Former Health Secretary Matt Hancock has joined I’m A Celebrity 2022. What does this mean?
The latest name to join this year’s I’m A Celebrity has been revealed.
It’s probably not someone many were expecting.
Former Health Secretary Matt Hancock was announced as part of the line-up yesterday (November 1st). He has had the whip suspended as a result.
Hancock isn’t the first politician to take part in I’m A Celebrity – Nadine Dorries appeared in 2012 and Kezia Dugdale competed in 2017. He is perhaps the most polarising.
So, before Hancock joins Boy George, Chris Moyles, Sue Cleaver and Mike Tindall, among others, let’s find out what this news means for the show and his constituents.
Who is Matt Hancock?
Born in Chester, Matt Hancock is a Conservative politician who has been MP for West Suffolk since 2010.
After serving in other Cabinet roles, Hancock became Health Secretary in 2018 under then-Prime Minister Theresa May.
He continued in the role under May’s successor Boris Johnson and was therefore Health Secretary when the UK coronavirus outbreak began in March 2020.
When will Matt Hancock enter the jungle?
Hancock landed in Australia earlier today (November 1), ahead of his I’m A Celebrity appearance.
However, as ITV did not include Hancock among the 10 announced names earlier in the week.
It seems he will enter as a late arrival, following the show’s usual format.
Late arrivals in the previous series include Geordie Shore alum Vicky Pattison, who won in 2015.
Why is Hancock a polarising figure?
Matt Hancock has not even stepped foot in the jungle yet.
However, he’s already the bookies’ favourite to do the most Bushtucker Trials unless he’s ruled out on medical grounds.
In June 2021, The Sun published CCTV images of Hancock and Gina Coladangelo, engaging in an extramarital affair.
As well as this, Hancock (and Coladangelo) were breaking COVID-19 social distancing restrictions.
Although Hancock admitted he had “breached the social distancing guidelines in these circumstances”, he resigned the following day.
Hancock faced several controversies as Health Secretary such as unlawfully handing out PPE contracts and breaking curfew and mask-wearing rules, among others.
What Has Been Said?
Other MPs, Hancock’s constituents, and media personalities have spoken out about his decision to join I’m A Celebrity.
Vice president of the West Suffolk Conservative Association, Fiona Unwin, said:
“In the West Suffolk Conservative Association there’s very much a feeling that he has done something very disappointing, we wish he hadn’t done it.
“He is being paid to be our MP. He knows he’s not going to get a job in government at the moment and so he had been asked several times to do this I’m A Celebrity programme, but he only accepted it just at the last minute – I’m sure it’s because he thought he wasn’t going to get a job.
“I can see why a lot of people are upset, I lost my mum in the lockdown and it was simply terrible. But I suppose he has moved on and we’re all still thinking of our loved ones. It’s perhaps insensitive but he is very positive he will bounce back.”
Still To Come
Hancock will earn £350,000 for his participation, according to The Mirror.
TV presenter Noel Edmonds, who appeared in 2018, took home £600,000, the largest celebrity fee to date.
I’m A Celebrity returns on Sunday, November 6, back in the Australian jungle for the first time since 2019.