Matt Hancock insists he can still be reached on ‘urgent constituency matters’ 10,270 miles away in the I’m a Celebrity jungle and argues politicians must ‘go to where the people gather’ – as MPs say they will vote for him to do Bushtucker trials
- Matt Hancock has defended his decision to go on this year’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here
- Ex-Health Secretary said he will be able to show he’s human and talk about dyslexia on reality TV show
- Mr Hancock was booted out of the parliamentary Tory party amid fury over his shock decision
- Former minister quit Boris Johnson’s Government after he was caught breaking Covid lockdown rules
‘Fame junkie’ Matt Hancock has landed in Australia for I’m A Celebrity and brazenly insisted he will still be serving his constituents from a jungle camp 10,270 miles from Suffolk as MPs and his enemies in Parliament plotted to ensure he is forced to do gruesome Bushtucker Trials ‘every night’.
The former Health Secretary, who was forced to quit after he was caught flouting his own Covid lockdown rules with his married aide Gina Coladangelo, has sparked a firestorm which has seen him ridiculed and even booted out of the parliamentary Tory party.
Justifying his decision to fly Down Under, landing in Brisbane this morning ahead of a week in isolation, Mr Hancock denied he had ‘lost his marbles’. He insisted it was so he can ‘go to where the people are – not to sit in ivory towers in Westminster’ – and claimed that he will ‘promote his dyslexia campaign’ and make a donation to a hospice – although not his entire estimated £350,000 pay deal from ITV.
Incredibly the now independent MP insists that he will still be doing his job as an MP, meaning he will not forego his £84,144 taxpayer-funded salary for the duration of his trip. He said: ‘As an MP, my first priority is to my constituents. I have agreed with the show’s producers that I can be reached at any point on any urgent constituency matters’. Yesterday the Prime Minister said he was doing the opposite by going on the show.
The former health secretary also revealed he had twice asked to appear on the show before but accepted the third offer because the government is now ‘stable’. Many have pondered whether he actually made up his mind when he was snubbed by new PM Rishi Sunak at his victory rally last week, which was tacit confirmation his career as a senior MP is over.
And millions are set to punish him for his decision, including MPs. One former minister has threatened ‘to vote for him to eat armadillo c**k every night’. Transport Secretary Mark Harper said today that he should ‘step down’ as a MP and didn’t deny he would also vote for Hancock to face Bushtucker Trials, smiling as he said: ‘That will be between me and my phone’. Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting said: ‘We are going to make sure on a cross party basis that Matt Hancock gets a fill of every creepy crawly in that jungle’.
In Mr Hancock’s West Suffolk constituency, Andy Drummond, the cheesed off deputy chairman of the local Conservative Association, said: ‘I’m looking forward to him eating a kangaroo’s penis’. While local Tory councillor Ian Houlder said Mr Hancock has ‘no shame’, a view shared by many, not least the families of 200,000-plus covid victims who say he is ‘cashing in’ on the pandemic.
PR expert Mark Borkowski told MailOnline: ‘Hancock is desperate for the visibility or the money… if it’s the money I’d expect £350,000 – he should be very careful what he wishes for.’ He added: ‘He believes this will kick start a career as a sad extra. Jumping on the flight to enter the jungle proves he is a fame junkie’.
Writing in The Sun, Mr Hancock said: ‘Some may think I’ve lost my marbles or had one too many drinks, swapping the comfortable surroundings of Westminster and West Suffolk for the extreme conditions of the Australian outback, going where there will be few creature comforts, not enough food, and a load of physical tasks involving snakes, spiders and plenty of other creepy-crawlies.
‘While there will undoubtedly be those who think I shouldn’t go, I think it’s a great opportunity to talk directly to people who aren’t always interested in politics, even if they care very much about how our country’s run.
Matt Hancock arriving at Brisbane Airport for the new series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
Mr Hancock has flown more than 10,000 miles for the new series of I’m A Celeb, shown landing in Oz
The ex-Health Secretary, pictured in Brisbane, has been kicked out of the parliamentary Tory party
Mr Hancock was forced to quit after having an affair with his aide Gina Coladangelo, pictured together at the Chelsea Flower Show. They were caught flouting his own social distancing guidance by kissing her and groping her botto in his office
Matt Hancock has reportedly ‘angered’ bosses of SAS: Who Dares Wins after signing up to I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here.
The former Health Secretary, 44, who quit after breaking his own lockdown rules by having an affair with long-time aide Gina Coladangelo, will become the 12th celebrity heading to the Australian jungle.
However, he is said to have already agreed to compete Celebrity SAS in September for the next series which will air in 2023.
A source told The Sun: ‘Matt was the star signing for SAS Who Dares Wins but now he’s on I’m A Celebrity it has poured cold water all over it. He will be on air on ITV’s biggest show for a month.
‘Obviously no one working on SAS is impressed as it really takes away from their show and it looks like they signed him after I’m A Celebrity – which isn’t true.’
‘I thought long and hard about this – in fact I turned down I’m A Celebrity… twice this summer, but when they approached me for a third time last week, I had a change of heart.’ He added: ‘And no, it wasn’t the cheque that changed my mind. I will be making a donation to St Nicholas Hospice in Suffolk and causes supporting dyslexia off the back of my appearance. I will, of course, also declare the amount I receive from the show to Parliament to ensure complete transparency, as normal.
