ANT McPartlin and Declan Donnelly teased Matt Hancock’s jungle arrival as they confirmed two extra stars will join I’m A Celebrity.
The former health secretary, 44, is expected to enter the Australian camp in the coming days – having dodged the launch night’s terrifying skydive.
Ant and Dec addressed the elephant in the roo as I’m A Celebrity kicked off on SundayCredit: Rex
A mock photo of what Matt might look like in his I’m A Celeb uniformCredit: ITV
Chris Moyles, Charlene White, Jill Scott and Olivia Attwood meet in the launch episodeCredit: Rex
Kicking off the new series Ant and Dec spoke live from Down Under for the first time since 2019 after the past two years were shot at Gwrych Castle in North Wales due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.
In their opening monologue, Ant, 46, said: “We have not one but two late arrivals on the way.
“And fortunately we have managed to keep their identities a complete secret. No-one has got a clue who they are.”
Stressing the word “mat”, Dec, 47, added: “You are going to be surprised, guys. We are going to be rolling out the welcome mat for them soon.”
Responding to criticism, the disgraced politician told The Sun he wants to use the “incredible platform” on the show to raise awareness of dyslexia and insisted it “wasn’t the cheque” that made him decide to join the programme.
Leading figures at organisations specialising in dyslexia have said they are grateful to the former cabinet minister for his work raising awareness of the learning difficulty and welcomed a platform for the cause.
After news broke that Hancock was joining the show, many political figures and famous faces shared their thoughts – including a Tory in Hancock’s West Suffolk constituency.
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Discussing Matt’s upcoming appearance, Andy Drummond, who is chairman of Newmarket Conservatives and deputy chairman (political) of West Suffolk Conservative Association, said: “I’m looking forward to him eating a kangaroo’s penis.
“Quote me. You can quote me that.”
On putting Matt on the show, executive producer of the show Olly Nash batted away any backlash.
He told ITV News: “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.
“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.”
Also among the high-profile line-up entering the Australian jungle this series are rugby player Mike Tindall, pop star Boy George and former Love Island contestant Olivia Attwood.
I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! continues on ITV and ITV Hub.