Denise Welch SLAMS Matt Hancock for going on I'm A Celebrity

‘I am fuming’: ‘Disgusted’ Denise Welch SLAMS Matt Hancock for I’m A Celebrity stint after the impact his Covid measures had on ‘people’s lives, livelihoods and mental health’

Denise Welch has revealed that she is ‘fuming’ after after it was sensationally revealed that Matt Hancock will be taking party in I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here this year.

The former Health Secretary, 44, who quit after breaking his own lockdown rules by having an affair with long-time aide Gina Coladangelo, confirmed his participation in I’m A Celebrity on Tuesday.

But the Loose Women panellist, 64, ripped into the MP for West Suffolk and ‘cannot find any humour’ in his sign-up.

Fuming: Denise Welch has revealed that she is ‘fuming’ after after it was sensationally revealed that Matt Hancock will be taking party in I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here this year

‘I am fuming. I am fuming and I am disgusted and I cannot find any humour in this appointment at all.

‘As far as I’m concerned, we are still suffering the repercussions of what happened over the last few years and I was very vocal about Covid restrictions, some being incredibly unnecessary and the impact that would have on people’s lives, livelihoods and mental health.

‘And Matt Hancock was at the forefront of those.

‘We all know now that whilst we weren’t allowed to see our granny and anybody – and I am included in this – who had a family member in hospital or in a home during Covid, my dad subsequently died of pneumonia, but nevertheless, I wasn’t allowed to see him at certain times.

Shock sign-up: Former Health Secretary Matt (pictured, mock-up of him on I’m A Celeb) who quit after breaking his own lockdown rules, confirmed his participation in I’m A Celebrity

‘And I live with the pain of that every day. And there are people who were not allowed to see their family for a year.

‘Remember it was illegal to get in your car and go and visit a loved one. 

‘Even when we had vaccines that were supposed to free us, masks were working, we had tests. So we could say, “I will do a test before I go and visit my dad who is lonely in his house” – No!

‘Whilst he was having an affair with some woman in the broom closet or wherever he was!

‘And while the government from day one of this, were carrying on in Downing Street, what about if we weren’t supposed to even pick up a book from the bookshelf in those ridiculous times.’

Challenge: Matt is likely to find himself having to chow down on all sorts of creepy crawlies as many fans are eager to see him do as many Bushtucker Trials as possible (the cast pictured)

After Denise added that Matt Hancock is ‘not a celebrity’, she went on to say: ‘I don’t care whether he is a politician or whoever he is, he was the health secretary of this country. And he’s going to go into there and pretend he’s Mr Nice Guy.

‘And what annoys me is that if one person – I tell you what, I have never envied people going into the jungle, I love the show and I’m a huge viewer.

‘But I’d go in for nowt for one hour with Matt Hancock.’

Linda Robson gave her two pence to the debate, saying that she thinks the MP is in for a big shock and he will be the reason many more people watch I’m A Celebrity this year.

‘They’re going to vote for him to do every trial,’ she said. ‘If he’s made the mistake of telling them he’s frightened of anything, God help him.’

Matt defended his decision to appear on the reality show, writing in The Sun that it’s his job as a politician ‘to go where the people are’ and that he wants to ‘engage with voters’.

Letting rip: Loose Women panelist Denise, 64, (pictured right with Paris Fury, centre right, Clare Balding, centre left, and Jane Moore, left) ripped into the MP for West Suffolk

 Matt said: ‘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.

‘There are many ways to do the job of being an MP. Whether I’m in camp for one day or three weeks, there are very few places people will be able to see a politician as they really are.

‘So, the truth is, I haven’t lost my marbles or had one too many pina coladas. It’s something I’ve given a lot of thought to.

‘I was elected by the people, and it’s important to engage with voters, especially younger voters, no matter where they are, and show the human side of politicians.

Hosts: Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly will once again be hosting the ITV series, which is returning to Australia for the first time since the Covid pandemic

‘I want to raise the ­profile of my dyslexia campaign to help every dyslexic child unleash their potential – even if it means taking an unusual route to get there… via the Australian jungle! I’m A Celebrity… is watched by millions of Brits up and down the country.

