ITV bosses defend booking Matt Hancock for I'm A Celeb
3rd November 2022

ITV bosses defend booking Matt Hancock for I’m A Celeb: Producers say reality show has a history of booking MPs as it’s revealed ex-Health Secretary plans to donate ‘more than his MP’s salary’ to charity amid backlash for accepting ‘£400k fee’

  • Matt Hancock’s booking on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! has been defended by ITV bosses
  • ‘We have politicians going back years. You never know when they get in what they’re going to do,’ they said
  • The father-of-three has been accused of ‘cashing in’ on the pandemic by families affected by coronavirus

Matt Hancock’s controversial booking on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! has been defended by ITV bosses, who maintain that contestants are plucked ‘from all walks of life’, as it is revealed that he will donate more than his MP’s salary to charity amid backlash for accepting a ‘£400,000 fee’.

The former Health Security’s shock signing was blasted by fellow MPs and members of his West Suffolk constituency after it was confirmed he would be competing on the primetime series alongside stars including singer Boy George, 61, rugby ace Mike Tindall, 44, DJ Chris Moyles, 48, and Coronation Street actress Sue Cleaver, 59.

Hancock, 44, who has been stripped of his Conservative Party whip, last night attempted to justify his decision, saying he was intending to promote his dyslexia campaign in the Aussie jungle, as well as talk to people ‘who aren’t always interested in politics.’

He also boldly claimed he would still be reached on ‘urgent constituency matters’ – despite being 10,270 miles away.

However, the father-of-three has been accused of ‘cashing in’ on the pandemic by families affected by Covid who believe he only signed up for the reported £400,000 fee.

But speaking to MailOnline on the show’s set in Australia, Tweed Shire, executive producer Olly Nash defended Hancock’s signing, saying the ITV series, which starts this Sunday, has a history of featuring politicians.

He said: ‘It’s always an individual’s choice to come into camp and at any point a celebrity can say I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!

‘Nobody has to do the show, nobody has to stay in camp, and nobody has to do the trials. It’s up to any celebrity to make that choice.

‘It doesn’t matter who they are, what their past is, what their history is, once you get an ensemble cast in here you never know how everybody is going to gel so it’s a really hard question to answer.

‘It’s always great to have a good ensemble cast – that’s really the basis of putting everybody together. We cast people from all walks of life and always have done.

‘We have politicians going back years. You never know when they get in what they’re going to do.’

Matt Hancock decided to enter the I’m a Celebrity Jungle after being ‘snubbed’ by Rishi Sunak (pictured with partner Gina Coladangelo)

Insiders have revealed that the MP is being paid around £400,000 for his appearance in the Jungle, with the amount of money helping to ‘seal the deal’.

‘Matt’s pay deal with I’m A Celebrity is around £400,000 which is one of the largest ever show fees to have been paid out,’ a source told The Sun.

‘ITV were keen for viewers to think the deal was worth around £150,000 but in reality it’s over double that.

‘They asked him to be on the show three times in a matter of weeks and the money definitely helped seal the deal.’

Mr Hancock has faced criticism for being paid to appear on the show, with his spokesperson since confirming that the politician will be donating more than his MPs salary to charity. 

They added that he will use the platform to talk about his dyslexia campaign, with donations going to St Nicholas Hospice in his constituency and causes supporting dyslexia. 

Yesterday Mr Hancock’s book writer said that he decided to enter the I’m a Celebrity Jungle after being ‘snubbed’ by Rishi Sunak.

The former Health Secretary, 44, appeared to be snubbed by the new Prime Minister last week as he congratulated him outside Downing Street with other MPs. 

Isabel Oakeshott — who has written Mr Hancock’s book — said that his decision to join the jungle came very soon after that moment.

She also claimed that the former Health Secretary, who has reportedly got ‘trench foot’, believes the Tory party is heading out of power and is thinking long-term about his own career instead.

The MP for West Suffolk had the Tory whip removed following the announcement of his decision to go on the hit reality TV show, and stated that he had no expectations of returning to government.

ITV bosses defend signing Matt Hancock for I’m A Celebrity insisting they cast ‘from all walks of life’ 

Matt Hancock’s controversial booking on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! has been defended by ITV bosses, who maintain contestants are plucked ‘from all walks of life.’