‘When I was first approached to take part – while I was flattered and naturally curious – it didn’t take me too long to turn the opportunity down because of the instability government was facing at the time.
‘Now though, the government is stable. Rishi Sunak has made a great start and I know he has got what it takes to be a superb PM.’
In the jungle Mr Hancock will be joining pop star Boy George, Coronation Street’s Sue Cleaver, Hollyoaks’ Owen Warner, TV presenter and property expert Scarlette Douglas, former England rugby player Mike Tindall, Loose Women star Charlene White, radio presenter Chris Moyles, reality TV star Olivia Attwood, former footballer Jill Scott and comedian Babatunde Aleshe.
The MP was suspended from the parliamentary Conservative Party on Tuesday after he was revealed to be a surprise extra name added to the list of contenders for the reality show.
As well as being stripped of the party whip, campaigners for families bereaved in the Covid-19 pandemic accused him of trying to ‘cash in on his terrible legacy’.
Transport Secretary Mark Harper has joined in the criticism of former health secretary Matt Hancock’s decision to join I’m a Celebrity.
Mr Harper told Sky News: ‘The chief whip has made the position clear, which is he’s made a decision that going on I’m a Celebrity is not compatible with doing your job properly as a Member of Parliament, which is why the whip has been taken away, and as a former chief whip I completely support those decisions taken by my successor to support him standing down as an MP.’
Pressed on whether Mr Hancock should stand down as an MP, Mr Harper said: ‘What he chooses to do in the future is a matter for him.’
Mr Hancock is heading to the Australian jungle to take part in I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!
Mr Hancock playing at a charity football match in 2018. He has defended his decision to fly to Australia
Mr Hancock jumping while going on a run. He was forced to quit Boris Johnson’s Government after he was caught flouting his own Covid lockdown rules with married aide Gina Coladangelo
One friend of Mr Hancock’s estranged wife Martha (who he’s pictured with) was searing in their condemnation of the father of three , branding him a ‘total halfwit who’s making some unwise career moves’
An ally of Mr Hancock said producers of the ITV show have agreed that Mr Hancock can communicate with them if there is an urgent constituency matter
Cast: (L-R) Mike Tindall, Owen Warner, Olivia Attwood, Charlene White, Boy George, Scarlette Douglas, Sue Cleaver, Chris Moyles, Babatúndé Aléshé and Jill Scott have been unveiled as the I’m A Celebrity 2022 lineup
The response at Westminster was swift after news that West Suffolk MP Mr Hancock would join the ITV show, which starts on Sunday.
What antics have MPs got up to in the I’m A Celebrity jungle
With the news that Conservative MP and former health secretary Matt Hancock will enter the Australian jungle for this year’s series of I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of
Here, we take a look back at the antics of previous political figures who have taken part in the ITV reality show.
Edwina Currie: Edwina Currie, the Conservative MP for South Derbyshire from 1983 until 1997, entered the jungle during the 14th season of I’m A Celebrity.
The 76-year-old, who also appeared on Strictly Come Dancing in 2011, joined the reality show as a late entry alongside X-Factor star Jake Quickenden.
The former junior health minister finished fourth in the competition, but not before becoming involved in a couple of heated situations.
During the series, Ms Currie found herself in a number of bust-ups with her fellow campmate, American reality star Kendra Wilkinson, and memorably shocked the other contestants with her prolonged shouting of ‘Mel’ in an attempt to get the attention of campmate Melanie Sykes.
Stanley Johnson: Former Conservative MEP Stanley Johnson braved the Australian jungle as part of the show’s 17th series.
The father of former prime minister Boris Johnson formed an unlikely friendship with Made In Chelsea star Georgia ‘Toff’ Toffolo, who went on to be crowned Queen of the Jungle that year.
After meeting on the show, 82-year-old Mr Johnson, and Ms Toffolo, 28, went on to star in a number of other reality shows together, including Celebrity Hunted and Celebrity Antiques Road Trip.
Nadine Dorries: Nadine Dorries took part in I’m A Celebrity in 2012, the first sitting MP to appear on the show, but was suspended by the Conservative Party for her appearance.
She later apologised to the House of Commons over the fee she was paid for appearing in the popular programme, which saw her become the first contestant voted out of the jungle by the public.
Lembit Opik: In 2010, former MP Lembit Opik became the second campmate to be voted off I’m A Celebrity. The Liberal Democrat survived for two weeks in the Australian jungle, during which time he was bitten by a snake while completing a task.
The 57-year-old has also appeared in celebrity versions of The Apprentice and Come Dine With Me.
Robert Kilroy-Silk: Former Labour MP and MEP Robert Kilroy-Silk had an unsuccessful stint in the I’m A Celebrity jungle in 2008.
The ex-chat show host survived just 12 days in the jungle after going up against former Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner Brian Paddick in the public vote.
Kezia Dugdale: The former Scottish Labour leader made an appearance in the jungle in 2017 – joining Conservative MEP Mr Johnson.
After being eliminated second, Ms Dugdale, 41, admitted she knew her appearance was a ‘political gamble’ but said she wanted to tackle the ‘myth’ that all politicians are ‘old, white, male, pale and stale’.