‘I want to use this incredible platform to raise awareness, so no child leaves primary school not knowing if they have dyslexia.’

He wore a white T-shirt which he tucked into a pair of faded jeans, along with a navy cardigan and white shoes, while carrying a grey baseball cap.

When quizzed about his upcoming stint on the reality show at the airport, he replied: ‘I had a very pleasant flight. I am keeping my mouth zipped.’

It follows reports that Matt ‘angered’ bosses of SAS: Who Dares Wins after signing up to I’m A Celebrity. However, he is said to have already agreed to compete Celebrity SAS in September for the next series which will air in 2023.

Oh dear: While Matt, pictured with Ms Coladangelo, will be able to keep his party membership, he will not be able to stand for election as a Conservative candidate

PR expert Mark Borkowski estimated Mr Hancock could have been paid a £350,000 appearance fee.

He told MailOnline: ‘They paid Noel Edmonds £500,000 and that was a top booking – either Hancock is desperate for the visibility or the money… if it’s the money I’d expect £350,000 – he should be very careful what he wishes for.’

Mr Hancock will stay as MP for West Suffolk but serve as an independent. While he will be able to keep his party membership, he will not be able to stand for election as a Conservative party candidate, vote in party contests or stand for committee chairman posts.

The ally said producers of the show have agreed Mr Hancock can communicate with them if there is an urgent constituency matter. But former Tory MP Ann Widdecombe told Sky News it was wrong for a serving MP to be away ‘for weeks on end’ and asked what would happen ‘if there’s an emergency’.

Hilarious: A friend of Matt’s estranged wife Martha (pictured) was searing in their condemnation of him, branding him a ‘total halfwit who’s making some unwise career moves’

Andy Drummond, deputy chairman of West Suffolk Conservative Association, said he was looking forward to seeing Mr Hancock ‘eating a kangaroo’s penis’ on the show – a reference to the notorious bushtucker trials in which contestants compete in a series of gruesome challenges to win stars. ‘Quote me, you can quote me on that,’ he added. 

This year I’m A Celebrity will also make a much-anticipated return to Australia after being forced to relocate to Wales for two years due to the Covid pandemic.

Once again, Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly will be hosting the series, and have already been spotted arriving on the Gold Coast to commence filming.

Voting is now open for viewers to choose who they want to become Jungle VIPs (Very Isolated People), and the lucky few will spend their first night stranded on an island and face the first trial of the series. Voting is free via the I’m A Celebrity app, and closes on November 1 at 9pm.

I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! returns on Sunday, November 9 at 9pm on ITV. 




AGE: 61

CLAIM TO FAME: Legendary pop star

PHOBIAS: Being scared

MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? No, I am going straight into the jungle from playing at various festivals and gigs

ROLE IN THE CAMP: In-house dietician reassuring everyone that they will be ok on the jungle diet. And entertainer – I will sing!

BEST ATTRIBUTE: I am a very positive person and I don’t bear any grudges

DREAM CAMPMATE: It would be funny if my ex, Jon Moss, comes on the programme -but I don’t think that will happen!



AGE: 48


PHOBIAS: I am petrified of heights. I ended up carrying the bags when we took my girlfriend’s niece once to Go Ape as I am so petrified!

MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? A friend’s birthday, a wedding, and Leeds United matches

ROLE IN THE CAMP: Entertainer. Hopefully I can help shorten everyone’s boredom.

BEST ATTRIBUTE: Hiding food! I am going to fly out early and sneak into the jungle and hide pot noodles everywhere, then I will be everyone’s best friend!

DREAM CAMPMATE: Ant and Dec…let’s see how they cope for 24 hours!



AGE: 59

CLAIM TO FAME: Playing Eileen Grimshaw in Coronation Street

PHOBIAS: Don’t be ridiculous! I am not going to admit to what I fear most!

MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? Coronation Street and we are expecting another grandchild any day, so hopefully it will arrive before I fly out to Australia.

ROLE IN THE CAMP: I will be more of a mum – that is where I will naturally fit.

BEST ATTRIBUTE: I can cook and I am a good listener, so hopefully I will be a friendly ear for everyone.

DREAM CAMPMATE: Good Morning Britain’s Richard Arnold. He is my TV husband and it would be lovely to have an ally in camp!



AGE: 35

CLAIM TO FAME: Presenter of A Place In The Sun

PHOBIAS: Spiders. There is no point in lying about it! I’ve got an irrational fear about them

MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? Just a holiday which I can postpone

ROLE IN THE CAMP: Mum, cook and morale booster. I always like to look at the positive side in life

BEST ATTRIBUTE: I can cook and I will be good at making sure everything is tidy in camp

DREAM CAMPMATE: Mo Gilligan. He is hilarious and I totally fancy him!



AGE: 36


PHOBIAS: I am scared of absolutely everything. Snakes, rats – I am fearful of them all and I am dreading the trials

MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? I was going on tour but we’ve postponed it now until next year

ROLE IN THE CAMP: Tension breaker. If I can break tension anywhere it starts up in the camp, then I will do that. We don’t need to be bickering as it will be a first-time experience for everyone

BEST ATTRIBUTE: Hopefully I will bring some humour to the camp

DREAM CAMPMATE: I am a big Arsenal fan and so any ex-Arsenal player would be great. I am looking forward to chatting to Ant & Dec about football



AGE: 44

CLAIM TO FAME: Rugby Union player and married to Princess Anne’s daughter Zara Tindall

PHOBIAS: I haven’t admitted to having any phobias but in a weird way, I am looking forward to taking part in the trials!

MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? My podcast series and the rugby Internationals this autumn

ROLE IN THE CAMP: Morning motivator. I would like to see everyone get on well and us all have a great experience

BEST ATTRIBUTE: I am a positive person

DREAM CAMPMATE: Samuel L Jackson would be cool. He has lived the life!



AGE: 23

CLAIM TO FAME: Playing Romeo Nightingale in Hollyoaks

PHOBIAS: Snakes!

MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? I am a big fan of football so I will miss watching the start of the World Cup

ROLE IN THE CAMP: Entertainer and games coordinator

BEST ATTRIBUTE: It is definitely not my cooking skills or brains!

DREAM CAMPMATE: Any of the Leicester City starting 11!



AGE: 42

CLAIM TO FAME: ITV newsreader and Loose Women anchor

PHOBIAS: I am not sure what my fear factor will be because I’ve never had rodents, spiders and snakes crawling all over me!

MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? My children’s annual school ball which I am gutted about

ROLE IN THE CAMP: Mum and cook. I don’t mind falling into that position

BEST ATTRIBUTE: I like to listen and talk. I love learning about people and I have a natural curiosity for people

DREAM CAMPMATE: Colin Murray and Richard Osman



AGE: 35

CLAIM TO FAME: Retired England Lioness

PHOBIAS: I don’t like rats and the thought of being underground fills me with fear!

MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? The Men’s World Cup. I am going to find it weird not being able to know how the men are getting on in the tournament. Hopefully they will still be in the tournament when I come out of the jungle

ROLE IN THE CAMP: Helping hand. I like to help people if they aren’t having a good day

BEST ATTRIBUTE: Hard worker. I will always find a way to add value. I am also very honest

DREAM CAMPMATE: Another sports person would be great as it would be someone to bounce ideas off.



AGE: 31

CLAIM TO FAME: Love Island star

PHOBIAS: I hate the dark so I’m keen to avoid any challenges in the darkness

MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? No, had the show been on air any later, I could have missed my sister’s wedding

ROLE IN THE CAMP: Clown. I was always the class clown at school and I love having a laugh

BEST ATTRIBUTE: I don’t take myself seriously and I have got a good sense of humour

DREAM CAMPMATE: A pop legend like Dolly Parton who has amazing stories to tell



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