‘Grotesque’: Ant & Dec slammed for sniggering with Matt Hancock on I’m a Celebrity... Get Me out of Here!

You won’t normally hear a bad word said about the Geordie I’m a Celeb hosts, but many were unconvinced about how the arrival of Matt Hancock on the show was handled.

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Usually adored Geordie duo Ant & Dec came under fire as they presented I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! last night as swarms of viewers took to social media questioning their handling of the controversial Matt Hancock arrival.

The former Health Secretary, who left his role for breaking his own Covid-19 guidelines by having an extramarital affair with Gina Coladangelo, entered the jungle on Wednesday evening in what is surely the show's worst-kept secret ever. Hancock is still working as an MP for his constituency in West Suffolk and many questioned whether his time would not be better off dedicated towards his constituents - the MP had the party whip suspended last week.

On his first episode, Hancock took part in his first trial alongside comedian Seann Walsh before arriving in the main camp to mixed reactions from campmates such as Loose Women star Charlene Wright, singer Boy Geordie and rugby star Mike Tindall.

However, attention online seemed to focus more on how hosts Ant & Dec were reacting to having Hancock on the show, rather than the celebrities competing in the hit series. I'm a Celeb viewers took to Twitter to say that the hosts' sniggering and egging on of the MP "felt wrong" and others called it "rock bottom" for the show.

One Twitter user said: "What a huge display of collective bad judgement - ITV, Ant & Dec, Hancock - greed, disrespect & entitlement wrapped up in puerile schoolboy banter. #ImACelebrity"

Another wrote: "I think Ant & Dec & the development team behind @imacelebrity have completely misread the room this year in allowing Hancock on. Too soon, just not ok, grotesque."

One other viewer shared: "Kids had #ImACeleb on last night. 5 mins of Ant & Dec sniggering at Hancock and I couldn’t stomach it. Is being responsible for killing vulnerable people in care homes funny? Plus, nurses striking while he gets 400K to make a prick of himself in the jungle is not a look."

There were some I'm a Celeb fans who took a more positive approach to how the Geordie pair were dealing with Hancock. One viewer admitted that "Matt Hancock is going to provide Ant & Dec with so much material" whilst another labelled the whole fracas "peak British television".

One Twitter user added: "Not going to lie, seeing Matt Hancock in the jungle is a bit weird... Love Ant & Dec making jokes about him they're gonna be merciless."

Ant & Dec were questioned for giggling at Matt Hancock’s I’m a Celeb appearance (Image: ITV)Ant & Dec were questioned for giggling at Matt Hancock’s I’m a Celeb appearance (Image: ITV)
Ant & Dec were questioned for giggling at Matt Hancock’s I’m a Celeb appearance (Image: ITV)

Hancock provided plenty of talking moments on his first day in the jungle, starting with a shaky rendition of Ed Sheeran hit 'Perfect', calling Chris Moyles 'Greg' multiple times for a spy-themed challenge and sweating as campmates asked just what he was doing in the jungle.

Last week, the BBC has reported that sources close to the former Health Secretary said: “Matt doesn’t expect to serve in government again, so it’s an incredible opportunity for him to engage with the 12 million Brits who tune in every single night. Matt has told the whips in Parliament and he will use his time in the jungle to promote his dyslexia campaign.”

I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! continues tonight at 9 pm on ITV1.