Adrian Chiles has admitted fame has left him “addicted” to being recognised.
The former Match of the Day 2 and The One Show presenter has had a tough decade since he quit the BBC to join ITV back in 2010, which he says left him as “damaged goods” in the entertainment world and laments that “the phone just stopped ringing”.
The career move saw Chiles and fellow One Show host Christine Lampard (then Bleakley) become hosts of new breakfast show Daybreak, which was eventually replaced by Good Morning Britain.
Birmingham-born presenter and avid West Bromwich Albion fan was also installed as ITV’s chief football reporter.
However, his contract ended and he left ITV in 2015, and he has never quite recaptured that mainstream fame he once enjoyed, instead focusing more on radio presenting various shows for the BBC.
In a candid interview with The Mirror, The 53-year-old said: “I was damaged goods. It wasn’t my choice to stop. I lacked any control. You can keep putting yourself out there, but in all honesty, the phone just stopped ringing.”
The presenter, known for his down-to-earth presenting style and strong West Midlands accent, recently revealed he has had issues with alcohol. He told in one-off BBC show Drinkers Like Me that he was regularly exceeding the weekly recommended alcohol intake for men in just one day.
But this is something he gets asked about regularly.
He said: “People recognise me all the time and they normally want to talk to me about football or alcohol. I don’t mind, they’re friendly. But it was difficult during the period when I became unsuccessful.”
However, Chiles remains philosophical about being approached and admitted there were parts of him that craved it.
He added: “I couldn’t turn the fame off. I couldn’t fail anonymously. I also realised then that I’d been paid to be recognised, and a bit of me was addicted to it. It can be a nuisance for everyone to know who you are but for people to stop knowing who you are is even worse.”
Chiles will next be on our screens taking part in the third series of BBC 2 show Pilgrimage: The Road To Istanbul.
He will be joined by Dom Joly, Fatima Whitbread, broadcaster Mim Shaikh, presenter Amar Latif, Edwina Curry, and actress Pauline McGlynn.
It starts Friday 3 April at 9pm on BBC 2.