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07 November 2022

Grant Shapps says he will not vote for Matt Hancock on I’m A Celebrity

07 November 2022

Business Secretary Grant Shapps has said he will not be voting for Matt Hancock as he competes in I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, and that he thinks his fellow Tory MP should be here “looking after his constituents”.

The launch episode of the ITV show on Sunday night saw a new batch of 10 celebrities enter the Australian jungle for the first time since 2019, as the past two years were shot at Gwrych Castle in North Wales due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.

Hosts Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly confirmed there will be two extra arrivals to the camp and poked fun at Hancock, who is MP for West Suffolk and is expected to join the camp in the coming days, as they said they would be “rolling out the welcome mat for them soon”.

Mr Shapps said he will be focusing on his Cabinet job and will be attending the Cop27 climate conference in Egypt this week too.

Asked if he was looking forward to seeing the 44-year-old having to eat crocodile anus, Mr Shapps told Sky News: “Tempting as that is, I think I’ll probably be focusing on my job as Business Secretary, and I’ll be off at Cop27 later this week as well, so I fear I might miss him depending on how long he survives.”

He said he will not be voting for Mr Hancock to compete in the reality show’s gruelling challenges, adding: “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.”

On Sunday, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was quoted as telling The Sun he was “very disappointed” in the former health secretary because “MPs should be working hard for their constituents”.

Mr Sunak, who was speaking on his way to Cop27, when asked whether he would be watching the programme, told the newspaper: “I genuinely won’t have the time is the honest answer.”

Following his decision to join the reality show, Hancock had the Tory whip suspended and came under fire from across the political divide after opting to join the show at a time when Parliament is sitting.

Elsewhere the first episode of I’m A Celebrity saw pop star Boy George and Love Island star Olivia Attwood revealed as the public’s vote to become Jungle VIPs, which they later discovered meant “Very Isolated People”.

Reality TV star Attwood, radio DJ Chris Moyles, Loose Women star Charlene White, comedian Babatunde Aleshe and former England footballer Jill Scott arrived by a luxury car at a waterside villa on the Gold Coast.

After the arrival of McPartlin and Donnelly, the duo revealed Attwood had been voted as a Jungle VIP and was allowed to choose one person to join her for a meal – she picked Moyles.

Remaining campmates Scott, White and Aleshe were whisked off by helicopter to the Focus building in Surfers Paradise, Queensland, to take on the show’s new version of the infamous plank.

The challenge saw the contestants walk to the edge of a plank 334ft in the air and once in position, had to take a step forward onto a ledge to lean forward, anchored by a safety rope.

Elsewhere, after Attwood and Moyles enjoyed their meal they got a taste of the high life as they were tasked with jumping out of a chopper at 10,000ft.

After completing the jump first, an emotional Attwood said: “Oh my God I’m crying, that’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever done, ever. That is incredible. Top 10 experience of my life. Just amazing.”

Joining her on the beach, Moyles, who is not a fan of heights, added: “I’m so happy to be on the ground. Seriously, I’ll eat a sheep’s anus any day rather than do that again.”

Meanwhile, arriving one-by-one by boat to a marina was Boy George, rugby player Mike Tindall, Coronation Street’s Sue Cleaver, TV presenter and property expert Scarlette Douglas and Hollyoaks’ Owen Warner.

As McPartlin and Donnelly showed up by boat, they announced that Boy George was the second Jungle VIP voted in and he chose Douglas to join him for a meal for two on a yacht.

The presenting duo also poked fun at Boy George when introducing his arrival, dancing to Do You Really Want To Hurt Me by his band Culture Club, before telling viewers their answer to the question in the song title was “yes”.

The remaining campmates – Tindall, Cleaver and Warner – were taken by helicopter into the jungle and put to the test on the “Critter Cruise” where they had to each try and secure a star from a boat’s mast by completing a challenge.

Among the obstacles to unlocking the stars was a code which Tindall had to break and a “hell hole” of critters where Cleaver had to search for fish eyes.

Meanwhile, Owen had to get into a pipe and search through bugs and grime to find hex keys to unlock a grate. This secured all three stars to take back to camp.

The Jungle VIPs finally united with one another after Boy George and Douglas had to row their way off the yacht on a dinghy to join Attwood and Moyles on an island.

The group then discovered they would spend the night marooned on the island together, tasked with taking on the first trial of the series before being able to join their fellow celebrities in camp.

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! returns on Monday at 9pm on ITV and ITV Hub.

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