The former Health Security’s shock signing was blasted by fellow MPs and members of his West Suffolk constituency after it was confirmed he would be competing on the primetime series alongside stars including singer Boy George, 61, rugby ace Mike Tindall, 44, DJ Chris Moyles, 48, and Coronation Street actress Sue Cleaver, 59.

Hancock, 44, who has been stripped of his Conservative Party whip, last night attempted to justify his decision, saying he was intending to promote his dyslexia campaign in the Aussie jungle, as well as talk to people ‘who aren’t always interested in politics.’

He also boldly claimed he would still be reached on ‘urgent constituency matters’ – despite being 10,270 miles away.

However, the father-of-three has been accused of ‘cashing in’ on the pandemic by families affected by Covid who believe he only signed up for the fee.

But speaking to MailOnline on the show’s set in Australia, Tweed Shire, executive producer Olly Nash defended Hancock’s signing, saying the ITV series, which starts this Sunday, has a history of featuring politicians.

He said: ‘It’s always an individual’s choice to come into camp and at any point a celebrity can say I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!

‘Nobody has to do the show, nobody has to stay in camp, and nobody has to do the trials. It’s up to any celebrity to make that choice.

‘It doesn’t matter who they are, what their past is, what their history is, once you get an ensemble cast in here you never know how everybody is going to gel so it’s a really hard question to answer.

‘It’s always great to have a good ensemble cast – that’s really the basis of putting everybody together. We cast people from all walks of life and always have done.

‘We have politicians going back years. You never know when they get in what they’re going to do.’

Hancock landed in Brisbane on Wednesday morning and will be a late arrival in camp alongside comedian Seann Walsh.

The pair have been pitted together as they have both been branded ‘love-rats’ following high profile affairs.

Walsh, 36, was caught kissing his Strictly dance partner Katya Jones behind his girlfriend Rebecca Humphries back in October 2018, while Hancock was forced to quit as health secretary in June 2021 after he was pictured breaking his own lockdown rules and kissing his married aide Gina Coladangelo.

Hancock is now a huge favourite to receive the bulk of the show’s infamous Bushtucker Trials, with viewers desperate to see him squirm.

Indeed, even some of his fellow politicians, who are appalled by his decision to desert his West Suffolk constituency during the country’s financial crisis, are reportedly keen to vote for him.

I’m A Celeb executive producer Nash says the Bushtucker Trials will be even more intimidating this year now the series has returned to its traditional home Down Under, having been based in Wales for the last two series due to the pandemic.

He added: ‘We are filming more than we’ve ever done before and there will be more elements over more shows.

‘Not all celebrities will be in this camp at the beginning of the show. We have got some of the biggest trials that we’ve ever done this year.

‘In Wales we couldn’t really do stuff that was outside because of the weather and the big storm but this year we can be outside again. We have more big rigs; we have more big, slimy, dirty trials, and a lot more competitive trials.

‘There are 24 this year and there are 21 shows.

‘On the last day the final three each take on a trial. Cyclone is absolutely back.’ 

Ms Oakeshott, 47, told TalkTV that being snubbed by Mr Sunak was ‘incredibly humiliating’ for Mr Hancock.

‘That clip went viral,’ she said. ‘Matt’s decision [to join the show] came pretty soon after that.’

She added: ‘There is another side to Matt Hancock, you’ve got to give him credit for spirit, he’s always up for stuff and I think he’s just going to go for it.

‘He knows this could go wrong but in another way; can things really get worse for him?’

Describing his decision to join the ITV show, Mr Hancock wrote in today’s The Sun: ‘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.’

A spokesperson for the former Health Secretary told MailOnline: ‘Matt will be donating more than his MPs salary to charity.

‘This is an amazing opportunity to engage with the public and talk about issues he really cares about — including his dyslexia campaign,’ they said.

‘Matt is still working on constituency matters and will continue to do so up until he goes into the jungle. Producers have agreed that Matt can communicate with his team throughout the show if there’s an urgent constituency matter.

‘Matt will also be making a donation to St Nicholas Hospice in his constituency and causes supporting dyslexia, off the back of his appearance.’

They added: ‘There isn’t a day that goes by that Matt doesn’t think about those who died or about those who lost loved ones to Covid. Matt lost a family member himself to Covid.

‘Matt worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to get the first vaccine in the world. It was his mission to make sure there was enough vaccine to vaccinate the whole of the UK.

