Former boxer Chris Eubank has expressed his disgust after fellow contestant Paul Gascoigne recounted a visit to Downing Street to meet former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher.
The incident occurred during the launch episode of Channel 4’s Scared of the Dark, a reality show that plunges celebrities into complete darkness for eight days.
Gascoigne, the former Newcastle, Spurs and Rangers midfielder, left his co-contestants open-mouthed with his story, which included crude details.
Eubank, who held the World Boxing Organization middleweight and super-middleweight titles during his career, was particularly taken aback by the tale.
Gascoigne’s story may have been intended to shock or amuse, but it clearly had a negative impact on at least one of his fellow contestants.
QUICK READ: Joey Barton offered former Man City teammate a ‘chance of revenge’ after bust-up
Gascoigne said: “Do you want a sexy story? I may get myself in trouble here, but when I went to 10 Downing Street, I put my arm round Maggy Thatcher, and I felt it getting hard and I thought, ‘I better just release this.'”
The former Spurs midfielder then confessed that he relieved himself in the toilets, adding: “So I just quickly f***ing hit the toilet and just whacked one out.”
“I don’t know Gazza,” he said. “And I don’t want to know Gazza. Because that’s drinking. That’s all that muck.
“He’s brazen. He’ll drink you underneath the table. He is a legend — [the story] is not legendary. What’s legendary is Paul. Paul and what he did [in his career].”
Speaking soon after Gascoigne told the story, Eubank said: “It’s so unfortunate that it’s probably true. OK, so let’s lift up the octave or the class. Let’s lift it up.
“What you’ve done there, Paul, is that’s your pub talk, man. That’s not for here. But then maybe I’m killing the party. Yeah, so do what you want. I’m very tired. I need to sleep.”
After the confession, Eubank went into a private room and told producers he thought the story was “muck.”
In tonight's episode of #ScaredOfTheDark: @ChrisEubank takes issue with @PaulGazza_8's 'tragic stories'.— Channel 4 (@Channel4) April 18, 2023
Starts at 9pm! pic.twitter.com/YnJcrDG4kx
This is not the first time that Gascoigne has been embroiled in controversy. The former footballer has a long history of addiction and mental health issues, and has been involved in numerous public incidents over the years.
However, some have argued that his struggles make him a more compelling figure for reality TV, as they add an extra layer of drama and emotion to his on-screen appearances.
The Scared of the Dark incident also highlights the ongoing debate around cancel culture and free speech.
Paul Gascoigne cracking one out to Maggie Thatcher was not on my list of confessions to hear on TV in 2023… or ever. #ScaredOfTheDark pic.twitter.com/T9qnAzdirz— Jo (@faceforthenet) April 19, 2023
While Gascoigne’s story may have offended Eubank and other viewers, some may argue that he has the right to express himself freely without fear of repercussions.
Others may counter that certain forms of speech – particularly those that are offensive or harmful – should be subject to limits or consequences.