Boy George’s agent says ITV producers should consider stepping in to ‘balance out’ I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here – amid complaints from viewers that it has become the ‘Matt Hancock Show’.
Professor Jonathan Shalit, who represents the singer and current jungle camp mate, says other stars are ‘suffering from a lack of airtime’ because Matt Hancock is repeatedly being picked by the public to take on Bushtucker trials.
The former Health Secretary has been front and centre of this series of the hit ITV show since joining the I’m A Celeb jungle as a later arrival.
Having put himself at the mercy of the British public after his often-criticised reaction to the Covid pandemic and his very public lockdown rule breaching affair, the Tory MP is set to take part in his sixth Bushtucker challenge tonight.
He has taken part in a variety of tough trials, including the dreaded eating challenge, alongside Boy George.
And last night, in a further twist, he was made ‘Camp Leader’ having been voted by viewers to compete against former England rugby star Mike Tindall for the title.
While millions of Britons have enjoyed and voted to see the former cabinet minister squeal and squirm during the challenges, some are now becoming ‘bored’ of the politician soaking up the screen time.
And Mr Shalit, who is the Chairman of InterTalent, believes it may be time for producers of the hit show to intervene.
But he says all the campmates are currently benefiting from the his casting on this year’s show.
Speaking to MailOnline, Mr Shalit, who also represents campmate Scarlette Douglas, said: ‘This year’s series has indeed come The Matt Hancock Show, due to genius casting by ITV and what the viewers are enjoying.
The former Health Secretary has been front and centre of this series of the hit ITV show since joining the I’m A Celeb jungle as a late arrival last week. Pictured: Matt Hancock takes on the House of Horrors challenge on I’m A Celebrity
Professor Jonathan Shalit, who represents the singer (pictured) and current jungle camp mate, says other stars are ‘suffering from a lack of airtime’ because Matt Hancock is repeatedly being picked to take on Bushtucker trials
Today, ITV presenter Lorraine Kelly expressed how she was becoming ‘fed up’ of the MP’s screen time. Initially speaking to Good Morning Britain’s Susanna Reid and Richard Madeley as a teaser for her own show, she asked: ‘Are we fed up of the Matt Hancock show a little bit?’ ‘Also give other people a wee chance.’
‘Yes, other contestants are suffering from lack of airtime and it is frustrating, but that is the luck of the draw. And in that regard Matt is winning.
‘The producers should step in to try and balance things out. Though the danger will then be less viewers, particularly if the show is then to be seen as being artificially manipulated.’
It comes as ITV’s Lorraine Kelly today appeared to lead the frustration, saying she was ‘fed up’ of the ‘Matt Hancock Show’.
I’m a Celebrity… Get me Souvenir! Matt Hancock novelty merchandise including mugs, shirts, masks and even a bizarre £30 charcoal drawing spring up on eBay
Hundreds of Matt Hancock-inspired items are up for sale on eBay after his latest stint in the I’m A Celebrity jungle.
The auction site is now flooded with Hancock merchandise – particularly items that make fun of the former health secretary.
Among the goods is a £2.95 ‘ready to wear’ Matt Hancock mask, a £9 ‘I love Matt Hancock’ mug and a ‘Hands. Face. A***’ T-shirt showing the MP and his lover Gina Coladangelo in their viral kissing shot in his Whitehall office – for a price of £5.99.
The novelty items don’t stop there – Hancock enthusiasts can also get their hands on a £8.95 ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Him Out of Here’ mug showing the politician jumping from a helicopter with the caption ‘Matt Hancock arrives with no PPE again’.
Also up for grabs are a £9.99 Matt Hancock cushion showing him in his camp kit and a £12.97 cardboard cut-out.
On the more expensive side there is a £30 charcoal drawing which depicts the contestant naked – with only a spider covering his crotch area.
But for those not as keen on the MP, a ‘Tw*t Hancock’ T-shirt is on sale for £12.55.
Others took to Twitter to share their ‘boredom’, with one writing: ‘Could you please focus on the other camp mates, it’s turning into the Matt Hancock Show.’
Another wrote: ‘It’s getting boring now. It’s like the Matt Hancock show. I’m sure others would like to be given a challenge to easer their boredom.
‘Make Hancock exempt from future trials and stop giving him the limelight and attention he’s clearly seeking.’
Another added: ‘I don’t look forward to watching anymore. This show is getting really boring now, very predictable… with Matt doing the bush tucker trials every single day.
‘I’m not watching until there’s a contestant change.’
Last night, the politician took centre stage once again in his fifth Bushtucker trial, The House of Horrors, earning the camp nine out of 11 stars.
He also featured heavily during a segment in which he was stung by a scorpion, before starring in a second trial to win his seat as ‘Camp Leader’.
Hancock, who joined the jungle after his affair with aid Gina Colangelo while Health Secretary, was exposed has also featured in five previous Bushtucker trials.
He also became a key-talking point in the days after his arrival, with camp mates quizzing him on his affair.
He appeared to brush off its impact, saying that he had ‘fallen in love’, and defended his record in the pandemic after criticism of the Government’s struggles to obtain PPE for health and care staff following the worldwide outbreak of Covid.
