FORMER Saints defender Neil Ruddock was among the well-known faces who entered the Celebrity Big Brother house tonight.

“Razor” Ruddock joined drug-ban horse racing champion Frankie Dettori, former Steps star Claire Richards and X Factor contestant Rylan Clark after weeks of speculation about the line-up.

The latest series of the Channel 5 show also features ex-EastEnders and Footballers Wives actress Gillian Taylforth, model Paula Hamilton, Neighbours star Ryan Maloney as well as former Coronation Street actor Sam Robertson and US reality TV couple Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt.

One-time Heartbeat actress Tricia Penrose and glamour model Lacey Banghard complete the line-up.

A notable absentee was comedian Jim Davidson who had been due to appear but was dropped after being arrested and questioned by detectives over allegations of sexual offences which he denies.

The 59-year-old, who has a home in Stockbridge, and a 53-year-old man arrested in Hampshire – believed to be from the Southampton area – were released on bail until March.

Clark was installed as favourite to win the show by bookmaker William Hill, with Dettori next.

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 dumped 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 2.3m viewers, the lowest audience yet.

It is not the first time Ruddock, 44, has taken part in a reality television show. He took to the jungle in the third series of I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here.

Ruddock, whose partner is former glamour model Leah Newman, joined Saints from Millwall for £200,000 in February 1989.

He made 138 appearances, scoring 13 goals, being he was sold to Tottenham Hotspur for £750,000 in May 1992.