I’m A Celebrity star Frankie Dettori says he learned to speak English by watching EastEnders.
The 52-year-old jockey told campmates about his move to the UK which included watching lots of goings on in Albert Square, where Danielle Harold used to work. Danielle recently left the BBC soap earlier this year in a tragic storyline, that saw her character Lola Pearce pass away after battling a brain tumour.
In camp during Friday’s episode of the ITV jungle series, hosted by Ant and Dec, Frankie’s co-stars asked him about coming to the UK. Fred Sirieix asked Frankie: “So you were born in Milan, when did you come to the UK?”
Frankie replied: “At 14,” to which First Dates star Fred asked: “By yourself?” Frankie told him: “Yeah. I said, ‘Dad, I’m going to be a jockey.’
“He said, ‘Right, if you’re going to be a jockey, I want you to take it serious, so I’m going to send you for six months in England, six months in France. I stayed in a bed and breakfast. It was hard. I was homesick, cry every night. About three months, not always [I cried].”
Frankie then made an admission to Danielle about EastEnders that left her stunned, with her making a cheeky jibe at the show. Looking over at Danielle, he added: “I learned the phrase, ‘What is this?’. This is how I learned English. Then I watched TV. Your thing [Danielle], EastEnders…”
As he confessed that the show helped teach him English, Danielle replied: “Do you know how many people say to me, ‘I learned English watching EastEnders’. It’s probably the worst place to learn!”
This isn’t the first time the jockey has revealed how the BBC soap helped him to learn the language. Speaking previously on a 2021 podcast Frankie also said he learned English from the soap.
He added: “I was spending my life watching EastEnders. Then I shared a room with a Cockney guy and he used to teach me apples and pairs and sky rocket – I had no idea what he was saying.” Frankie made his debut in the jungle earlier this week alongside boxer Tony Bellew.