‘The vaccine programme was a huge success and helped the UK escape the pandemic faster than almost any other country in the world.’

‘Decisions were always guided by the science, in an attempt to protect the public and to save as many lives as possible.’ 

Bereaved families who lost loved ones to Covid launched a petition to demand he is removed from the hit ITV show, which has garnered more than 17,000 signatures. Mr Hancock had to quit government after he was caught flouting his own lockdown rules by kissing married Ms Coladangelo in his office.

The petition, launched by pressure group Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, reads: ‘Families were ripped apart by Matt Hancock’s actions, and turning on the TV to see him being paraded around as a joke is sickening.

‘If he had any respect for families who lost loved ones to Covid-19, he would be sharing his private emails with the Covid Inquiry, not eating bugs on TV.’ 

A separate probe is being launched into whether he should receive his taxpayer-funded £84,144 salary while in the jungle, as questions are raised over whether he followed the rules on seeking jobs within two years of leaving office. 

‘Fame junkie’ Mr Hancock has already landed in Australia for I’m A Celebrity, however, and brazenly insisted he will still be serving his West Suffolk constituents – 10,270 miles away in the jungle camp. 

But the former minister is in for a tough ride as MPs and his rivals in Parliament are plotting to ensure he is forced to do gruesome Bushtucker Trials ‘every night’.

Writer Ms Oakeshott also told TalkTv that she will ‘100 per cent’ make time to see Mr Hancock in the jungle, adding: ‘Don’t we all want to see him suffer a bit, having to eat bits of kangaroo and God knows what else? I do.’

She added that there isn’t ‘a person in the country’ that the pandemic did not impact. 

‘I imagine he will get a bit of a hard time from the other contestants and he’ll have to justify his approach, but that is a very well trodden route for him, he absolutely has his lines to take and I doubt that he’ll deviate from that,’ she said.

‘He is somebody that is absolutely convinced that he responded in the best possible way he could with the information that was there available tat the time. I don’t think he’ll be expressing any regrets, let’s put it that way.’

Ms Oakeshott added that while she thinks Mr Hancock loves his constituency, he has already taken part in another reality TV show, SAS Who Dares Wins, and could be ‘diversifying’.

‘He’s not on a fast track back to the cabinet as I think perhaps he initially hoped after his resignation, that he might be brought back,’ she added.

‘Politics is incredibly volatile and things can change in a short space of time. There is a general view among Tory MP’s that they are heading towards opposition, so I think he is thinking more broadly about his future and what he’s doing next.

‘It is a bit difficult for him how his constituents will react on his own patch and he’s very mindful of that.’ 

Mr Hancock did not seek advice from the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba) before agreeing to the appearance, the PA news agency understands.

Lord Pickles, the Conservative chairman of the anti-corruption watchdog that advises on post-ministerial jobs, is expected to write to Mr Hancock to demand clarification.

Under the rules, Mr Hancock should seek clearance from Acoba for any new employment or appointments he takes on until next June.

A spokesman for Mr Hancock said the guidance ‘was followed in good faith’, adding: ‘The Acoba website clearly states that it does not regard media appearances as an appointment or employment.’

But the website only says that ‘one-off’ activities are not applicable, with any ‘longer-term arrangement’ needing a request to Acoba.

Depending on how he fairs during public votes, Mr Hancock could remain in the jungle for weeks.

In April, Tory MP and former housing minister Esther McVey was found to have broken the rules for failing to seek Acoba’s advice over her ‘regular engagement’ as a GB News presenter.

Mr Hancock can continue to pick up his taxpayer-funded salary as an MP while in the jungle. His spokesperson has since confirmed that he will donate ‘more than his salary’ to charity.

Hancock landed in Brisbane on Wednesday morning and will be a late arrival in camp alongside comedian Seann Walsh.

The pair have been pitted together as they have both been branded ‘love-rats’ following high profile affairs.

Walsh, 36, was caught kissing his Strictly dance partner Katya Jones behind his girlfriend Rebecca Humphries back in October 2018, while Hancock was forced to quit as health secretary in June 2021 after he was pictured breaking his own lockdown rules and kissing his married aide Gina Coladangelo.

Hancock is now a huge favourite to receive the bulk of the show’s infamous Bushtucker Trials, with viewers desperate to see him squirm.

