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

10 November 2022, 12:01

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

By Mayer Nissim

Matt Hancock is maybe the most controversial contestant in the history of I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!

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When it emerged last week that former Health Secretary Matt Hancock would enter the jungle in this year's I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! it certainly raised eyebrows.

It felt obvious that Hancock wouldn't be able to best serve his West Suffolk constituents from the Australian rainforest and with parliament currently still sitting, he immediately had the Conservative Party whip withdrawn.

The Tory party chief whip Simon Hart said: "This is a matter serious enough to warrant suspension of the whip with immediate effect."

The deputy chair of the West Suffolk Conservative Association Andy Drummond said: “I’m looking forward to him eating a kangaroo’s penis. You can quote me on that."

But it was less his current status as an MP and more his failings as Health Secretary during the worst part of the COVID-19 pandemic that has upset many people.

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Hancock has been criticised for the discharging of hospital patients into care homes without testing. It later also emerged he broke his own social distancing guidelines to have an extramarital affair, which led to his resigning from the government.

Speaking on last night's show, fellow contestant Boy George broke down in tears talking about Hancock's presence in the jungle.

"At the beginning of the pandemic my mum was in the hospital and I wasn't allowed to see her and I thought she was going to die" George said.

"I feel like I don't wanna be sitting here like I'm having fun with him."

Former cabinet minister Matt Hancock
Former cabinet minister Matt Hancock. Picture: Getty Images

He added: "It's difficult for me because had something happened, if my mum had gone, I wouldn't be here now. I would've gone if he'd walked in.

"If I'd lost my mum, I'd go. And I feel a little bit selfish because everyone's so nice to him and i'm like, Jesus, what we gonna do? I don't wanna spoil this experience for myself.

"I'm not good at hiding what I feel, especially when it's something so strong."

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Boy George's own presence in the camp has also proved controversial as a result of the popstar's 2008 conviction for the assault and false imprisonment of Norwegian model and male escort Audun Carlsen.

George argued that he was suffering from a drug-induced psychotic episode during the incident. He was sentenced to 15 months in prison for the offences, and released on licence after four months.

Boy George in concert in 2022
Boy George in concert in 2022. Picture: Getty Images

Before this year's show started, Carlsen told The Mirror: "Had I been a woman and he did what he did, he would never have been given the platform. It’s hurtful that big organisations like ITV give him that platform.

"I think giving him this sort of platform and a record fee sends the wrong message to survivors of violence and abuse and is plain wrong."

ITV said of booking George for the show: "This is a historic, spent conviction and George has appeared on major TV networks globally on numerous occasions since over the last decade."