Matt Hancock has infuriated the Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins bosses ahead of his I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! appearance.
On Tuesday, it was announced that the former health secretary had signed up for the ITV programme, with the MP subsequently suspended from the Conservative Party as a result.
It’s reported that the politician will be featuring the show as a late arrival alongside comedian Seann Walsh, joining fellow members of the cast including royal Mike Tindall, singer Boy George, Love Island star Olivia Attwood and radio DJ Chris Moyles.
However, in September rumours also circulated that Mr Hancock would be starring in Channel 4’s Celeb: SAS, but his I’m A Celeb signing has ‘poured cold water’ over it.
‘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,’ a source shared.
‘Everyone is pretty angry about what has gone on and it’s not the best move Matt could have made,’ an insider added to The Sun.
After many questioned why Mr Hancock was heading into the jungle, he later clarified that his upcoming stint will help him communicate with the British people, including those who are politically disengaged.
‘Where better to show the human side of those who make these decisions than with the most watched programme on TV? And there are many ways to communicate. It’s one of the many important things I learnt during the pandemic,’ he said.
Mr Hancock went on to say that, while many tuned in to watch the daily updates from the government amid the height of the pandemic, others got their news from shows including This Morning, Loose Women, and Gogglebox.
‘It’s as clear as day that politicians like me must go to where the people are — particularly those who are politically disengaged. We must wake up and embrace popular culture,’ he added in a piece for The Sun.
He said he wants to ‘go to where the people are — not to sit in ivory towers in Westminster.’
During his time on the show, he will reportedly have special permissions to contact the outside world.
Mr Hancock will be able to communicate with staff if there’s a constituency emergency in his West Suffolk patch, reports Birmingham Live.
A political ally close to Mr Hancock has revealed that he intends to support St Nicholas Hospice Care with his pay cheque for taking part, a charity he raised almost £8,000 for at last year’s London Marathon.
‘Matt will be making a donation to St Nicholas Hospice in Suffolk, and he will, of course, declare the amount he receives from the show to Parliament to ensure complete transparency, as normal,’ a source told us.
I’m A Celebrity 2022 begins on Sunday November 6 at 9pm on ITV.