However he may avoid the infamous bushtucker trials, due to a health condition, MailOnline understands. 

Hancock (right) appeared to be resolutely ignored by new PM Rishi Sunak (centre) last week, as he waited outside Downing Street with other MPs to congratulate him

The politician is said to be suffering from trench foot, which may preclude him from carrying out the stomach-churning challenges with creepy crawlies. 

James Argent was left suffering from the painful condition as he returned to work earlier this month after filming Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins in Thailand.

The upcoming series has been plunged into chaos after six stars, including James, 34, were forced to pull out on medical grounds. 

Mr Hancock is said to have got trench foot while filming for the show and may not have cleared up yet, The Sun reports.

A source said: ‘When he was filming SAS Who Dares Wins in October, Matt got trench foot – in fact, a lot of the cast did. It can take up to six months to recover from that, so any water-based tasks or swimming trials would be bad news for his feet.’

The treatable condition can heal within weeks if managed properly. ITV has been contacted for comment about the claims.

Some of Mr Hancock’s fellow politicians, who are appalled by his decision to desert his West Suffolk constituency during the country’s financial crisis, are reportedly keen to vote for him in trials.

I’m A Celeb executive producer Nash says the Bushtucker Trials will be even more intimidating this year now the series has returned to its traditional home Down Under, having been based in Wales for the last two series due to the pandemic.

He added: ‘We are filming more than we’ve ever done before and there will be more elements over more shows.

‘Not all celebrities will be in this camp at the beginning of the show. We have got some of the biggest trials that we’ve ever done this year.

‘In Wales we couldn’t really do stuff that was outside because of the weather and the big storm but this year we can be outside again. We have more big rigs; we have more big, slimy, dirty trials, and a lot more competitive trials.

‘There are 24 this year and there are 21 shows.

‘On the last day the final three each take on a trial. Cyclone is absolutely back.’

Matt Hancock arriving at Brisbane Airport for the new series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!


Mr Hancock has flown more than 10,000 miles for the new series of I’m A Celeb, shown landing in Australia 

It comes after the father-of-three revealed he had twice been asked to appear on the show before but accepted the third offer because the government is now ‘stable’. 

Many have pondered whether he actually made up his mind when he was snubbed by new PM Rishi Sunak at his victory rally last week, which was tacit confirmation his career as a senior MP is over.

And millions are set to punish him for his decision – including MPs. 

One former minister has threatened ‘to vote for him to eat armadillo c**k every night’. 

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said he should ‘step down’ as a MP and did not deny he would also vote for Mr Hancock to face Bushtucker Trials, smiling as he said: ‘That will be between me and my phone.’

Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting said: ‘We are going to make sure on a cross-party basis that Matt Hancock gets a fill of every creepy crawly in that jungle’. 

In Mr Hancock’s constituency, Andy Drummond, the cheesed off deputy chairman of the local Conservative Association, said: ‘I’m looking forward to him eating a kangaroo’s penis’. 

And local Tory councillor Ian Houlder said Mr Hancock has ‘no shame’, a view shared by many, not least the families of 200,000-plus Covid victims who say he is ‘cashing in’ on the pandemic.

‘Everybody knows what he did during the Covid pandemic and he seems to want to rehabilitate himself all the time in the public eye,’ Mr Houlder said. ‘He’s got a skin as thick as a rhinoceros, quite frankly.’ 

PR expert Mark Borkowski told MailOnline: ‘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.’ 

He added: ‘He believes this will kick-start a career as a sad extra. Jumping on the flight to enter the jungle proves he is a fame junkie’.

The ex-Health Secretary, pictured in Brisbane, has been kicked out of the parliamentary Tory party

Mr Hancock is heading to the Australian jungle to take part in I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!