She was initially denied permission by political bosses to take part but did not ultimately face suspension from the party.
Chief whip Simon Hart said: ‘Following a conversation with Matt Hancock, I have considered the situation and believe this is a matter serious enough to warrant suspension of the whip with immediate effect.’
One Tory MP described Mr Hancock as an ‘absolute prat’, while there was also anger in his constituency Tory association.
But he was also facing scrutiny over whether he upheld the rules on taking on work within two years of leaving office.
Mr Hancock did not seek advice from the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba) before agreeing to the appearance.
Lord Pickles, the Conservative chair of the anti-corruption watchdog that advises on post-ministerial jobs, is expected to write to Mr Hancock to demand clarification. Under the rules, Mr Hancock should seek clearance from Acoba for any new employment or appointments he takes on until until June next year.
A spokesman for Mr Hancock said the guidance ‘was followed in good faith’, adding: ‘The Acoba website clearly states that it does not regard media appearances as an appointment or employment.’
However, the website only says that ‘one-off’ activities are not applicable and states that any ‘longer term arrangement’ requires a request to Acoba.
Depending on how he fairs during public votes, Mr Hancock could remain in the jungle for weeks.
In April, Tory MP and former housing minister Esther McVey was found to have broken the rules for failing to seek Acoba’s advice over her ‘regular engagement’ as a GB News presenter.
Ian Houlder, a Conservative councillor on West Suffolk Council, said Mr Hancock has ‘no shame’.
‘Everybody knows what he did during the Covid pandemic and he seems to want to rehabilitate himself all the time in the public eye,’ Mr Houlder said. ‘He’s got a skin as thick as a rhinoceros, quite frankly.’
Tory MP Tim Loughton said Mr Hancock had been an ‘absolute prat’. ‘I’m completely disappointed and disgusted that he’s put his self and a so-called celebrity career ahead of serving his constituents,’ he told Times Radio.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said it was ‘unlikely’ Rishi Sunak would be watching the programme.
‘The PM believes that at a challenging time for the country MPs should be working hard for their constituents whether that is in the House or in their constituency,’ the spokesman said.
Mr Hancock was forced to quit as health secretary in June 2021 after breaking coronavirus social distancing rules by conducting an affair in his ministerial office with aide Gina Coladangelo.
Mr Hancock was among supporters of Mr Sunak who welcomed the new leader to Conservative headquarters last week but was overlooked for a ministerial job under the new Prime Minister. He had also reportedly been considering a run to be chair of the Treasury Select Committee but pulled out of the race on Monday.
An ally of Mr Hancock said: ‘There are many ways to do the job of being an MP. Whether he’s in camp for one day or three weeks, there are very few places people will be able to see a politician as they really are.
‘Where better to show the human side of those who make these decisions than with the most watched programme on TV? Politicians like Matt must go to where the people are – particularly those who are politically disengaged.
‘Matt’s of the view that we must embrace popular culture. Rather than looking down on reality TV, we should see it for what it is – a powerful tool to get our message heard by younger generations.’
The ally said producers of the show have agreed that Mr Hancock can communicate with constituency staff if there is an urgent matter in West Suffolk.
Mr Hancock as Secretary of State for Health taking part in a tree-planting ceremony at Oxford Botanic Gardens last year
The ex-Health Secretary, pictured in Brisbane, has been kicked out of the parliamentary Tory party
Matt Hancock swimming in the icy waters in the Serpentine. The news that he is taking part in I’m A Celeb saw the former Health Secretary kicked out of the parliamentary Tory party
He will make a donation to St Nicholas Hospice in Suffolk and he will also be required to declare the amount he receives from the show to Parliament.
Mr Hancock initially turned down the offer to take part because of the political chaos at Westminster, but since Mr Sunak became Prime Minister the former health secretary believes ‘the government is stable’.
But his decision to enter the jungle drew criticism from political opponents, union chiefs and campaigners.
Lobby Akinnola, from the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice campaign, said: ‘Matt Hancock isn’t a ‘celebrity’, he’s the former health secretary who oversaw the UK having one of the highest death tolls in the world from Covid-19 whilst breaking his own lockdown rules.
‘The fact that he is trying to cash in on his terrible legacy, rather than showing some humility or seeking to reflect on the appalling consequences of his time in Government, says it all about the sort of person he is.’
SNP MP Pete Wishart said: ‘It speaks volumes that Matt Hancock would rather be stranded in a remote jungle eating kangaroo testicles than spend a moment longer on the Tory benches at Westminster, as Rishi Sunak’s government lurches from one crisis to another.’
Shadow health minister Andrew Gwynne said: ‘To be fair to Matt Hancock, I’d sooner eat wallaby anus than be a Tory MP too.’
The House of Commons is in recess from November 10-14, but celebrities could spend up to three weeks in the jungle – meaning Mr Hancock would miss significant Commons business, including the Autumn Statement on November 17 if he remains in the contest.
Dave Penman, general secretary of the FDA union which represents senior civil servants, said: ‘Oh to have a job where you can decide for yourself you’re taking a month off, abandon your work and responsibilities, get paid shedloads and face little consequence.
‘I’m sure he’ll be an inspiration to other public servants.’
