Phil is a former English cricketer turned popular television personality. He played 42 Tests and 20 One Day International matches for England, as well as playing for Middlesex from 1986 to 2002.
Phil went to Highgate School where a teacher encouraged his cricketing prowess and he became captain of the Junior School’s First XI despite the fact he was not yet in the top year. He was soon being tipped to be the most talented English spinner of his generation, and he made his debut for Middlesex in 1986.
Tufnell played 42 Tests and 20 One Day Internationals for England between 1990 and 2001, and 316 first-class matches, mainly for Middlesex.
He retired from professional cricket in 2003 in order to participate in the reality television show I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! from which he emerged as King of the Jungle. He was a also a team captain on the sports quiz show They Think It’s All Over.
Phil has also tried his hand at punditry, working at Sky Sports and Channel 4, and has made appearances on current affairs programmes, chat shows and quiz shows. He has co-authored a humorous book called Phil Tufnell’s A To Z of Cricket and wrote his autobiography, What Now?.
Tufnell continued to build on his popularity with several television appearances, most notably on A Question of Sport and Strictly Come Dancing.
In 2004, he made two guest appearances on the British soap opera Family Affairs. He also co-presented the game show Simply the Best that year.
On 12 April 2008, Tufnell and his wife Dawn were guests on the ITV show All Star Mr & Mrs, where they won the top £30,000 prize for their chosen charity, The Children’s Trust, Tadworth.
With 121 Test wickets, Tufnell is as of 2009 35th in the list of most wickets by an England bowler, and his average of 37.68 is considered high for a genuine bowler.
Tufnell makes occasional appearances as a summariser on BBC Radio’s Test Match Special, first appearing in 2008. He also hosted the Phil Tufnell Cricket show on BBC radio 5 during the 2010 season.
He was presented with an honorary doctorate by Middlesex University on 20 July 2011, recognising his achievements in sport and the media.
Phil Tufnell is still a familiar face in the television scene and his entertaining sports speeches are in demand at events and seminars nationwide.