Cast: (L-R) Mike Tindall, Owen Warner, Olivia Attwood, Charlene White, Boy George, Scarlette Douglas, Sue Cleaver, Chris Moyles, Babatúndé Aléshé and Jill Scott have been unveiled as the I’m A Celebrity 2022 lineup

Matt Hancock could miss SIXTEEN Commons debates as well and multiple constituency surgeries if he is in Australia for the duration of I’m A Celebrity (while still picking up his MP’s salary)

November 2 2022 

Prime Minister’s Question Time 

November 3 2022 

Oral questions – Department for International Trade 

Business Questions to the Leader of the House 

Debate on a Motion on the independent review of smokefree 2030 policies

General debate on the Government’s white paper ‘A Fairer Private Rented Sector’

November 4 2022

Surgery for constituents in West Suffolk 

November 7 2022 

Ministry of Defence questions

The Social Housing (Regulation) Bill [Lords]: Second reading

Adjournment debate: Governance and financial sustainability of football clubs in England

November 8 2022 

Adjournment debate: Impact of night flights on communities under flight paths

November 9 2022 

Prime Minister’s Question Time

Adjournment debate: Bathing water status for rivers

November 11 2022

Surgery for constituents in West Suffolk 

November 14 2022

Home Office: Oral questions

November 15 2022

Treasury questions

November 16 2022 

Prime Minister’s Question Time

November 17 2022 

Autumn Statement by the Chancellor

November 11 2022

Surgery for constituents in West Suffolk 

The response at Westminster was swift after news Mr Hancock would join the show which starts on Sunday.

As well as being stripped of the party whip, campaigners for families bereaved in the Covid-19 pandemic accused Mr Hancock of trying to ‘cash in on his terrible legacy’.

Mr Harper told Sky News: ‘The chief whip has made the position clear, which is he’s made a decision that going on I’m a Celebrity is not compatible with doing your job properly as a Member of Parliament, which is why the whip has been taken away, and as a former chief whip I completely support those decisions taken by my successor to support him standing down as an MP.’

Pressed on whether Mr Hancock should stand down as an MP, Mr Harper said: ‘What he chooses to do in the future is a matter for him.’

Chief whip Simon Hart said: ‘Following a conversation with Matt Hancock, I have considered the situation and believe this is a matter serious enough to warrant suspension of the whip with immediate effect.’

One Tory MP described Mr Hancock as an ‘absolute prat’.

Tory MP Tim Loughton said Mr Hancock had been an ‘absolute prat’.

‘I’m completely disappointed and disgusted that he’s put his self and a so-called celebrity career ahead of serving his constituents,’ he told Times Radio.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said it was ‘unlikely’ Mr Sunak would be watching the programme.

‘The PM believes that at a challenging time for the country MPs should be working hard for their constituents whether that is in the House or in their constituency,’ they said.

Mr Hancock was forced to quit as health secretary in June 2021 after breaking coronavirus social distancing rules by conducting an affair in his ministerial office with his then aide Ms Coladangelo.

Mr Hancock was among supporters of Mr Sunak who welcomed the new leader to Conservative headquarters last week but was overlooked for a ministerial job under the new Prime Minister. 

He had also reportedly been considering a run to be chairman of the Commons Treasury Committee but pulled out of the race on Monday.

An ally of Mr Hancock said: ‘There are many ways to do the job of being an MP. 

‘Whether he’s 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.

‘Where better to show the human side of those who make these decisions than with the most watched programme on TV? 

‘Politicians like Matt must go to where the people are – particularly those who are politically disengaged.

‘Matt’s of the view that we must embrace popular culture. 

‘Rather than looking down on reality TV, we should see it for what it is – a powerful tool to get our message heard by younger generations.’

Mr Hancock initially turned down the offer to take part because of the political chaos at Westminster.

But since Mr Sunak became Prime Minister the former health secretary believes ‘the government is stable’.

The House of Commons is in recess from November 10-14, but celebrities could spend up to three weeks in the jungle.

It means Mr Hancock would miss significant Commons business, including the Autumn Statement on November 17 if he remains in the contest.

The ex-Health Secretary, pictured in Brisbane, has been kicked out of the parliamentary Tory party

Matt Hancock swimming in the icy waters in the Serpentine. The news that he is taking part in I’m A Celeb saw the former Health Secretary kicked out of the parliamentary Tory party

EXCLUSIVE: FIRST LOOK Inside the I’m A Celeb jungle where Matt Hancock will be forced to sleep on a bunk bed, clean out the toilet, and dodge venomous snakes and spiders – as stars of the show will be tasked with a record 24 gruelling trials 

Matt Hancock will be forced to sleep on a bunk bed, clean out the toilet, and dodge venomous snakes and spiders – as stars of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! will be tested with a record 24 gruelling trials.

The former Health Secretary, 44, who insists he hasn’t signed up to the show for the big pay cheque, is currently isolating an hour away from the jungle in Tweed Shire, Australia, before he makes his shock entrance alongside Strictly love rat Seann Walsh, 36, next week.

