Matt Hancock was ‘hung out to dry’ on I’m a Celebrity, says Iain Dale

11 November 2022, 12:48 | Updated: 11 November 2022, 13:52

'I just thought he was being hung out to dry on this programme.'

By Phoebe Dampare Osei

Iain Dale said he suspects the producers briefed the campmates to ask the former Health Secretary some questions they would only ask because he is a politician.

Iain Dale said he feels Matt Hancock has been “hung out to dry” on I'm a Celebrity, adding that the way he was questioned by campmates is “unedifying”.

“I quite like watching reality TV programmes”, he began. “You don’t have to think about very much. They can be quite entertaining, they can be quite addictive.

“But one thing I’ve noticed in recent years is they've become, sometimes, incredibly cruel. I’m not thinking about programmes like Strictly…but certainly I’m a Celebrity - I think I saw the worst side of reality TV last night.”

He went on: “I watched it because Matt Hancock was going into the jungle and I wanted to see the consequences of that.”

“It was pretty unedifying, not from his part. I actually think he did rather well, I think he surprised, certainly the comedian that he went in with, Seann Walsh. I think he expected to hate him and actually they got on quite well.”

Read more: James O’Brien caller: 'Hancock on I’m a Celebrity brings back memories of my dying mother'

Iain continued: “But when he got into the camp it seemed to me that the producers had briefed all of the campmates to ask him questions that he would never have been asked if he’d been anything other than a politician.”

His monologue comes amid an ongoing COVID-19 Inquiry into the UK’s response to the virus and its impact on the country.

Matt Hancock was Health Secretary at the time, and resigned after breaching his own government guidelines on social distancing when he was caught cheating.

He was suspended for agreeing to go on the show, with Conservative Chief Whip Simon Hart describing his actions as “serious”.

“I just found it a bit unedifying”, Iain continued. “And then you have the public vote making him do the Bushtucker trial, well he’d already done one and absolutely sailed through it- showed no fear no trepidation at all.”

He went on: “I suspect that’s what is going to happen each night that he gets voted to do these things”, he said.

Iain added that the Northern Ireland Secretary, Chris Heaton-Harris "revealed that even Parliamentarians are trying to inflict misery on the former Health Secretary".

Iain said: “I get that a lot of people think he shouldn’t have gone into the jungle being a serving MP…that’s a perfectly reasonable point of view...I just thought he was being hung out to dry on this programme last night."

He reminded this audience that there have been “quite a few incidents in recent years where people have been horrible to celebrities, and there’ve been some tragic consequences as a result of that”.

Read more: 'Hundreds of MPs' have downloaded I'm A Celeb app to force Matt Hancock to face nightmare trials every day

“Sometimes you do have to wonder whether these things are being produced in the way that they ought to be. I say no more than that”, he concluded.

People were quick to share their opinions on Twitter.