Entertainment

Matt Hancock donates 3% of his £320,000 I’m A Celebrity fee

Mr Hancock’s team said he would be donating a portion of his appearance fee to St Nicholas Hospice in Suffolk.
Mr Hancock’s team said he would be donating a portion of his appearance fee to St Nicholas Hospice in Suffolk. Mr Hancock’s team said he would be donating a portion of his appearance fee to St Nicholas Hospice in Suffolk.

Former health secretary Matt Hancock has donated 3% the £320,000 fee he was paid for his controversial appearance on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!

Entering the Australian jungle amid criticism from constituents and colleagues, Mr Hancock’s team said he would be donating a portion of his appearance fee to St Nicholas Hospice in Suffolk.

The register of ministerial interests revealed the MP’s fee for appearing on the ITV reality show was £320,000.

The West Suffolk MP, who lost the Tory whip over the appearance, said he donated £10,000 to the hospice near his constituency and the British Dyslexia Association.

He emerged from the Australian jungle in third place behind actor Owen Warner and England professional footballer Jill Scott, following the show’s conclusion in November.

Coronavirus – Thu May 27 2021
Coronavirus – Thu May 27 2021 The former health secretary was criticised for taking time off to go on the show (Matt Dunham/PA)

Mr Hancock was subjected to numerous punishing and disgusting tasks while taking part, including being made to eat a camel’s penis and being covered in creepy crawlies.

Records on the MPs’ register showed that on December 14 2022, the West Suffolk MP received £320,000 from Lifted Entertainment, ITV Studios, for the appearance, which lasted 30 days – a total of 720 hours.

A spokesman for Mr Hancock said: “As well as raising the profile of his dyslexia campaign in front of 11 million viewers, Matt’s donated £10,000 to St Nicholas Hospice in Suffolk and the British Dyslexia Association, off the back of his appearance on I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here.”

St Nicholas Hospice thanked Mr Hancock for the donation.

“We are grateful for his generosity, and his gift will be used to help fund the care and support we provide,” a statement said.

Mr Hancock’s appearance on the ITV show was controversial and his decision prompted criticism from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and other top Tories, as well as mockery from some fellow MPs.

More than 1,000 complaints were made to broadcasting watchdog Ofcom over his participation.

While in the jungle he also received a grilling from his campmates, including Culture Club singer Boy George and ITV broadcaster Charlene White, over his behaviour during the pandemic.

Ahead of entering the jungle Mr Hancock said he went on I’m A Celebrity to “show what I am like as a person” as well as raising awareness of dyslexia.

The register also showed that he had been paid £48,000 for an interview and the serialisation of his book, Pandemic Diaries, in the Daily Mail and Mail On Sunday newspapers.

Mr Hancock resigned as health secretary for breaking social distancing guidance by kissing and embracing an aide in his office.

After leaving I’m A Celebrity…, Mr Hancock announced that he would not be standing for the Conservatives at the next general election.

He said that he was “incredibly proud” of the party’s achievements in government but told Mr Sunak that he had discovered new ways of connecting with the public and urged his party to “reconnect” with people.

It was previously revealed that Mr Hancock had also earned £45,000 for taking part in Channel 4’s Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins.

A previous register entry revealed he spent 80 hours filming the programme while Parliament was in recess between September 24 and October 8, shortly before heading to Australia.

His appearance on the Channel 4 show is expected to air later this year.