In an I’m A Celeb first, Matt’s immediate challenge will be sleeping on a narrow bunk bed beneath one of his new co-stars, with no pillow or duvet, as he’s thrown into the deep end of jungle life.

Conditions: Matt Hancock will be forced to sleep on a bunk bed, clean out the toilet, and dodge venomous spiders – as stars of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! will be tested with a record 24 gruelling trials. Pictured: The I’m A Celeb 2022 camp

Landed: The former Health Secretary (pictured in the airport), 44, is currently isolating an hour away from the jungle in Tweed Shire, Australia, before he makes his shock entrance alongside Strictly love rat Seann Walsh, 36, next week

The beds, which are pieces of material stretched between two logs, are located around the campfire but there’s no cover for celebrities to keep warm or dry, as the temperamental climate in Australia will see both sunshine and torrential rainfall.

And it’s not just chores in camp, including cleaning out the toilet, which is a hole in a plank of wood, every day by manually disposing of its contents that will push the ex-Tory MP to his limit.

ITV bosses have confirmed to MailOnline that this year’s show, which returns to Australia for the first time in two years following the global pandemic on Sunday, will be the toughest ever for celebrities – with 24 trials to face in 21 shows.

Speaking from the Australian jungle, executive producer, Olly Nash, said: ‘We are filming more than we’ve ever done before and there will be more elements over more shows.

Dire: In an I’m A Celeb first, Matt’s first challenge will be sleeping on a narrow bunk bed beneath one of his new co-stars, with no pillow or duvet, as he’s thrown into the deep end of jungle life. Pictured: Rows of the sparce beds at the main camp

Showering: Keeping clean won’t be easy either, as two celebrities will need to ride on a tandem bike to generate running water to wash in a dirty bathtub

Oh dear! Creepy crawlies: Pythons and brown snakes, which are the most lethal, can be found in the Aussie jungle where the celebrities will be living as well as funnel-web and mouse spiders. Pictured: Beds in the main camp 

‘In Wales we couldn’t really do stuff that was outside because of the weather and the big storm but this year we can be outside again.

‘We have more big rigs; we have more big, slimy, dirty trials, and a lot more competitive trials. There are 24 this year and there are 21 shows.

‘On the last day the final three each take on a trial. Cyclone is absolutely back.’

Keeping clean won’t be easy either, as two celebrities will need to ride on a tandem bike to generate running water to wash in a dirty bathtub.

Sleeping arrangements: The beds (pictured), which are pieces of material stretched between two logs, are located around the campfire but there’s no cover for celebrities to keep warm or dry, as the climate in Australia will see both sunshine and rainfall

Yikes! It’s not just chores in camp, including cleaning out the toilet, which is a hole in a plank of wood, every day by manually disposing of its contents that will push ex-Tory MP Matt to his limit. Pictured: The bathtub and tandem bike to generate water

Challenging: ITV bosses have confirmed to MailOnline that this year’s show, which returns to Australia for the first time in two years following the pandemic, will be the toughest ever for celebrities. Pictured: Campervan and phone box at the main camp

There is the option of the waterfall, which has been made famous by the likes of former contestants Myleene Klass and Katie Price who stripped down to their bikinis to bathe, but it’s located up a rocky hill and is dependent on the level of rainfall.

Matt won’t be alone in the jungle – as well as facing the task of winning over his fellow campmates, including Love Island star Olivia Attwood, 31, and Loose Women presenter Charlene White, 42, the politician will hope to avoid venomous snakes, spiders, leaches, and ticks.

Earlier this week, a red-bellied black snake was located by one of the camp beds.

Pythons and brown snakes, which are the most lethal, can be found in the Aussie jungle where the celebrities will be living as well as funnel-web and mouse spiders.

Natural source of water: For washing, there is the option of the waterfall, which has been made famous by the likes of former contestants Myleene Klass and Katie Price who stripped down to their bikinis to bathe, but it’s located up a rocky hill

Watching on: Every move the celebrities make will be under the watchful eye of 128 cameras that are carefully disguised in camp while contestants can vent about their co-stars in the Bush Telegraph

Indoor area: An abandoned campervan on site will give stars who win challenges a lifeline with its warm accommodation, comfy beds, and lighting

Every move the celebrities make will be under the watchful eye of 128 cameras that are carefully disguised in camp while contestants can vent about their co-stars in the Bush Telegraph.