From shamed Health Secretary to Bushtucker trials in the Australian jungle: How father-of-three Tory MP Matt Hancock became household name during Covid pandemic before he was caught having affair with aide
Already possibly one of the nation’s better known politicians for his role as health secretary during a once-in-a-century pandemic, Matt Hancock is about to encounter a whole new audience as he prepares to join I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
Swapping the world of Westminster for jungle antics with Ant and Dec is certainly an unorthodox shift for the former minister, whose government career had an unfortunate ending after he resigned in the aftermath of his affair with an aide that broke his own coronavirus rules.
Only in recent days was Mr Hancock reportedly mulling a bid to become chair of the Treasury Select Committee, apparently opting instead for bushtucker trials instead of banks and bonds.
Appointed health secretary in 2018 after spending 18 months in the culture brief, he had been a prominent figure for the government during its handling of the coronavirus pandemic until his abrupt exit.
He had faced pressure to stand down after pictures emerged depicting the married minister appearing to kiss his adviser Gina Coladangelo, with CCTV images published in The Sun taken on May 6 when guidance on social distancing were still in place, with hugging between people from different households recommended against.
It was not the first time Mr Hancock had faced a negative headline during his time in office.
Action man: Mr Hancock holds a body board as he enjoys a holiday with his family in Cornwall
Mr Hancock exercising in London (left) and emerging out of the icy waters of the Serpentine in London’s Hyde Park
Around the same period, Boris Johnson’s former aide Dominic Cummings had shared text messages in which Boris Johnson was said to have called the health secretary ‘hopeless’.
Mr Cummings accused the senior minister of lying to the prime minister over promises to protect those in care homes during the first wave of Covid-19 infections by testing new residents before being admitted.
Mr Hancock dismissed claims he lied and called Mr Johnson’s ‘hopeless’ jibe ‘ancient history’.
Mr Hancock, who in 2018 became the only MP in British politics to launch his own app, took only eight years to rise from West Suffolk MP to health secretary.
The Oxford and Cambridge educated father-of-three previously worked as an economist at the Bank of England and as chief of staff to George Osborne when he was shadow chancellor of the exchequer, before taking a seat in the Commons.
The Cheshire-raised politician first attended cabinet after being appointed Minister for the Cabinet Office in 2015 by then prime minister David Cameron.
Mr Cameron’s successor Theresa May later promoted him to the role of culture secretary.
Mr Hancock doing press-ups during one of his morning runs while he was still Health Secretary
The 42-year-old initially threw his hat into the ring to replace Mrs May in No 10 during the 2019 Conservative Party leadership contest but withdrew from the leadership race part way through and was quick to throw his weight behind Mr Johnson.
He was among the handful of ministers to retain his brief when Mr Johnson took power in July 2019, making him one of the most prominent ministers when coronavirus rocked Britain eight months later.
In his resignation video, he said that he was looking forward to ‘supporting the government and the prime minister from the back benches to make sure that we can get out of this pandemic’.
After Boris Johnson’s downfall this summer, he was an enthusiastic backer of Mr Sunak and speculation persisted that he still harboured a return to a Government role.
Even as Liz Truss’s government crumbled, his advice from the sidelines did little to dampen that speculation.
‘There’s a huge amount of talent on the backbenches, I’m not talking about me, but there are many others that should be brought into Government,’ he suggested as Ms Truss clung to power.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock, pictured in Downing Street in April 2020, will be swapping the world of Westminster for jungle antics with Ant and Dec
Once she resigned, he returned as a vocal Sunak backer – although his standing in the new leader’s camp was brought into sharp relief after the victorious Mr Sunak appeared to blank the former health secretary, who stood waiting to greet him at the front of the crowd at Conservative HQ.
His decision to join I’m a Celebrity has already prompted mockery, as well as swift repercussions politically – Chief Whip Simon Hart said the situation was so serious he should have the right to sit as a Conservative suspended.
Allies said he would use his appearance to promote his backbench work on dyslexia, as he tried to ’embrace’ popular culture.
‘Politicians like Matt must go to where the people are – particularly those who are politically disengaged,’ one ally said.
Others were less flattering.
Andy Drummond, deputy chairman (political) of West Suffolk Conservative Association, said: ‘I’m looking forward to him eating a kangaroo’s penis.
‘Quote me. You can quote me that.’
So who’ll be joining him in the jungle? Full I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here 2022 line-up including Mike Tindall, Boy George and Olivia Attwood
By Laura Fox for MailOnline
MIKE TINDALL MBE
Former rugby star Mike will become the first member of The Royal Family to compete on I’m A Celebrity, and given his regal connections, the sportsman has already predicted he will be voted to take part in all of the Trials.
Remaining tight-lipped on his biggest fear, Mike – who is married to Princess Anne’s daughter Zara – says he knows as soon as his fellow rugby friends find out he is taking part in the hit ITV programme, they will be on speed dial to make sure he does all the trials.
‘I am fully aware that anyone who has ever played rugby will go, ”Yeah let’s stitch him up”. ‘All my friendship group has that sort of humour and I know they will definitely want to vote for me! I am prepared to do quite a lot of challenges.’
Mike reveals his friend and former I’m A Celebrity star James Haskell, sang the programme’s praises so much, he decided to finally say yes.
