UK is . . . the 20th Century Hertfordshire town of Welwyn Garden City
Former midfielder David — joint favourite to win I’m A Celebrity — had become a front-runner among the contestants on the ITV show before they were forced to flee Gwrych Castle in North Wales last weekend after Storm Arwen caused £1million of damage to the set.
During an early challenge called Don’t Waste It, the reality stars competed for the chance to win a plate of biscuits.
Despite having no reason to, David took off his shirt, saying: “I took my top off — because I think, why not?”
Campmate Frankie Bridge, married to former England footie ace Wayne, later joked: “I think Wayne will be pleased that there were bars between David and me in our shower.”
But David, who is dating stunning 32-year-old French model Maeva Denat, has admitted it was not always that easy for him to impress the ladies.
Recalling his first kiss as a youngster, he says: “It was such a nightmare.
“It was in a house and there was music.
“This was in a time when there was no internet or iPod or anything, back in about 1979 or 1980 when I was about 13.
“I had a friend. She said, ‘David, this girl wants to get off with you’, and I said, ‘Are you sure about that?’ I was so scared about the approach, the first step.
“So we went to a party at this house and at a certain time of the night the music changes to slow
“And she pushed me, and then this girl was right in front of me and I had the first kiss.
I like walking naked, anywhere. Not in public places, obviously, but at home in the South of France in my villa I spend most of my day naked in the garden.
“It was like wow — it was a mix of, ‘Good, I’ve done it, I’m a man now’, but it was a different world then.
“At that age, kissing a girl at 13 was a big deal.
“It’s not a big deal any more. I was brought up and educated with a certain etiquette of life.
It left him with a real soft spot for the country, and he says: “I love Only Fools And Horses. I was catching up with it when I first came over to the UK.
“We used to watch that on the coach travelling to away games and I’ve got all seven series on DVD now.”
As for his love of Welwyn Garden City, he says: “I’d heard about the coast and the Lake District. I know a bit about Scotland.
“I’d like to know more about Ireland — I’d like to go salmon fishing in Ireland, around Cork.
“But I love Welwyn Garden City. I love going there to play golf at Brocket Hall. It’s very peaceful.
“As a golfer, I used to go there when I was playing for Spurs. I’d go there after the game to chill there. I’d have brunch on a Sunday morning. It’s a lovely place.”
These days, home for David is his French villa, where he is bringing up his three-year-old daughter with Maeva.
He is also dad to daughter Carla, 27, a model, and son Andrea, a 29-year-old soccer agent — who he had with ex-wife Coraline.
I’m gardening naked. It’s probably being back to nature, back to what we were at the beginning.
It seems an idyllic life for David, who suffered a cardiac arrest in 2016 while playing in a charity football match.
His heart stopped for eight minutes and he was only saved by CPR, followed by an emergency six-hour operation.
Nowadays he seems to have a pretty clear view of what he wants from life.
He says: “Being in the South of France, waking up in the morning, my perfect day is to have a round of golf with friends, sun, finish around 1.30, go to the beach, have a nice bouillabaisse of big grilled fish, a swim in the sea.
“Then go back, have a nice bottle of rosé with friends, nice coffee, then chat for the afternoon.
“Then another round of golf in the evening then finishing up with a nice poker game.
“I cook every day for my family at home, and my friends. We don’t have set menus, I just improvise from what I’ve got in the fridge.
“It comes from my mum. We were cooking every Sunday.
“Sunday morning was dedicated to lunch. I used to cook all the different dishes, like pastas and different kinds of meat or fish.
I love Only Fools And Horses. I was catching up with it when I first came over to the UK.
“I can do risottos and pasta with different sauces.
“Most of the kids don’t like vegetables but you can cook veg in different ways so you give them the opportunity of a different way of eating them.
“I can do Chinese soup, Thai food. I’m pretty good at it. The most important thing is, I think I like it.”
After food comes another big interest — shoes. David says: “I love shoes so I can’t resist shoe shops.
“I don’t want to mention any brands but I love shoes. But I don’t stop at every single one.”
David also reveals his biggest ever expense was buying a boat.
He says: “It’s quite a big one — not as big as the Queen’s yacht, it’s a personal one and I don’t get to use it much.
“Someone mentioned when I bought it, ‘When you buy a boat, you smile twice — you smile when you buy it, and you smile when you sell it’.
“In between is just paying, paying, paying — you’re paying for petrol, you’re paying for tax, you’re paying for repairs, you’re paying for everything.
“The pleasure is about three weeks a year. But for me, one of my most loving memories about being on holiday is boating.
“You are surrounded by nothing. You’re crossing the Med to go to Corsica, you’re surrounded by water.
“You can’t see any land and you think, ‘This is freedom and this is amazing’.”
David with partner Maeva DenatCredit: Getty
During the Don’t Waste It challenge David took off his shirt and said: ‘I took my top off — because I think, why not?’Credit: Rex
David, second left, on Loose Women in 2017Credit: PA:Press Association
David said: ‘When I was playing for Spurs I’d go there [Brocket Hall] after the game to chill there. I’d have brunch on a Sunday morning. It’s a lovely place’Credit: Getty Images – Getty
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