Top Flat jockey Frankie Dettori is expected to enter the Celebrity Big Brother house tonight (Thursday 3 January).
There’s still speculation surrounding the show, as contestants have not been officially announced, but according to reports from The Daily Telegraph friends of the jockey have confirmed he’s going in.
And bookies have priced Frankie the second favourite at 5-1, behind X Factor’s Rylan Clark.
Frankie had a turbulent end to 2012, splitting with Godolphin after 18 years in October. In December he received a six-month ban from French racing authorities after failing a random drugs test.
The show runs for three weeks and starts tonight at 9pm on Channel 5.
But there are concerns as to how this will affect his future career, and how the famous Italian will fare in the house, where contestants are filmed 24 hours a day.
Frankie will be the second racing personality to enter the house — in 2005 John McCririck hit the headlines.
McCririck told BBC Radio 5 Live: “It [the rumour] has been going around the racing circles for some weeks now, and of course it’s a critical moment in his career. He doesn’t need the money but his career is at the crossroads now.
“In there, the tensions build up and the problems grow and Frankie is a moody man, he has his ups and downs like all of us, so will he be able to survive three weeks in the house?
“You can’t go laughing and joking and cheering everybody up for three weeks, you can do it for three days, but three weeks is going to be a problem.”
The Telegraph also reported that Frankie will give part of his undisclosed fee for the programme to charity — the Peter O’Sullevan Trust, the Fortune Centre of Riding Therapy and the charity founded by Barney Curley, DAFA (Direct Aid For Africa).