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BBC Breakfast presenter slams Hancocks Im A Celeb stint

I'm A Celeb: Ben Thompson cringes at Matt Hancock

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BBC Breakfast presenter Ben Thompson has laughed off Matt Hancock’s I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! debut on the reality show. The co-host of the BBC show was unimpressed with the MP’s opening video on the ITV series. He and Sally Nugent reacted to the new campmate’s arrival ahead of their interview with Liberal Democrat and former contestant Lembit Öpik.

The clip of the former health secretary previewing his time in the camp was played to BBC viewers and Wednesday’s hosts Ben and Sally.

During the video played from I’m A Celebrity, Hancock was seen preparing his jungle, saying: “This experience will be an adventure.”

He continued: “When I am in camp people will see the real me. Survival in the jungle is a good metaphor for the world that I work in.

“People will see me, warts and all, see the human side of the guy behind the podium.”

Read More: Ant and Dec face calls to ‘quit’ from I’m A Celebrity

Before grinning at the camera, the suspended MP then declared: “I don’t think I’ve got any fears or phobias but I am about to find out.”

When the BBC cameras panned back to the two presenters, they both grimaced.

Sally asked: “The guy behind the podium?” and Ben said: “Don’t know what to say about that.”

He continued: “Warts and all is the bit I am not looking forward to, I don’t need to see warts and all.”

The pair then wryly smiled looking at the camera ahead of their interview with former MP and I’m A Celebrity alumni Lembit Öpik.

On Hancock’s stint in the jungle he said: “I declare an interest he’s a friend of mine.

“Unwittingly I have wandered into a maelstrom where I seem to be the only person in Britain who thinks it’s okay for him to be in the jungle.”

He defended his fellow reality show star’s opportunity to earn money away from politics and said he hoped people “were not too woke” not to accept that.

The MP became a household name throughout the coronavirus pandemic and many critics have hit out at his use of this fame to go into the jungle.

In a damning rant on Channel 4, political commentator Andrew Neil posed in the I’m A Celebrity iconic outfit at the start of his show on Sunday evening.

He said: “I’m off Down Under to join our former health secretary, little Mattie Hancock, on I’m A Celeb.

“I am pretty sure British taxpayers are still paying his wages while he is nibbling on a few roasted kangaroo testicles.

“Mmm, kangaroo testicles. I wonder if I can get Channel 4 to pay me to do the same!”

Hancock’s Conservative MP Grant Shapps also reacted to his arrival in less damning terms but admitted: “I just think he should be here looking after his constituents, rather than in the jungle somewhere.

“So, no, I won’t be. I won’t be voting for him. I can’t promise I’ll be voting for anyone at all. So that might just be [by] omission rather than anything else.”

Hancock joined the ITV reality show alongside Seann Walsh on Tuesday night and is set to take part in a Bushtucker Trial to be shown on Thursday’s episode.

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! airs daily from 9pm on ITV.

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