Matt Hancock’s decision to appear on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! has caused raucous debate for weeks. Should a sitting MP ever abandon their constituents for reality TV? Does he deserve the forgiveness he craves for everything he did wrong during Covid times? And most of all, what is his plan when he leaves the jungle… is he the next Ed Ball?
Judging by the following news, he may just be. The former health secretary is said to be starring in a second reality TV show, Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins. According to reports, Hancock filmed the series in October before heading into the jungle for I’m A Celebrity. Sources have told the tabloids that he believes going on the show will reveal a different side to him, similar to what Hancock himself has said about his stint in Australia.
Channel 4 though, are keeping quiet about the cast of the new series, which is likely to air in May 2023. ‘In the best traditions of the SAS, this mission is confidential,’ a spokesperson told Metro. ‘However, full details will be released when the series broadcasts next year.’
Hancock is said to have received a £25,000 fee to appear in Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins, a fraction of the reported £400,000 fee he’s taken for I’m A Celebrity. But the controversy doesn’t end there. According to The Sun, Channel 4 bosses are reportedly furious that Hancock has committed to two reality TV shows, filming theirs first then entering the jungle weeks later, only for I’m A Celebrity to air ahead of SAS: Who Dares Wins.
‘There are a lot of angry people working on SAS who loved Matt when he signed up but now are treating him with total contempt,’ the source said. ‘He was SAS’s big star signing and the show was supposed to be Matt’s first big television series. By joining I’m A Celebrity it basically renders that exclusivity that Channel 4 had redundant.’
According to the source, some at Channel 4 wish for his fee to be returned, but that may just be the one U-turn a Tory politician wouldn’t do. Grazia have reached out to Matt Hancock's spokespeople for comment.