WHEN ex Chelsea defender Jakob Kjeldbjerg retired from soccer aged simply 27, he needed to rethink his total profession.
The previous Denmark worldwide, delivered to Stamford Bridge by Glenn Hoddle in 1993, suffered a career-ending knee damage that compelled him into retirement simply 4 years later.
However, as destiny would have it, Jakob, now 49, has discovered his true calling.
He is the Ant and Dec of Danish TV, presenting TV3’s hottest actuality TV present, Robinson Ekspeditionen.
Jakob has been working for twenty years on the small display screen, additionally internet hosting I am a Movie star… Get Me Out of Right here!
SunSport spoke solely with the enigmatic tv character, now dwelling within the South of France, to debate his new-found fame.
He started by speaking concerning the second he was informed his life in soccer was over.
Kjeldbjerg revealed: “I bear in mind it prefer it was yesterday.
“I used to be exterior the London Impartial Hospital with Mike Banks, the Chelsea physio.
“We had simply seen a large gap in my knee and I used to be requested what I needed to do after soccer.
“Principally, they have been saying that is it. That was clearly horrible, however my nature was very a lot maybe there are different alternatives in life.”
Earlier than he grew to become a Blue, Kjeldbjerg toyed with the concept of changing into a solicitor to have a profession to fall again on.
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He mentioned: “All through my life I needed to grow to be a lawyer, but it surely by no means labored out.
“In 1992 I studied legislation in Denmark, however a couple of months into my research I bought known as up by the nationwide group whereas I used to be in a lesson. I have not learn a e-book since!”
In 1997, he bought his first TV break delivering punditry on Premier League soccer in his dwelling nation, whereas dwelling in West London.
“I used to be fortunate sufficient to be requested to do some soccer commentary for Danish TV on a Chelsea match.
“I did that, grabbed the possibility, and it went from there.
“It was a tricky time for me, however I bought a fortunate break.
“Once I’ve had a disaster from time-to-time with my TV job, typically I feel I’ve bought to return to my research.
“Now I am 49, it will most likely by no means occur. However being a lawyer was extra essential to me than changing into a footballer earlier than I made it as a professional.
“I needed to assist all people get honest justice, together with criminals.
“It was by no means on my agenda to work in TV. However I began taking an curiosity in writing and TV once I was injured and I used to be fascinated by it.
“I did interviews with Gianluca Vialli and Ruud Gullit for Danish TV.
“They knew me, so I did not have the journalist background however I had a foot contained in the door.
“They have been horrible interviews for Danish TV, however I discovered do it.
“I’ve to confess, my TV work occurred as a result of I performed soccer.
“My soccer profession was nice, however I by no means actually bought sufficient years out of the sport.
“It was definitely a stepping stone.”
Kjeldbjerg’s transition from the pitch to TV has been seamless.
He believes that it was his future.
He informed SunSport: “My conclusion is that I used to be born to do TV, not born to be a footballer
“I had some fantastic teammates and experiences, however I wasn’t made or destined to be a participant.
“My final years at Chelsea have been tough, I had points with my physique and that was perhaps an indication I needed to do one thing else.
“Additionally, being a footballer is kind of narrow-minded, the whole lot is taken care of for you.
“It’s a must to carry out on the pitch, if you happen to do not you are off, then you do not do something.
“In the long run, there wasn’t sufficient in it for me. And we have been paid peanuts compared to the fellows at the moment.
“The gamers at the moment would not get off the bed for what I used to be paid again then!
“Now, I make more cash as a TV host, however I do not make as a lot as Gary Lineker!”
Since 2004, Kjeldbjerg has hosted Robinson Ekspeditionen, the Danish model of Survivor.
“It is an enchanting present and the longest operating actuality TV present on the planet.
“I have been engaged on it since 2004 and it has been a implausible journey. It is by far the hardest present you possibly can take part in.
“I have been fortunate sufficient to do I am a Movie star…, however that is a stroll within the park in comparison with Robinson Ekspeditionen.
“We shoot within the Philippines for round 50 days a 12 months.
“It is a two-hour present, 27 contestants and three groups. It is a lot tougher to win the present than earlier than once we had simply 16 contestants.
