Paul Gascoigne cheated death by narrowly avoiding Im A Celeb helicopter fall
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It's the stuff of nightmares for any I'm A Celebrity contestant; Paul Gascoigne has opened up on the terrifying moment he managed to cheat death by narrowly avoiding a fall from a helicopter.
The former England footballer was taking part in the Italian version of the celebrity jungle contest when he suffered the near miss while on the way back to camp from a hospital visit.
Gazza, 53, told The Sun: “I’m scared of flying at the best of times and always say a little prayer before take off. But I was chatting to the pilot as we were taking off so I must have forgotten my seat belt."
The helicopter was flying over the sea when the pilot pulled to the right and the door flew open from the movement, with a terrified Gazza lurched towards the open doorway.
He admitted of the heartstopping moment: “I’ve never been so frightened. My career and family flashed in front of my eyes – but I managed to hold on and slide the door closed."
Talking about his biggest fear of what could have happened, he added that sharks were more of a worry than the long drop to the water below.
He said: “I thought if I fell out into the sea I might survive the drop but I was scared there might be sharks. I could see the headlines. Fat bloke who was good at football falls out of a helicopter and is eaten by a shark.”
Gazza had to pay a visit to the hospital mid-series after dislocating his shoulder during a spaghetti and meatballs challenge and despite his medical treatment, it eventually forced him to quit the series.
The ex-Newcastle, Spurs and Lazio player is now in quarantine in Milan but spent 38 days on the Honduran island of Cayos Cochinos for I'm A Celeb Italy, known as Isola de Famosi (Island of the Famous).
He said that he was the healthiest he had been in years following his time in the jungle camp, where he lost a stone and a half through the limited diet and constant physical challenges.
Gazza battled a long-running alcohol addiction but is now sober and said he counted his only current addictions as "keeping fit and coffee".
He revealed that he would drink up to 15 cups of coffee a day before his stint in the jungle, where he was forced to go cold turkey, but has been "wolfing down lots of chocolate" since leaving camp.
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