Matt Hancock’s exit interview on I’m A Celebrity hasn’t exactly gone down a storm with all viewers of the show, with some admitting that they found his answers ‘manipulative’ and ‘stomach-churning’.
Last night, it was confirmed that Lioness footballer Jill Scott had been crowned the Queen of the Jungle, with Hollyoaks star Owen Warner coming in second place.
Earlier on the programme, Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly revealed that former health secretary Hancock had finished in the third spot, after former rugby star Mike Tindall was eliminated from the competition in fourth place on Saturday night.
After Hancock left the camp to chat to Ant and Dec, they asked him directly why he decided to take part in the ITV programme.
Reiterating what he’d said in the jungle about wanting to seem ‘human’ as a politician, he responded: ‘Well I just wanted – well I said this in there. But I just wanted to show what I’m just like as a person. Lots of people come to me with preconceived ideas for obvious reasons and I just wanted to be myself. But I also actually strongly believe that for politicians as a whole.
‘We don’t come across as human enough and this is probably the most extreme way of just showing who you are. I’m the guy who throws myself into things.’
He also referenced the ‘important’ conversations he and the other celebrities had in camp, including discussing dyslexia – which Hancock was criticised by viewers for not bringing up earlier, despite claiming that one of his main reasons for taking part was to raise awareness of the learning disability.
The MP added: ‘Especially with Jill and George, about what it’s like growing up gay, all sorts of really interesting and important conversations.’
Ant later asked Hancock whether he expected to be grilled by the other stars on the show, to which he replied: ‘Of course. I was expecting that, and some of those grillings are, some were really enjoyable in the release, ‘cause I can just say exactly what I thought. And some of them were really… well you saw, were very emotional about some of the parts of my past that everybody knows about.’
The 44-year-old stated that he ‘understood’ the reactions his appearance on I’m A Celebrity sparked, saying that he ‘lives with them’.
‘I feel it. But what I was able to do, actually one of the things I’m grateful for the way camp worked this year, was we had really grown-up conversations about it. There were strong feelings but there wasn’t any aggro,’ he said.
While some people evidently warmed to Hancock on the show, given he ended up in third place, others weren’t convinced by his remarks, especially during his exit interview.
‘This interview is just Matt Hancock being given a platform to gaslight the nation, yet again,’ one person tweeted.
‘Matt Hancock’s exit interview with Ant and Dec has been one of the most manipulative things I’ve ever watched,’ someone else wrote.
The official Twitter account for Domino’s pizza even weighed in, writing: ‘This interview with Hancock might be the most stomach churning trial we’ve been through yet.’
One person remarked that in their opinion, Hancock appeared to ‘turn into his old politician self as soon as he pushed that drink away’ during his interview.
‘People have said we’ve seen the real honest Matt Hancock behind the politician facade whilst he’s been in the jungle but this exit interview has proven that everything with him is fake, politically influenced and carefully planned by his PR team,’ another wrote.
When Hancock left the jungle, he was greeted on the bridge by his girlfriend Gina Coladangelo, who had flown out to Australia to support him.
When they embraced in front of photographers, fans of the show were immediately reminded of the CCTV footage of them kissing which emerged in June 2021, when they were both married to other people and when social distancing guidelines were still in place amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
I’m A Celebrity is available to watch on ITV Hub.