“We attempt to put together these contestants for the worst, psychology checks and the remainder. However they at all times get a shock.”
Like Simon Cowell, Kjeldbjerg has developed a repute as a tricky buyer.
And he is been very a lot a part of the present’s most controversial moments.
“We had some loopy gimics from 2007-2011, together with a Guantanamo idea the place I requested the contestants to run round bare.
“I’ve this profile that I could be a powerful man, in order that they did it!
“However now we have gone again to fundamentals and it is nonetheless ranking extraordinarily properly.”
He added: “Robinson Ekspeditionen is beneath my pores and skin, it has been life-changing for me.”
With a presenting slot maybe open for the UK model I am a Movie star… Get Me Out of Right here! Kjeldbjerg admitted he love to present British TV a shot.
He divulged: “I may see myself engaged on British TV, that may undoubtedly be an amazing problem.
“I’m a personality doing what I do, so who is aware of? If my firm right here would enable me to, I might like to do a stint within the UK.
“I may take over from Ant! However in reality, they have been each a lot better than me at internet hosting I am a Celeb…”
Presenting Denmark’s hottest actuality TV present has meant that Kjeldbjerg’s fame has hit new heights.
He confessed that it is not one thing he is completely comfy with.
“I like my privateness, however once I stroll in Copenhagen I am usually approached by followers as a result of it is a high-profile TV present.
“Households recognise me from Robinson Ekspeditionen and guys bear in mind me from my soccer days.
“It isn’t one thing I ever dreamed about, but it surely’s a part of the deal.”
Kjeldbjerg was signed by the Blues for £485,000, only a 12 months after successful the Danish under-21 Participant of the 12 months.
He remembers his time in West London fondly.
“I did have some nice occasions at Chelsea.
“I’ve a lot respect for Glenn Hoddle, what he did and what he needed to do.
“He was the person who began that revolution, if you happen to like, of Chelsea desirous to play soccer and I used to be part of that.
“I do not understand how a lot credit score he will get at the moment, however with out him Gullit would by no means have been there or Vialli and even Gianfranco Zola.
“I bear in mind once we misplaced that FA Cup remaining towards Manchester United Four-Zero, we have been nonetheless celebrated with an open prime bus taking place King’s Street.
“I typically surprise what would’ve occurred if I did not get injured, however I am not so certain I’d’ve been within the beginning eleven.
“Marcel Desailly was signed only a few years later, so I could not have performed a lot.
“However I do treasure these moments I had with Chelsea.”
Kjeldbjerg listed Gullit as the best participant he is ever performed alongside.
With out hesitation, he informed us: “Ruud Gullit (was the most effective) for his bodily presence and what I name constructive vanity.
“He was a humorous man, took the dressing room beneath his wing and was a frontrunner.
“Ruud was so sturdy bodily and skill-wise. I performed with Brian and Michael Laudrup, however Gullit was excellent.
“Ibrahimovic jogs my memory of him by way of his character – that allure and vanity. I cherished it. He was a implausible character.”
And Kjeldbjerg additionally speaks fondly of one other Chelsea nice – John Terry – who was liable for cleansing his boots.
“I’d like to have performed alongside John Terry. He was one of many boot boys once I was there with Jody Morris.
“They have been fantastic youngsters. John was fairly shy, however a stunning man. No chip on his shoulder, he did his job.
“I bear in mind on the time questioning if he had the onerous work required to essentially break by way of.
“However he was an actual true chief of that soccer membership for a few years.”
Due to his TV commitments, Kjeldbjerg hardly ever will get an opportunity to go to Stamford Bridge.
However he watches all their video games and is impressed with new supervisor Maurizio Sarri’s strategy.
He mentioned: “I’ve watched their first few matches, and I do not assume they’re going to win the Premier League this 12 months.
“Their attacking soccer towards Arsenal was sensational, however defensively there must be some adjustment and enchancment.
“I am already a little bit bit in love with Sarri due to the way in which he stands there together with his tracksuit bottoms and polo shirt.
“He has an amazing strategy to the whole lot and he is undoubtedly bought a plan. It is clearly his approach or the freeway.”