Matt Hancock has enraged I’m a Celebrity fans after making a plea for “forgiveness” over his lockdown breaching affair which caused him to resign as health secretary.
The Tory MP, 44, was forced to quit in June 2021 after breaking Covid social distancing rules after footage showed him kissing aide Gina Coladangelo in his ministerial office. The West Suffolk MP admitted there was “no excuse” when grilled about the incident on I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here on Thursday (10 November).
Hancock admitted he made a “mistake” and regrets the actions that led to his resignation as health secretary after partaking in the first eating trial of the I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! series. The episode aired on ITV on Friday (11 November).
The West Suffolk MP faced camel’s penis, sheep’s vagina and cow’s anus in La Cucaracha Cafe, meaning The Cockroach Cafe in English, with Culture Club’s Boy George to bring back 11 stars for camp. The public voted for the pair to take part in the Bushtucker trial, marking Hancock’s third consecutive challenge since arriving in camp on Wednesday with comedian Seann Walsh.
I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here is airing nightly on ITV. The next episode will air at 9pm tonight (11 November).
What did Hancock say on I’m a Celeb last night?
After the challenge, Hancock was questioned by his campmates about breaking coronavirus social distancing rules during the pandemic by having an affair in his ministerial office with aide Gina Coladangelo. Hancock, who resigned as health secretary in June 2021, said: “It was a mistake, because I fell in love with somebody. That’s why I apologised for it.”
TV presenter and property expert Scarlette Douglas said: “It’s that kind of, you just do it and then afterwards it’s like, ‘Oh I’m sorry, I’m sorry’.” Hancock replied: “No, because it’s bigger than that.”
Loose Women star Charlene White said: “It’s massively bigger than that. My aunt died from Covid in the first wave. So, we couldn’t go to the hospital to go and visit her. I had to sit by myself in the church at her funeral. We couldn’t hug each other because we were following guidance.
“And I get that you fell in love, I understand all of those things, but sorry for a lot of families like mine doesn’t really cut it.” Hancock replied: “Yeah. Well, there you go. That’s one of the reasons that I regret it as much as I do.”
Speaking to White, he added: “Do you know what it is actually, what I’m really looking for is a bit of forgiveness, that’s what I’m really looking for.” Douglas said: “I nearly cried then.”
Hancock replied: “So did I. We all make mistakes. I made a pretty big one.” The exchange prompted both White and Cleaver to give him a hug, to which the actress added: “That took balls Matt to say that.”
Hancock later told the Bush Telegraph that his campmates asked questions that the public have got and “it’s only respectful to just give completely straight and truthful answers”. He added: “I wasn’t really expecting it, but it did get very emotional.”
Fans reacted furiously on social media over his plea for forgiveness.
Hancock explains how his life has changed after his resignation
Later, speaking to comedian Babatunde Aleshe, Hancock discussed how his life had changed after his affair became public.
“It was really tough,” he said. “I messed up and I fessed up. I resigned and it’s no excuse but I fell in love, right? That also had a lot of other consequences obviously.”
Referring to the CCTV footage, Aleshe responded, You didn’t just ‘fell in love’ you were grabbing booty bruv”, to which Hancock responded “oh give over”. Asked whether he was still with Ms Coladangelo, he replied: “With Gina? Yeah very much so, yeah, totally. That’ll be the best thing about being kicked out, seeing her on the bridge.”
Hancock takes part in Bushtucker trial
Sitting opposite each other at a Mexican-themed jungle cafe while a Mariachi band played, Hancock first faced a fish-eye taco which he said tasted “very fishy,” while Boy George ate sticky beans. Hancock had to drink an entire glass of blended meal worms accompanied with a witchetty grub garnish – which he described as “absolutely disgusting” branding the texture “horrible.”
Meanwhile Boy George, who is being allowed to eat vegetarian options during the tasks, compared eating a fermented duck egg to his fellow campmate Coronation Street star Sue Cleaver’s fart – which was “like charcoal.” The Tory MP said eating the tip of a camel’s penis was “soft and crunchy,” and described the thought of eating a sheep’s vagina as “disgusting”.
After being served a cow’s anus, he added: “The texture’s terrible and all the time you’re thinking about what you’re eating. I don’t recommend it as a main course.” Co-host Ant McPartlin joked: “We’ll take it off the menu, thank you for that.”
Musician Boy George also gagged loudly as he tackled a plate of fermented plums, adding: “It tastes like perfume.” For the final star, Hancock had to a eat cockroaches and blended cockroach dip, while Boy George faced blended and fermented seaweed – earning the pair a full house of stars.