He's been cooking up a storm on Celebrity MasterChef.
But as the oven door closes, former footballer Dion Dublin is about to open a hot new one – his own auction house business.
It’s a savvy move for the Homes Under The Hammer star, who has been watching the gavel come down on properties on screen since 2015.
Dion says: “I am launching my own auction house, Lot 9, with the first auction on October 28 at Hotel Football in Manchester.
“I’ve been into property since 1992 and this is a business I’ve wanted to do for a long time.
“My main work is for the BBC and BBC Radio but this is a passion project between business partners and we’ve decided to go for it.”
But Dion, who won four England caps during his career, admits there’s still one telly idea he fancies a go at, saying: “I would like a chat show.”
Last night, viewers saw the former Aston Villa forward leave Celebrity MasterChef in fourth place.
And he reckons the pressure of being on the pitch is nothing compared to the heat of the kitchen.
He adds: “It’s been tense. Football is a doddle compared to being a chef.
“I’m very good friends with Ainsley Harriott and respected him before doing MasterChef.
“Would I do it again? With the fear factor of MasterChef I can say I’ve done it and thank you.
“A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into the cooking.
“I’ve learned so much and met some incredible human beings.”
The 52-year-old made firm friends with the other celebs, including actor Joe Swash, Paralympian Kadeena Cox and reality stars Megan McKenna and Kem Cetinay.
Judges Gregg Wallace and John Torode also made an impression on him. He says: “John told me on day one when I gave him a plate with a bunch of ingredients thrown on it, ‘Dion, your planning is shocking’.
“I’m a neat and tidy person, so I took it on board. It was incredibly hard when you’ve got a camera in your face and you’re running to the fridge panicking.
“Then when you put your food down and stand with your hands behind your back, it’s like a headmaster waiting to tell you off.”
Dion has teamed up with credit-checkers ClearScore, who have rebranded the West Midlands town of Shirley to Surely today to demonstrate the power of feeling sure.
It comes after new research found 43% of Brits are left overwhelmed by the choices they have to make every day, particularly financial.
The Leicester-born presenter will chat to a local sports team and host sure-inspiring activities, including a motivational speech from a sport psychologist.
Staying positive is something he knows about after recovering from injuries including a broken neck during his playing days.
He says: “I will be going to give a positive message. I’ll try to give them some experience of the knockbacks I had like when I broke my leg and neck. You have to back yourself.”
Following a summer of sporting highs at the Euros, Olympics, Paralympics and recent US Open, Dion believes sportsmen and women are better positioned than ever before to encourage self-belief.
He adds: “Senior pro footballers, such as me, call young pro footballers ‘the kids’ and the bigger picture is spreading love and energy.
“It’s about what you can do with your platform.
“Marcus Rashford is an amazing role model – I tip my hat to him.
“Jack Grealish is a great bloke and does loads that people don’t see which I know because I’ve spoken to him loads of times.”
And Dion is hailing Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United as an opportunity to reinvigorate the Premier League as a whole.
He says: “Taking Messi out of the equation, he’s the only footballer who can change a football club. They could win the league now, that’s the difference with Ronaldo.
“If you watch how Ronaldo lives his life, copy it as much as you can because it’s a great life lesson.
“I think you’ll see better footballers come through with him being here.”
● To feel ClearScore sure about your finances download the app on IOS or Android, where you can access your credit score and get personalised offers for free.
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