James O'Brien dissects his feelings about Matt Hancock being in I'm A Celeb

10 November 2022, 12:04 | Updated: 10 November 2022, 12:08

"Is there something profoundly upsetting about ITV's decision to put Matt Hancock in the jungle?" James O'Brien asks.

By Abbie Reynolds

Matt Hancock entering the jungle reality show could be "a really bad move by ITV" says James O'Brien as he toys over his emotions about the ex-Health Secretary being in I'm A Celeb.

James O'Brien said Boy George's reaction to Matt Hancock's I'm A Celeb entrance made him realise he had been "struggling" with the question of how the government sets the record straight on action taken during the pandemic.

"Even the other people in the camp are a curious mixture of disgusted and outraged at the fact that he's there", he started.

"...they're all a curious mixture of discombobulated or disgusted or just confused by Matt Hancock's presence there, and he thinks he is on some sort of rehabilitation programme, I felt really uncomfortable about the way he was so obviously being set up for epic national humiliation."

He continued: "Even though he probably deserves it, it's just my character, how do you do it, racists? How do you stay so angry and so hateful?"

James said that acknowledging the levels of scrutiny Mr Hancock would face he was "close to feeling sorry for him".

"Until this happens until Boy George...spoke about his feeling at seeing the former Secretary of State for Health turn up on what is essentially a glorified game show, it really stopped me in my tracks.

"That was the point I thought 'Crikey people really do associate him [Matt Hancock] with the deaths of their loved ones. People really do see Matt Hancock and presumably Boris Johnson's fingerprints all over bereavement and grief'."

Boy George said on the show that if his mother had died during the pandemic he'd rather walk out of the jungle then stay in there as a campmate with Matt Hancock.

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

Mr Hancock's appearance in the Australian jungle has been controversial, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak saying he is "very disappointed" in the former Cabinet minister for not focusing entirely on his constituents.

The new campmate has reportedly received a £400,000 pay cheque for the reality TV show and has since been suspended as a Conservative MP.

Boy George in tears over Matt Hancock entering I'm A Celeb

James went on: "I'm thinking this is a really bad move by ITV, this isn't a game show, this isn't something funny, this isn't light entertainment,

"This is trying to make fun and frivolity out of someone whose reputation and status, whose sole qualification for getting onto the programme in the first place is presiding over something that many people consider to be carnage, avoidable carnage."

James explained his initial feelings had been constructed by the blatant "bullying" Mr Hancock would face but those views have since changed.

Recognising the debate to be had, James concluded: "Just because I felt uncomfortable watching this last night and was profoundly moved by Boy George's tears, Matt Hancock has every right at getting a crack at having a new career...am I making a mountain out of a light entertainment molehill?"

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