Does Matt Hancock have trench foot? What is condition, why he might be exempt from I’m a Celebrity challenges

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The Tory MP caused controversy by announcing his participation in the ITV reality gameshow but he may face trouble in some bushtucker trials

Matt Hancock is set to make his ‘I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here’ debut this evening, but viewers with plans to vote for the MP to take part in bushtucker trials may be disappointed. The former Health Secretary caused controversy after announcing his intention to enter the show.

Hancock was criticised by members of the public and politicians from across the political spectrum, including Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Many have questioned Hancock’s commitment to his role as an MP, as he jets off to the Australian while parliament remains in term.

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The politician became the first name on top of many viewer’s lists to face bucktucker trials upon his announcement. However, Hancock - who is reportedly earning £400,000 from the show - may have a reason for why he can’t take part in some challenges.

He is reportedly suffering from trench foot. It comes after filming a seperate reality television show last month.

But what is trench foot - and why might it exemp Hancock from trials? Here’s everything you need to know about the situation.

Does Matt Hancock have trench foot?

Hancock reportedly picked the ailment up while filming another reality television show, SAS: Who Dares Wins. He is said to have filmed with the show last month, alongside reported castmates such as Gareth Gates and TOWIE alum James Argent.

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Channel 4 has yet to confirm the cast for the next series. However, a source told The Sun that the MP had picked up a nasty case of trench foot, alongside his other castmates. They said: “When he was filming SAS Who Dares Wins in October, Matt got trench foot – in fact, a lot of the cast did.”

Matt Hancock may miss out on some bushtucker trials during his time in the jungle as he is reportedly suffering from trench foot. (Credit: ITV)Matt Hancock may miss out on some bushtucker trials during his time in the jungle as he is reportedly suffering from trench foot. (Credit: ITV)
Matt Hancock may miss out on some bushtucker trials during his time in the jungle as he is reportedly suffering from trench foot. (Credit: ITV) | ITV

What is trench foot?

Trench foot is an ailment which has historically affected soldiers on the battlefield. It manifests in numbness and pain of the foot, as well as redness and swelling.

It normally develops blood flow to the foot is restricted as a result of a combination of cold temperatures and moisture. This can occur if a person is in a cold or wet environment for a prolonged period of time.

While it is often thought of as an ailment related to the first and second World Wars, recent reports suggest it is still prevalent within the British Armed Forces. Trench foot is now often referred to as Freezing Cold Injury (FCI) or Non-Freezing Cold Injury (NFCI).

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Why would Matt Hancock be exempt from challenges?

Trench foot can cause issues for those afflicted with the ailment, with the healing period lasting around six months. People with trench foot are often instructed by medical professionals to avoid water if possible and any swimming activities while it heals.

This is to not aggravate the injury any further and prevent any worsening of symptoms. Hancock may be facing a tough time in the jungle then…

Many of the challenges on ‘I’m A Celebrity…’ involve water-based tasks. For example, Chris Moyles and Boy George were both subjected to a recent task in which they were submerged in water while they had to search for stars in the closed chamber.

If reports are correct, Hancock may be exempt from taking part in any challenges involving water due to his trench foot injury. Exemptions from tasks are actually somewhat commonplace on the reality show, with contestants such as Sue Cleaver, Boy George and Mike Tindall all being ineligible for a recent task involving heights.

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