The executive producer of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! has spoken out about the decision to include former health secretary Matt Hancock in this year’s series.
Earlier this week, the news that the sitting MP was among the celebrities who’d been cast on the new series of I’m A Celebrity was met with a widespread backlash, which led to Hancock having the Tory whip suspended.
However, producer Olly Nash defended including the former cabinet minister on the show, insisting he was not there to “divide camp”.
“We’ve put in loads of politicians over the years, we also put in people who have had very strong views about certain things and sometimes it plays out in camp and sometimes it doesn’t,” he told ITV News.
“It’s not a question of trying to divide camp, we have never been a deliberately divisive camp. It’s up to them to come into the camp and it’s up to them if they want to leave.”
10 celebrities will arrive in the jungle this weekend, with Matt Hancock joining them later in the series
Hancock served as health secretary under Boris Johnson throughout the early stages of the Covid pandemic in 2020.
He was eventually forced to resign when it arose he’d broken Covid restrictions while conducting an affair with an aide.
Earlier this week, the MP insisted to The Sun he is not taking part in I’m A Celebrity for the money, claiming: “Some may think I’ve lost my marbles or had one too many drinks, swapping the comfortable surroundings of Westminster and West Suffolk for the extreme conditions of the Australian outback, going where there will be few creature comforts, not enough food, and a load of physical tasks involving snakes, spiders and plenty of other creepy-crawlies.
“While there will undoubtedly be those who think I shouldn’t go, I think it’s a great opportunity to talk directly to people who aren’t always interested in politics, even if they care very much about how our country’s run.
“It’s our job as politicians to go to where the people are — not to sit in ivory towers in Westminster.”
I’m A Celebrity returns to our screens on Sunday at 9pm on ITV. Check out the full line-up here.