First up! Former rugby star Mike Tindall will become the first member of The Royal Family to compete on I’m A Celebrity , and given his regal connections, the sportsman has already predicted he will be voted to take part in all of the Trials
He added: ‘It is sinking in now that I am taking part. I am ready to rumble! I have been asked on numerous occasions to take part. The timing was right this year and Hask (James) did the show and he had been talking about it.’
He went onto joke that he won’t mind taking part in the famous eating trials because it’s a chance to have some ‘protein’, adding: ‘I am eight years out of the game now so I am a bit more realistic about food, but I know James said the lack of food can sometimes be hard.
‘But at least with the eating trials, you get food in you! It might not taste very nice but at least it is serving a purpose and giving you a protein intake. Bring on those challenges.’
Describing himself as an ‘open book,’ Mike added: ‘With a rugby game you know what you are going to get and when it gets hard, you know what it looks like.
‘This is something you can’t predict; you don’t know where it will take you and so you can’t really plan for it. Your ability to roll with the punches is something you have got to have. Hopefully I have that and I won’t overthink things. Hopefully my personality suits this.’
The 2003 World Cup winner and MBE holder, who has three children with Zara, added ‘first and foremost’ he will miss his family.
He said: ‘I will miss my bed too and a nice breakfast. I don’t think I am too bothered about sleeping in a hammock but it will be interesting as I wouldn’t say I am someone who falls asleep anywhere. But I have slept in a hammock before and it is something your body will get used to in time.’
Determined: Legendary pop star Boy George has insisted that going on I’m A Celebrity will be a breeze compared to touring the world, declaring: ‘It’s just three weeks without any make-up on!’
Legendary pop star Boy George has insisted that going on I’m A Celebrity will be a breeze compared to touring the world, declaring: ‘It’s just three weeks without any make-up on!’
He added: ‘I watch I’m A Celebrity every year and I had to think long and hard about this. But I feel like I am in a very fertile creative moment in my life. I am in a moment of rediscovery of who I am as a person, artist and older man and I feel like I do make a lot of effort to be in pop culture.
‘I am bored of being iconic in the corner and if you want to compete in the world then being part of telly is part of that. This is the biggest show on TV and that is why I am doing it.
‘And now I have made the decision, I don’t want to focus too much on what the experience might be like, but my intention is it is going to be amazing. It’s three weeks without make-up and three weeks is nothing. I have just done seven weeks on tour.’
The Karma Chameleon performer, who is reportedly this year’s highest paid contestant with a $1 million payday, added that he isn’t fazed by the gruelling conditions, or the meagre diet as he is a vegetarian, but admitted he might miss espressos or his favourite cheeses.
He added: ‘My biggest fear is being scared and the trials are not something I am particularly excited about. I will just laugh. I know they won’t want to hurt me.
‘But I don’t want to be bored either and I will try to get the stars for everyone. I think I will be the in-house dietician when I am in the camp because I will be telling everyone they aren’t going to let us starve. I will be telling everyone to calm down.’
Outspoken: Love Island star Olivia Attwood revealed that she is hoping to prove that she isn’t ‘high maintenance’ and can survive without makeup on by taking part in the gruelling show
Love Island 2017 star Olivia revealed that she is hoping to prove that she isn’t ‘high maintenance’ and can survive without makeup on by taking part in the gruelling show, and has welcomed the forced ‘digital detox’ that will come with taking a month-long break from social media.
‘Being part of I’m A Celebrity still hasn’t sunk in yet and when I first got the call to take part, I didn’t really believe it! It felt surreal because taking part in the jungle is the absolute pinnacle. It’s the crème de la crème of all shows and obviously I didn’t have to think about it. I said yes immediately!’ she said.
‘One of the things that will be nice will be to show a different side to me. I think people think I am high maintenance and I will struggle without make-up and nails but I am not that bothered and I think that might surprise people. I am happy to muck in.
‘We are all prisoners to our phones and so it will be so nice to have this time in life where you are digitally disconnected for three weeks. It’s going to be great to be completely immersed in the jungle environment and I am excited to see what I can do.’
Going onto joke she will look like a ‘drowned rat’ in the jungle shower, a far cry from the now-iconic bikini-clad Myleene Klass, Olivia added: ‘I definitely will be packing a bikini. But I will look like a drowned rat in the shower. I don’t know if I can live up to Myleene’s iconic shower moment!’
‘With Love Island, everyone is the same age and similar kind of people. But with I’m A Celebrity, it’s going to be the vast variety of people that will be so different. I can’t wait to meet them all and I am looking forward to hanging out with people you wouldn’t normally hang out with in real life.’
Fears: Chris Moyles, best known as one of the nation’s biggest radio DJs, shared his disbelief around his decision to sign up for the show, confessing that he has a terrifying fear of heights that he’ll no doubt have to face on the show
Chris, best known as one of the nation’s biggest radio DJs, shared his disbelief around his decision to sign up for the show, confessing that he has a terrifying fear of heights that he’ll no doubt have to face on the show.
