Mike Tindall: Who is the I’m A Celebrity star and what’s his connection to the royal family?

Mike Tindall is making history as the first member of the royal family to appear on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!.

The former rugby player, who is married to Zara Phillips, is among the 10 original castmates already named by ITV to be heading into the jungle for the reality TV competition.

You can find out more about this year’s campmates here.

Tindall began playing rugby professionally aged 18 for Bath just after leaving school. During his career on the pitch, Tindall broke his nose at least eight times.

In 2000, the 44-year-old played for England for the first time, representing his country 75 times. He was a member of the 2003 World Cup-winning team, playing for England in the final.

From 2005 to 2014, Tindall played for Gloucester. In 2008, a serious injury on the pitch left him with internal bleeding, a perforated liver and a punctured lung, after which he said he was “happy just to be alive”.

He announced his retirement from the sport in 2014 and now presents the podcast The Good, The Bad and The Rugby with former I’m A Celebrity contestant James Haskell and presenter Alex Payne.

The cast of ‘I’m A Celebrity’ 2022 (ITV)
The cast of ‘I’m A Celebrity’ 2022 (ITV)

Tindall is also known for his position within the royal family, due to his marriage to Zara Phillips.

The rugby player first met Queen Elizabeth II’s granddaughter, the daughter of Princess Anne and her first husband Mark Phillips, at the 2003 Rugby World Cup and the couple announced their engagement in 2010, after he received the Queen’s permission.

They married in Edinburgh in 2011 and now reside in Gatcombe Park, a royal estate in Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire.

The couple have three children: Mia, eight, Lena, four, and Lucas, one.

Tindall was recently in attendance at Queen Elizabeth’s funeral, during which he was seen comforting the Countess of Wessex’s son James.

Tindall and Phillips at Queen Elizabeth’s funeral in September (Getty Images)
Tindall and Phillips at Queen Elizabeth’s funeral in September (Getty Images)

Discussing the first time he met the monarch on his podcast before her death, Tindall recalled: “I did get sweaty palms. I think anyone would. She’s such a legend of a lady that I still get nervous now when I see her.”

As for the jungle, Tindall has said that he’s looking forward to taking part in the Bushtucker Trials “in a weird way” and wants to be the camp’s “morning motivator”.

The rugby star said that he’d been asked to appear on the show numerous times in the past and suspected the experience would be tougher than any sports match.

“With a rugby game you know what you are going to get and when it gets hard, you know what it looks like,” he said. “This is something you can’t predict; you don’t know where it will take you and so you can’t really plan for it.

“Your ability to roll with the punches is something you have got to have. Hopefully I have that and I won’t overthink things. Hopefully my personality suits this.”

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! begins Sunday 6 November at 9pm on ITV.