LONDON — Matt Hancock, Britain’s scandal-prone former Health Secretary, is looking for an unlikely form of redemption on Sunday: trying to win ‘I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here’ – a grueling, often gruesome, reality show set in the Australian jungle.
Hancock led Britain’s response to COVID-19 in the first year of the pandemic, urging people to stay away from others to protect the healthcare system they were having an affair with.
He was forced to resign when The Sun newspaper released the CCTV images. This time, however, he knows the camera is on and behaves in ways that many will find even more awkward: eating the raw undersides of camels, cows, and sheep, among other things.
“I’m a Celebrity…” sends a group of famous people, often C-list celebrities, into the Australian rainforest, subjects them to experiments with spiders and snakes, and they are eliminated one by one by public vote.
While many Brits were disgusted by Hancock’s performance, blaming him for apparent flaws in the government’s early response to the pandemic, viewers have turned expectations on their head by voting Hancock through to Sunday night’s final. He faces off against former England soccer star Jill Scott and actor Owen Warner.
The former health chief has already seen the backs of Culture Club singer Boy George and former rugby player Mike Tindall, whose wife Zara is the niece of King Charles III. Tindall Body attacked Hancock on another assignment on the show and poked fun at the former health secretary’s politics.
“He clearly wants to win,” Tindall said, adding that Hancock kept pointing his voting number shirt at the camera. “Once a politician, always a politician. Always looking for voices.”
Fellow politicians were less enthusiastic than the show voting audience. When it was announced that Hancock would appear, he was nominated by other lawmakers, including many from his own party, and he was suspended as a Conservative MP.
His success doesn’t seem to have assuaged her anger. Speaking to Sky News on Sunday, Cabinet Secretary Mark Harper said: “I don’t think incumbent Members of Parliament should take part in reality television programmes.
“As good as they are at it, I still think they should be doing the job for which they get a good salary – which is representing their constituents.”
Australian comedian Adam Hills, host of current comedy show The Last Leg, announced he was “moving up the ranks” and visited Hancock’s constituency in eastern England last weekend to chat with locals about their struggles.
“I think I can do a better job in a week than he has been,” Hills said on the show.
Nevertheless, a political comeback for Hancock is not out of the question. Conservative lawmaker Nadine Dorries was suspended in 2012 for appearing on the same show. Nine years later, then Prime Minister Boris Johnson appointed her to his cabinet.
https://nypost.com/2022/11/27/disgraced-ex-uk-minister-matt-hancock-to-star-in-im-a-celebrity-get-me-out-of-here/ Disgraced British ex-minister Matt Hancock to star in ‘I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here’