‘Some people say if something scares you, then do it, but I am a firm believer you shouldn’t scare yourself! I am a big fan of my own comfort zone, too. I am petrified of heights and getting into camp will be a massive challenge for me. Even that rickety rope bridge makes my heart start going. I have never jumped out of a plane or walked out on a plank on a high rise building before and I know I have got to suck it all up. ‘
‘In the past, I always said no to offers to take part. But this year, I didn’t say no immediately, and I ended up going to a meeting. Now I don’t know why I said yes. But I am a huge fan of the show and I know what I am letting myself in for! My friends who have done it before have told me I will have a great time.’
Chris, who has known hosts Ant and Dec for years, added that he knows they are going to take great delight in watching him squirm, adding: ‘If Ant and Dec want to swap with me for 24-hours, I am happy for me and one other campmate to host the show whilst they live in the jungle. I am offering that up right now! Ant will be ok but Dec will probably struggle because he is just so small.
‘I think they are going to be shocked when they find out I am doing it and hopefully delighted. The moment I see them, there could be a lot of giggling. I have known the boys for a long time and they are brilliant. I just have this vision in my head that I am going to be in a coffin with rats whilst Ant goes, ”How are you feeling?” and I will reply, ”You know exactly how I am feeling, let’s just get on with it you little terrors!”
Aside from missing his girlfriend, cats and his favourite tea, Yorkshireman Chris also admitted that it’s going to be weird not presenting a radio show every morning, having been a regular on the airwaves for decades with his show on Radio 1 and Radio X.
‘I am going to really miss it,’ he said. ‘It will be very weird to not do the show and see the team every day. There is a very worrying chance I might wake up at 6.30 and start talking for half an hour in camp as that is all I have been doing for the last 20 years!’
New challenge: After helping the England Lionesses lift the trophy at the Women’s Euro final in July, recently retired football star Jill Scott said she is looking forward to being part of a wholly different team in the jungle
JILL SCOTT MBE
After helping the England Lionesses lift the trophy at the Women’s Euro final in July, recently retired football star Jill Scott said she is looking forward to being part of a wholly different team in the jungle.
She went onto say: ‘I haven’t met Ant and Dec before but they are Newcastle fans, and I am Sunderland. I don’t know if it will go down too well!’
Noting that she is disappointed to miss some of the men’s World Cup during her time in the jungle, Jill added that her former England teammates will definitely be surprised to learn she is taking part in the show.
She said: ‘I think my England teammates will be shocked when they find out. But I think they will say if there is a show for Jill to go on, because of the team side, then this is the one to do. ‘People know me for my football and they see stupid videos of us, so this will be nice for people to get to know a bit more about my personality.’
Confessing she has a fear of rats and confined underground spaces, Jill went onto say : ‘I am intrigued as to how I will react in the trials. I don’t like rats or snakes and if I had to be underground that would be scary.
‘That is literally like being buried alive! But I am looking forward to it all and meeting new people. I will help people if they are having a bad day. Everyone has got a story to tell and I love being part of a team. Hopefully we can create a good camp.’
Be brave! ITV newsreader and Loose Women anchor Charlene White has confessed she is already struggling with the prospect of spiders crawling over her, and admitted she’ll find it tough being away from her two children
ITV newsreader and Loose Women anchor Charlene White has confessed she is already struggling with the prospect of spiders crawling over her while she sleeps in the camp.
She said: ‘I was fine until they mentioned big spiders can crawl all over me when I am asleep which has freaked me out! I can’t stop thinking about it.
‘There aren’t that many opportunities to have when you get older and it will be nice to see if I can do this. I’ve given birth to two kids in quick succession, survived that and lived to tell the tale! So, I feel it’s now right to take on another big challenge.’
The mother-of-two went onto admit that she will find it tough being away from her family for such a long period of time, adding: ‘I will definitely get teary. It’s a foregone conclusion. I am going to miss our daily routine with the kids, I am going to miss waking up with them and having quiet time before the school run and that’s what is going to get me tearing up. It will be weird.
‘My partner is also mostly shocked I am doing this. We made the decision together but he was like, ”I have no idea how you are going to cope!” I am not a ”need to wear make-up, nails” kind of girl but I am not very outdoorsy. In fact, I know the fact I am volunteering to choose to sleep outside will come as a massive shock to everyone at work, too!’
She continued: ‘It’s going to be very strange not being able to find out what is happening in the world. The UK is on a constant cycle of change and by the time I have come out of the camp, we could have had another change of Government or another change of leader!
‘Anything could happen in that time and I am going to find it very frustrating. I have a genuine love of current affairs and the first thing I do is check all the papers when I wake up. I will desperately be playing catch up when I come out.’
It will grown out! Hollyoaks star Owen Warner, best known for his role as Romeo Nightingale on the soap, admitted that being without his twice-weekly haircuts will be his biggest challenge in the jungle
Hollyoaks star Owen, best known for his role as Romeo Nightingale on the soap, admitted that being without his twice-weekly haircuts will be his biggest challenge in the jungle.
He joked: ‘I have to get haircuts twice a week for work and I think not having them will be the biggest trial! I might come out looking like a different geezer.’
The soap star, who is single, also said he’ll be on the lookout for love in the jungle, adding: ‘I don’t have a partner, I am always looking for love!’
Readily admitting the lack of food will prove problematic for the actor, Owen says he doesn’t know how he will cope on rice and beans.