There will be some hope for stars such as rugby ace Mike Tindall, 44, and Hollyoaks actor Owen Warner, 23, as bosses have introduced a new luxury home in camp this year that all celebrities will be fighting over.

An abandoned campervan on site will give stars who win challenges a lifeline with its warm accommodation, comfy beds, and lighting.

Celebrities are only allowed one luxury item, which has to be earned, and bosses say the most common request is a pillow – but not all stars have been wise with their choices in the past.

Show hosts Ant and Dec will broadcast live from their tree house, which has been rebuilt and modernised this year, and the famous red bridge, where celebrities reunite with friends and family after being booted off the show, also returns

Treats: Celebrities are only allowed one luxury item, which has to be earned, and bosses say the most common request is a pillow – but not all stars have been wise with their choices in the past. Pictured: Abandoned campervan and iconic phonebox

Cast: Matt won’t be alone in the jungle – as he will be joined by Love Island star Olivia Attwood, 31, and Loose Women presenter Charlene White, 42, Boy George, and Mike Tindall, among others 

Exec producer, Olly said: ‘Their luxury items are still being negotiated because we try and make sure nobody has the same.

‘The most common are pillows and photos from home.

‘We’ve had people like Helen Flanagan ask for fake tan and all she had five days in was fake tan when she already had a suntan and then she ended up with a bright orange face.’

Show hosts Ant and Dec will broadcast live from their tree house, which has been rebuilt and modernised this year, and the famous red bridge, where celebrities reunite with friends and family after being booted off the show, also returns.

Rustic: Like previous years, one campmate will have to generate running water while the other uses the bathtub, but this year, they will have to do so by riding a tandem bike 

Building work: The I’m A Celeb set has been under construction since August and a total of 700 people, 600 of which are Australian locals, work on the show

Costs: But bosses say the expense of building the camp doesn’t compare to the cost of running the series every day for a month live from Australia. Pictured: Camp beds next to the iconic red phone box in the main camp 

Bosses hope Mike’s royal wife Zara will meet him for an emotional reunion at the bridge, which will be in the same month and country they met 19 years ago.

The I’m A Celeb set has been under construction since August and a total of 700 people, 600 of which are Australian locals, work on the show.

But bosses say the expense of building the camp doesn’t compare to the cost of running the series every day for a month live from Australia.

Matt, who was confirmed as a ‘bombshell’ entry for this year’s series, has claimed he can still be reached on ‘urgent constituency matters’ 10,270 miles away as enters the jungle early next week.

Phone calls: Matt claimed he can still be reached on ‘urgent constituency matters’ 10,270 miles away, but in reality, camp members are only contacted via the famous red telephone box on matters relating to the show

Jungle: An array of beds have been set up in the outdoor camp in the middle of the Australian jungle, in front of an abandoned campervan 

Only indoor space: The celebrities will be expected to sleep and bath outside in the humid Australian climate, with an abandoned campervan providing the only indoor space

In reality, camp members are only contacted via the famous red telephone box on matters relating to the show.

On Matt signing up to the series for a suspected six-figure fee despite being a working MP, ITV exec Olly said: It’s always an individual’s choice to come into camp and at any point a celebrity can say I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!

‘Nobody has to do the show, nobody has to stay in camp, and nobody has to do the trials. It’s up to any celebrity to make that choice.

Politician: Matt, who was confirmed as a ‘bombshell’ entry for this year’s series, has claimed he can still be reached on ‘urgent constituency matters’ 10,270 miles away as enters the jungle early next week

Lavish: There will be some hope for stars such as Boy George as bosses have introduced a new luxury home in camp this year that all celebrities will be fighting over


Cast: Also joining the line-up are Mike Tindall, Love Island star Olivia Attwood and DJ Chris Moyles ahead of the show’s return on November 6 

‘It doesn’t matter who they are, what their past is, what their history is, once you get an ensemble cast in here you never know how everybody is going to gel so it’s a really hard question to answer.

‘It’s always good to have a great ensemble cast – that’s really the basis of putting everybody together.

‘We cast people from all walks of life and always have done. We have politicians going back years. You never know when they get in what they’re going to do.’

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