But viewers have not been the only ones seemingly put-out by Hancock being ever-present in this series of the ITV show – the first back in Australia since the coronavirus pandemic.
Today, ITV presenter Lorraine Kelly expressed how she was becoming ‘fed up’ of the MP’s screen time.
Initially speaking to Good Morning Britain’s Susanna Reid and Richard Madeley as a teaser for her own show, she asked: ‘Are we fed up of the Matt Hancock show a little bit?’
‘Also give other people a wee chance.’
Later, as her own show began, she shook her head over Hancock’s appearance on the series, before repeating she was ‘fed up’ with it being the ‘Matt Hancock show’.
Tonight, the former Health Secretary will be surrounded by snakes while being buried alive as he takes on Deserted Down Under trial.
In a preview for tonight’s episode, the 44-year-old MP faces his sixth consecutive trial in an attempt to win meals for camp.
The first look shows Matt trapped in a coffin underground along with several snakes and bugs, while Ant and Dec explain he has 11minutes to unlock 11 stars.
FIRST LOOK: Matt Hancock is surrounded by snakes while being buried alive as he takes on Deserted Down Under trial in Monday night’s episode of I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here!
Tough: In a preview for tonight’s episode, the former Health Secretary, 44, faces his sixth consecutive trial in an attempt to win meals for camp
Trial: The first look shows Matt trapped in a coffin underground along with several snakes and bugs, while Ant and Dec explain he has 11minutes to unlock 11 stars
The MP has to reach his arms into small holes to search for the keys but seems rather frustrated with the difficult challenge.
He can be heard saying: ‘Oh that’s a snake, I can’t find anything,’ while Dec tells him to feel all around for them.
After the news was delivered by hosts Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, Matt’s campmate Babatunde Aleshe declared: ‘You are the man, you are the man! You’ve done four trials, you got stung by a scorpion and now you’ve got to do this trial!’
Meanwhile, former contestant Olivia Attwood, who was forced to quite this series after a day due to health issues, talked about Hancock’s appearance on the show.
She struggles to watch I’m A Celebrity but did tune in to see Matt Hancock controversially enter the jungle, along with comedian Seann Walsh.
She had no idea the former Health Secretary was going to appear on the programme until she turned her phone back on at Brisbane Airport on her way home. Unlike many, she was impressed by his participation and would have been excited to meet him for ‘some bantz’.
Olivia says: ‘People weren’t expecting him to deal with it with humour, which is what he has done.
‘I would have approached it with humour too. Not that any of what he did was funny but banter would have been the least he deserves, I would have enjoyed that.
‘Despite his obvious flaws he can laugh at himself which is always a redeeming quality. That said, he should have to answer questions.
‘It’s funny to see him slimed and gunked but it isn’t funny if you didn’t get to hold someone’s hand when they died while he was snogging someone in his office.
‘NHS workers are protesting to get paid enough money to survive and he is out earning money in the jungle. That doesn’t seem right, does it?’
I’m A Celebrity 2022: Show bosses ‘planning for Matt Hancock’s eviction within days as favourites for departure are named, with extended episode set to air later this week’
I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! bosses are reportedly preparing for the first jungle eviction this Friday, with Matt Hancock one of the favourites to go.
Loose Women anchor and ITV newsreader Charlene White, 42, and A Place In The Sun presenter Scarlette Douglas, 35, could also be in the running to depart.
Politician Matt, 44, is set to compete in his sixth consecutive Bushtucker Trial, it was announced on Sunday’s episode.
But his days on the show could be numbered, with an extended 95-minute programme said to be planned for ahead of the weekend.
Bags packed? I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! bosses are reportedly preparing for the first jungle eviction this Friday, with Matt Hancock, 44, one of the favourites to go
A TV source told The Mirror: ‘Things can change quickly in camp, especially if someone was to quit, but at the moment we look all set for evictions to begin from Friday.
‘Currently Charlene, Scarlette and Matt are the favourites to go with bookmakers. If there is a second eviction over the weekend it means there would be two chances for viewers to get Hancock out this week.
‘So much has been made of him wanting to look human and how he told the group in camp that he wants our forgiveness. We will find out soon if some people forgive him AND if they are willing to vote to save him and keep his jungle journey going.’
The longer episode on Friday would give an evictee the chance to speak to show hosts Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly as they exit.
Prior to the pandemic, when the series was filmed in Wales, the last three seasons held in Australia saw the first star leave on the Friday of the second week.
ITV declined to comment when contacted by MailOnline.
It comes after programme viewers claimed Ant and Dec were miffed after Matt was voted to do his sixth consecutive Bushtucker Trial on Sunday.
Presenter Ant groaned ‘not again’ after the news was announced, as members of the television audience at home took to Twitter to complain the MP for West Suffolk was doing all the trials since his arrival on Wednesday.
Dec asked: ‘Another one?!’, while Ant declared: ‘Not again!’. and one person wrote on social media: ‘Ant and Dec are fed up of Matt doing the trials.’