He said: ‘I don’t let myself go hungry at home. I will always have a snack. But I am not going to have the resources around me so I don’t know how ”hangry” I am going to get. My cooking skills are definitely not my best attribute but I do like entertaining. I like making up games on set.’
Describing himself as laid back, Owen says he doesn’t think he will get wound up by his fellow campmates. But if they do step out of line, he will tell them.
‘Hopefully I won’t get wound up by everyone,’ Owen said. ‘If someone is out of order, then I will say something. But I don’t want it to cause any tension and hopefully they will stop. I don’t think I will cry either in the jungle but then again I cry at most films and sometimes even new food!
‘It’s going to be great to have a proper social detox in the camp too. I will enjoy having my phone completely taken away.’
Petrified! Comedian Babatúndé Aléshé admitted he will be doing a lot of screaming in the jungle as he faces up to his fears of ‘absolutely everything’
Comedian Babatúndé admitted he will be doing a lot of screaming in the jungle as he faces up to his fears of ‘absolutely everything.’
Revealing it took several attempts to persuade him to accept an offer because he is so scared, he says the thought of lying underground with rats, snakes and cockroaches being poured all over fills him with absolute horror.
He said: ‘I am going to see what happens but I know I will be doing a lot of screaming for sure! I am not looking forward to any trials but in terms of the one I am dreading the most, I saw one where someone was lying in a box and they put things into the box like snakes and mice. Now that would freak me out. I think I will lose it!’
Describing himself as a great tension breaker, the funnyman said he is hoping to inject humour around the campfire, saying: ‘I haven’t got time for arguments. I know seeing me freaking out every five minutes will be entertaining for everyone but this will be a first-time experience for all of us and I think my role will be as a tension breaker. We don’t need to be bickering behind each other’s backs. We are all in the same boat together.’
Babtunde also said his pal and Celebrity Gogglebox co-star Mo Gilligan has found it hilarious that he will be taking part on the show.
He continued: ‘I did confide in Mo. Mo thinks it is going to be funny but he also thinks it is good I am taking part. He is far too busy though to vote for me for the trials but in his head, he will be!’
Goals: Scarlette Douglas, best known for hosting A Place In The Sun , said that she is hoping to prove to anyone who has doubted her success that it was all worthwhile by taking part in the show
Scarlette, best known for hosting A Place In The Sun, said that she is hoping to prove to anyone who has doubted her success that it was all worthwhile by taking part in the show.
‘If I were crowned Queen of the jungle, it would be such a big moment for me,’ she said. ‘I think I would lose it! I have always worked hard but for whatever reason some people have doubted me. And so, if I were to win this show, it would be for everyone who questioned me, tried to break me, or put me down.
‘I don’t know why they do but I keep showing that I can make it and be better than anyone imagined. It’s so exciting to be part of this series and I was in shock when I got the call from ITV. This programme is always something I have wanted to do as I like to test myself. It’s the cherry on the icing on the cake.’
‘I will be the morale booster in camp and I will want to keep everyone’s spirits up,’ she continued. ‘I think I will be alright with the food – it’s everything else that comes with it which is tough.
Scarlette also confessed that she ‘totally fancies’ comedian, Mo Gilligan, and would love it if he were to enter the jungle but to be able to create a lovely bond with all the campmates is what she is most looking forward to.
Scarlette – who quit A Place In The Sun earlier this year – added that she hopes daytime fans of the series will show their support and vote for her.
She added: ‘I don’t know what my fellow A Place in the Sun presenters will think. I would like to hope they will be over the moon for me and that they will be rooting for me.
‘I hope A Place in the Sun fans will all come together and vote for me. I would love that to be the case. I know it will be tough and I am going to really miss having no music as I know there will only be the sound of birds singing, but I am looking forward to it all now. It’s suddenly sinking in!’
Time for a change! Best known for her role as the outspoken Eileen Grimshaw, Coronation Street star Sue Cleaver said that she opted to sign up for the show to ‘shake things up’ ahead of her 60th birthday
Best known for her role as the outspoken Eileen Grimshaw, Coronation Street star Sue said that she opted to sign up for the show to ‘shake things up’ ahead of her 60th birthday.
‘Doing I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! is never really something I considered doing before,’ but the pandemic happened and then this year, I have just turned 59 and so I decided for my 59th, I was going to shake things up a bit.
‘I realised I needed something that would challenge me and I thought this show would be good – and so that’s why I am doing it.’
Sue – who has been written out of the soap whilst she flies out to Australia – went onto reveal she confided in her co-stars, Simon Gregson and Jennie McAlpine, who have both taken part in the series before, to make sure they also thought she would enjoy the experience.
‘I have spoken to Jennie and Simon,’ Sue continued. ‘They seemed to think I will have an absolute ball. They have told me I will love it and have a great time. It is very positive and I am going there feeling excited.’
Going onto discuss about how excited her family are for her, Sue revealed that she is set to welcome her fourth grandchild, with the bundle of joy due to arrive just two days before she enters the jungle.
She added: ‘My family are really proud. We have got three grandkids watching and one that will arrive a couple of days before I fly to Australia. I might not see the baby by the time I have gone…but that is going to spur me on, thinking everyone at home will be watching.
