Frankie Dettori returned to the spotlight in a very different way as he joined the Celebrity Big Brother house live on Channel 5 on Thursday evening.
The multiple Classsic-winning jockey, 42, was the first to enter the stage at studios in Elstree, Hertfordshire, and was immediately set a challenge, being paired with the X Factor's Rylan Clark and asked to make a series of decisions that would affect fellow housemates, involving splitting contestants into either the luxurious house or a grim basement area, lacking hot water and readily available food among other things.
As always, the line-up for the latest series of the show was a closely-guarded secret, but it had been rumoured for some time that the Italian could be involved as he is currently serving a six-month riding ban after testing positive for a banned substance at Longchamp back in September.
Speaking during his introduction, Dettori said: "I've been in the press recently for the wrong reasons. I was going through a very bad time in my career, one minute of madness and I slipped up. All the publicity you read about in the newspapers, I'm deeply ashamed about it but move on and look forward to the future.
"I don't know if I'll be a good housemate or not, I'm quite selfish, I blow hot and cold. I do get on with people quite well, I don't know if generally people get on with me that's the problem!"
Asked by host Brian Dowling about recent events, Dettori said: "That was 2012, this is 2013, let's have a new start."
Dettori is no stranger to television fame, having been a captain on the BBC's long-running A Question Of Sport from 2002 to 2004.
The contestants will spend the next few days holed up in the custom-built property in full glare of TV cameras with a winner emerging later this month if they can prove popular enough with viewers and their own housemates. The series is expected to last three weeks, with the first eviction due on Wednesday.
The series of Celebrity Big Brother is the fourth to be screened by Channel 5 in the space of 18 months, after resurrecting the show which had been dropped by Channel 4. Ratings have been much reduced for the programme since it left Channel 4. The most recent CBB series which finished in September and was won by Julian Clary drew an average of just 2.3million viewers, the lowest audience yet.
Bookmakers seem convinced Dettori has a winning chance, with Coral spokesman David Stevens saying: "Frankie Dettori has cost the bookies millions over the years, including £40million in one day alone when he rode all seven winners at Ascot in 1996. He was well-backed to appear in a reality TV show this year, forcing us to suspend betting before Christmas. He is sure to have a huge following among punters."
30 November 2015Jim Dreaper excited by Becher Goon show at Aintree
Violet Dancer hot to trot at Plumpton
Bobs Worth camp consider return to hurdling
Nicky Henderson sidesteps Tingle Creek with Sprinter Sacre
Vroum Vroum Mag revved up for possible Huntingdon raid
Jim Dreaper excited by Becher Goon show at Aintree
Un De Sceaux heads Tingle Creek field for Willie Mullins
Leopardstown target for Noel Meade's Monksland
Road To Riches and Apache Stronghold to duck Durkan, says Noel Meade
Willie Mullins pleased by Annie Power recovery progress
Aintree play down Crabbie's sponsorship speculation
Nicky Henderson sidesteps Tingle Creek with Sprinter Sacre
Victoria Pendleton eager for further point-to-point experience
Mouse Morris outlines Leopardstown Christmas option for First Lieutenant
Nicky Henderson's Whisper set for a break following Newbury disappointment
Gitane Du Berlais outgunned by Emily Gray at Carlisle
No More Heroes a cut above at Fairyhouse for Gordon Elliott
Sizzling Arctic Fire shows Grace under pressure at Fairyhouse
Victoria Pendleton fails to complete on first ride over fences
Long Dog's day as Willie Mullins duo has licence to thrill in Royal Bond
Rashaan stars for Colin Kidd at Fairyhouse
David Pipe keen on Kempton run for Un Temps Pour Tout
Dan Skelton outlines Baradari Leopardstown option
Noel Fehily pays tribute to Rock On Ruby
29 November 2015Ascot option for Harry Fry's Thomas Brown
Victoria Pendleton makes point-to-point debut in Devon
Andrew Lynch maps out Zabana chase return
Emma Lavelle mulling Shotgun Paddy Welsh National prep
Trip To Paris unplaced as Shonan Pandora claims Japan Cup victory
Plans fluid for Victoria Pendleton point-to-point debut
Thistlecrack too sharp for Long Distance big guns at Newbury
Alan King bowled over by Hennessy hero Smad Place
Wakanda note perfect in Newcastle Rehearsal
Identity Thief delivers KO blow in Fighting Fifth at Newcastle
Micky Hammond on the mark with Caraline at Newcastle
Arctic Fire searching for big-race success in Hatton's Grace Hurdle
Long Dog and Bachasson primed for Royal Bond showdown at Fairyhouse
Former jockey Darren Egan denies stopping horses in BHA corruption case
28 November 2015Thistlecrack goes the Distance at Newbury
Willie Mullins hands Gitane Du Berlais Carlisle assignment
Tea times it right at Newbury for Evan Williams
Simply Wings out to soar at Newbury in Sir Peter O'Sullevan memorial
Bobs Worth back at Newbury in attempt to regain Hennessy crown
Lamar hangs on for fast-track qualifier win at Wolverhampton
Three Musketeers adds name to illustrious Newbury honour roll
Bryan Cooper has a go with Heroes at Fairyhouse
Identity Thief faces acid test in Fighting Fifth
Kasakh Noir puts down early Cheltenham marker with Newbury success
Warren Greatrex backs Cole Harden to go the Distance at Newbury
Harry Fry calls time on Rock On Ruby career due to injury
Willie Mullins says Wicklow Brave is fighting fit for Newcastle date
27 November 2015Doncaster stewards hand out fourteen-day ban for rider John Kington
Funeral details announced for Pat Eddery
Niall McCullagh issues upbeat injury prognosis
Sean Bowen cleared for Newbury return
Ed Dunlop seeking Japan Cup solace with Trip To Paris
Paul Nicholls has Saphir Du Rheu sparkling for Newbury Hennessy bid
Native River leaves owner 'speechless' with Newbury triumph
Sternrubin leads Newbury rivals a merry dance
Ubak out to defy long absence in Newbury highlight
Winning start over fences for Shaneshill at Thurles
Modus 'getting there' in maintaining unbeaten record over hurdles at Newbury
Stuart Edmunds issues Chepstow warning for Wolf Of Windlesham
Charlie Longsdon's Pendra could enter Grand National equation