The British reality TV show I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! has been running for 20 years as it tortures celebrities with bush tucker trials that involve a host of disgusting elements usually including slime and insects. The show takes place in Australia (and in a Welsh castle during Covid) as 12 celebrities survive in the jungle on one meal a day that can only be won if those voted successfully complete bush-tucker trials.
This season of the popular show was particularly remarkable for various reasons. Firstly, after the pandemic forced the previous season to be filmed in a different location, the show returned to its roots in Australia. Secondly, it created quite a buzz as one of the contestants was none other than former Health Secretary, Matt Hancock. Traditionally, the show introduces two surprise celebrities to the campmates and audience, but this year was different. The announcement that Matt Hancock would be participating in the show made headlines before the season aired. His appearance on the show became even more controversial when he was suspended as a Conservative MP. Despite the leak, the campmates were still surprised by his arrival in the jungle.
The nation was astounded to see the man who set out health regulations during the Covid-19 pandemic and consequently broke them in June 2021 when he was caught having an affair with fellow adviser Gina Coladangelo. This stirred up much resentment both in and outside of the camp but whilst the campmates questioned him about his actions, the public was voting for him to take part in bush-tucker trials in the hopes of getting him back for all his wrongdoings. As tends to happen, this has not worked in the public’s favour. Usually, it is the celebrity who performs worst in the trials who gets continually voted to partake in them. However, this time around it was Matt Hancock taking part in most of them. In the public’s eyes, they were making him suffer by having him eat fisheyes and get covered in slime and cockroaches. But Matt rarely complained and won all the stars in each of his trials, earning respect and some forgiveness from his campmates. According to Sky News, perceptions of Hancock seemed to change after only a week in camp as bookies placed him as the people’s ‘third favourite’ to win. So ultimately Hancock will walk out of here sometime this week, potentially crowned King of the Jungle, and with £400,000 in his pocket — one of the ‘largest show fees’ ever paid to a contestant.
Other contestants on the show were fan favourite Love Island’s Olivia Atwood who left after less than 24 hours in the jungle due to mental health reasons that had been made known to producers before the show started, but she still received her £125,000.
The show also featured former rugby player and royalty Mike Tyndall MBE, as well as ’80s musical legend Boy George, and recently retired Lioness Jill Scott MBE. After a surprise exit for Boy George on Tuesday night, currently Jill Scott is the favourite to win but we won’t know for sure until this Sunday.
As the season draws to a close, viewers eagerly await to see who will be crowned the next King or Queen of the Jungle. Despite the controversy surrounding his participation, Matt Hancock has won over many with his resilience and determination in the bush-tucker trials, and he remains a strong contender for the title. However, the competition is fierce, and there are several other celebrities who could take the crown. As the final votes are tallied and tension builds. Fans eagerly anticipate the next installment of this iconic reality show. Let’s see how it ends and who will be crowned Monarch of the Jungle.