‘I am very much a homebody and I am wrapped up with my family and that is going to be the biggest pull for me, but my husband and son are going to be flying out to Australia to meet me.’
I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! returns on Sunday, November 9 at 9pm on ITV.
Back soon: I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! returns on Sunday, November 9 at 9pm on ITV (the 2017 camp is pictured)
I’M A CELEBRITY 2022: THE FULL LINEUP
CLAIM TO FAME: Legendary pop star
PHOBIAS: Being scared
MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? No, I am going straight into the jungle from playing at various festivals and gigs
ROLE IN THE CAMP: In-house dietician reassuring everyone that they will be ok on the jungle diet. And entertainer – I will sing!
BEST ATTRIBUTE: I am a very positive person and I don’t bear any grudges
DREAM CAMPMATE: It would be funny if my ex, Jon Moss, comes on the programme -but I don’t think that will happen!
CLAIM TO FAME: Radio DJ
PHOBIAS: I am petrified of heights. I ended up carrying the bags when we took my girlfriend’s niece once to Go Ape as I am so petrified!
MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? A friend’s birthday, a wedding, and Leeds United matches
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Entertainer. Hopefully I can help shorten everyone’s boredom.
BEST ATTRIBUTE: Hiding food! I am going to fly out early and sneak into the jungle and hide pot noodles everywhere, then I will be everyone’s best friend!
DREAM CAMPMATE: Ant and Dec…let’s see how they cope for 24 hours!
CLAIM TO FAME: Playing Eileen Grimshaw in Coronation Street
PHOBIAS: Don’t be ridiculous! I am not going to admit to what I fear most!
MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? Coronation Street and we are expecting another grandchild any day, so hopefully it will arrive before I fly out to Australia.
ROLE IN THE CAMP: I will be more of a mum – that is where I will naturally fit.
BEST ATTRIBUTE: I can cook and I am a good listener, so hopefully I will be a friendly ear for everyone.
DREAM CAMPMATE: Good Morning Britain’s Richard Arnold. He is my TV husband and it would be lovely to have an ally in camp!
CLAIM TO FAME: Presenter of A Place In The Sun
PHOBIAS: Spiders. There is no point in lying about it! I’ve got an irrational fear about them
MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? Just a holiday which I can postpone
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Mum, cook and morale booster. I always like to look at the positive side in life
BEST ATTRIBUTE: I can cook and I will be good at making sure everything is tidy in camp
DREAM CAMPMATE: Mo Gilligan. He is hilarious and I totally fancy him!
CLAIM TO FAME: Comedian
PHOBIAS: I am scared of absolutely everything. Snakes, rats – I am fearful of them all and I am dreading the trials
MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? I was going on tour but we’ve postponed it now until next year
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Tension breaker. If I can break tension anywhere it starts up in the camp, then I will do that. We don’t need to be bickering as it will be a first-time experience for everyone
BEST ATTRIBUTE: Hopefully I will bring some humour to the camp
DREAM CAMPMATE: I am a big Arsenal fan and so any ex-Arsenal player would be great. I am looking forward to chatting to Ant & Dec about football
CLAIM TO FAME: Rugby Union player and married to Princess Anne’s daughter Zara Tindall
PHOBIAS: I haven’t admitted to having any phobias but in a weird way, I am looking forward to taking part in the trials!
MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? My podcast series and the rugby Internationals this autumn
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Morning motivator. I would like to see everyone get on well and us all have a great experience
BEST ATTRIBUTE: I am a positive person
DREAM CAMPMATE: Samuel L Jackson would be cool. He has lived the life!
CLAIM TO FAME: Playing Romeo Nightingale in Hollyoaks
MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? I am a big fan of football so I will miss watching the start of the World Cup
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Entertainer and games coordinator
BEST ATTRIBUTE: It is definitely not my cooking skills or brains!
DREAM CAMPMATE: Any of the Leicester City starting 11!
CLAIM TO FAME: ITV newsreader and Loose Women anchor
PHOBIAS: I am not sure what my fear factor will be because I’ve never had rodents, spiders and snakes crawling all over me!
MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? My children’s annual school ball which I am gutted about
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Mum and cook. I don’t mind falling into that position
BEST ATTRIBUTE: I like to listen and talk. I love learning about people and I have a natural curiosity for people
DREAM CAMPMATE: Colin Murray and Richard Osman
CLAIM TO FAME: Retired England Lioness
PHOBIAS: I don’t like rats and the thought of being underground fills me with fear!
MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? The Men’s World Cup. I am going to find it weird not being able to know how the men are getting on in the tournament. Hopefully they will still be in the tournament when I come out of the jungle
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Helping hand. I like to help people if they aren’t having a good day
BEST ATTRIBUTE: Hard worker. I will always find a way to add value. I am also very honest
DREAM CAMPMATE: Another sports person would be great as it would be someone to bounce ideas off.
CLAIM TO FAME: Love Island star
PHOBIAS: I hate the dark so I’m keen to avoid any challenges in the darkness
MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? No, had the show been on air any later, I could have missed my sister’s wedding
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Clown. I was always the class clown at school and I love having a laugh
BEST ATTRIBUTE: I don’t take myself seriously and I have got a good sense of humour
DREAM CAMPMATE: A pop legend like Dolly Parton who has amazing stories to tell
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