No doubt the MP Matt Hancock on I’m a Celebrity... will go the way of Ann Widdecombe, Nadine Dorries, George Galloway and Kezia Dugdale and all the other politicians who’ve attempted to boost their popularity, oh and taken the fee, on reality TV.
It’s maybe no coincidence that the only politician to make a successful crossover to reality TV was no longer a serving MP. When Ed Balls dad danced his way into the nation’s living rooms on Strictly and served up banana bread and chocolate mousse on Celebrity Best Home Cook he was no longer expected to be in the House of Westminster representing and working on behalf of his constituents - that’s his wife’s job and probably the reason he’d got all of the family cooking practice in.
Shouldn’t MPs be doing the job they’re paid to do? At £84,144, plus allowances and expenses, supposedly linked to the pay of the people they represent. Tell that to a nurse struggling with the cost of living crisis.
MPs are voted in by electors worried about recession, war, schools, the NHS, climate change and a host of things way more pressing than whether they’re ‘brave’ enough to eat an unfortunate, deceased kangaroo’s penis or lunge around alarmingly in Spandex and sequins.
Especially since over the past year parliament has had more recesses than the serving MP for Uxbridge has had holidays since he left Number 10, and voters are regularly fobbed off with “wait and see” (remember the Gray report?) and “we don’t know yet”. Really?
Not that I don’t watch reality TV. I’m a sucker for it: Strictly, Bake Off, SAS (Team Calum here, anyone that could write a book like Second Best is already braver than a beefcake in battledress). I even watch Married at First Sight with Youngest Child on catchup, despite her fast forwarding through the “boring” bits.
“If I have to watch this shot of them walking along that avenue of trees staring at branches once more…” she says, searching for the bitchfests when they fall out. As a connoisseur of the medium, she opines that real people are way more interesting than slebs and the first series is always best, “before people start playing the game”.
She’s right. And we’ve already seen more than enough of Matt Hancock’s performance in front of a camera.