Jermaine Pennant has explained what he was thinking when he punched Matt Hancock on Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins.
The former health minister is back on our screens, continuing his reality TV career after finishing third on I’m A Celebrity… I Need to Get Out of Here!
He now appears alongside Gareth Gates, Melinda Messenger, and James Argent as 16 celebrities go through the jungle phase of SAS selection in Vietnam.
Former footballer Pennant was given permission to punch Hancock during one of the tough reality series challenges, and he’s now revealed what he was thinking at the moment.
‘When we got that challenge and I put the gloves and hat on, I was thinking, “Oh no,”‘ the 40-year-old recalled on Thursday’s The One Show.
‘And then they said number one, which is Matt Hancock, and straight away I got a little bit of a lift, thinking right, the nation is supporting me, they’re all behind me.’
Pennant had previously said he just thought about ‘not losing’.
He added: ‘It probably doesn’t matter about the fight, then after that it was like do not lose, it probably doesn’t matter about the fight… do not (be on) the losing side because I would not be allowed to walk the streets again.
‘I was just very grateful that I won and I saved face.’
In a teaser clip for the show, the two candidates compete in the boxing challenge, in which they must hit each other for one minute.
Despite his best efforts to fight back and stay in the game, Hancock is quickly knocked to the ground.
The former MP earlier stated that the trials ‘p****d[him] off’ and that he was even given the awful moniker ‘Matt Handj*b’.
‘They were pretty rude. Calling me names, taking the p**s out of my surname, and god, it p****d me off,’ he told The Sun.
He continued: ‘With all my flaws on the show, when you’re under massive physical strain and you’ve been woken up in the middle of the night, you can’t hide.
‘To make something like this work, you’ve just got to go all in. I went in as a politician and I came out as a human being.’
‘Jermaine is no softy – [but] it didn’t hurt nearly as much as I expected, being smacked in the face’, he added to the publication, thanking adrenaline for lessening the pain.
Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins continues on Sunday at 9pm on Channel 4.