I'm a Celebrity 2022 final: Former health secretary Matt Hancock finishes third

Former health secretary Matt Hancock has finished third in the final of ITV reality show I’m a Celebrity...Get me out of Here!

Conservative MP Matt Hancock caused controversy after becoming a contestant on I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!
Conservative MP Matt Hancock caused controversy after becoming a contestant on I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!

Hancock earlier told how he was “so grateful” and spoke of his disbelief at reaching the final.

The 44-year-old former health secretary secured his place after Mike Tindall became the eighth celebrity to be eliminated from the ITV reality show on Saturday.

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The West Suffolk MP surpassed the expectations of many by reaching the final but came behind Euro 2022 winner Jill Scott and Hollyoaks actor Owen Warner in a public vote on Sunday night.

He will now return to face angry colleagues, constituents and questions about his political future in Westminster.

His 18 days in the Australian jungle has seen him suspended from the Conservative parliamentary party and criticised by colleagues including Rishi Sunak.

The Prime Minister said he was “very disappointed” in his colleague’s decision to leave behind his constituents to appear on the reality show more than 10,000 miles away.

Campaigners from the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice group have also criticised his appearance, for a fee of reportedly as much as £400,000.

With the Conservative whip removed, there are questions over whether the currently Independent MP will be able to run again for Parliament.

Tory MPs have been given until December 5 to decide whether they want to stand again, after which the party may choose a new candidate for his safe seat.

Cabinet minister Mark Harper said Mr Hancock should not have gone into the I'm A Celebrity jungle - regardless of how well he did.

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The former chief whip said: "If you are a member of Parliament and Parliament is sitting, I think your job is to be representing your constituents, either in your constituency or in Parliament. I don't think serving members of Parliament should be taking part in reality television programmes.

"However well they do on them, I still think they should be doing the job for which they are paid a good salary - which is representing their constituents."

On whether Mr Hancock should have a chance to return to the Tory fold, he said: "That's a decision for the chief whip and one of the things I respected when I was chief whip was that former chief whips didn't tell me how to do my job, so I'm going to let the chief whip make those decisions."

In the final episode of the 2022 series, the trio had to undertake their final Bushtucker Trials to be in with a chance of winning a starter, main course and dessert of their choice, as well as drinks and treats.

For the first time the celebrities were able to watch one another attempt to complete the challenges, with Scott taking on the first trial, Rat Race.

Hosts Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly explained the rules of the challenge, with Dec saying: “You will lay in this box and release the stars using only your mouth. Each star you get off the thread is another star won. There are five stars up for grabs, which will each be added to the box one at a time.”

Ant added: “First three stars are each worth a starter for you and your campmates tonight. The fourth is your drink and the fifth is the treat of your choice.”

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Warner was up next to take on Bushtucker Bonanza during which he would win main courses for himself and his campmates if he managed to eat a selection of five questionable dishes including a fermented duck egg and a camel’s testicle.

Hancock took on the final trial, Flood Your Face, which saw the MP for West Suffolk have his head in a tank of water, while wearing a snorkel to breathe, for five minutes. Each minute endured secured one star and the chance for Hancock to provide his campmates with desserts of their choosing.

The trial saw Hancock remain in the tank while various critters were added around his face, including eels, yabbies and water spiders.

The trio successfully completed each of their challenges and earned all the available stars.

Each of the campmates were rewarded with their tailor-made three course meals, with Hancock opting for garlic prawns to start, followed by steak and chips with a mozzarella side salad.

For dessert he chose apple pie with salted caramel ice cream and opted for a drink of red wine and blue cheese with crackers as his treat.

Warner, who has been open about struggling with hunger during the competition, chose a calamari starter with a quadruple stack beef burger with cheese and bacon and chips for his main course.

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That was followed by a pizza-sized cookie dough dessert along with a treat of American-style pancakes, crispy bacon and maple syrup, with a Coca-Cola to drink.

Scott opted for prawn cocktail to start, followed by a traditional beef Sunday dinner with gravy and Yorkshire pudding, and had a cheese board for dessert.

She also had Coca-Cola for her drink, and chose a flat white coffee and bar of milk chocolate for her treat.