I’m A Celebrity hit with 2,000 Ofcom complaints over Matt Hancock’s arrival
I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here has been hit with nearly 2,000 Ofcom complaints amid Matt Hancock’s arrival.
The ITV show has returned for its new series, the first in Australia for three years following the coronavirus pandemic. Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly have returned to host the show as it is back Down Under with 12 famous faces.
The show was hit by a surprise early exit, when Olivia Attwood was forced to quit the show after bosses were concerned during some routine medical tests, with Seann Walsh and Matt Hancock being brought in early as the ‘late arrivals’.
The show has been on for just over a week now, and it has been hit with 1968 Ofcom complaints so far as fans fume over Mr Hancock’s arrival amongst other things.
Ofcom have confirmed that the majority of complainants – around 1,100 – were objecting to Mr Hancock being in the jungle, whilst other viewers shared their concerns about how he was being treated by the other campmates.
It’s worth being aware that under our rules, in principle – and taking into account freedom of expression – there’s no ban on any particular person taking part in programmes. However, if the mere presence of a person is likely to cause offence, we would expect broadcasters to take steps to mitigate or justify that offence. How they do that editorially, is up to them.
Many angry viewers have spoken out to blast Mr Hancock’s decision to join the show, whilst he also had the Tory whip suspended when it was revealed he would heading out to Australia.
Mr Hancock had previously defended his decision to go on the programme particularly whilst parliament was not in recess.
In a letter to constituents who complained about his jungle stint, Mr Hancock suggested he was fulfilling his duties by fleeing to the jungle as he responded to those concerned about his decision to head on the show.
“While I fully understand your concerns and know there are those who don’t think I should be going on the popular TV show, I wanted to respond to you at the earliest possible opportunity to explain why I have decided to go into the jungle,” he wrote.
“There are many ways to do the job of being an MP… Whether I’m in camp for one day or three weeks, there are very few places people will be able to see a politician as they really are and where politicians can speak candidly to the nation.”
In a pre-show interview, he also admitted he would be given a number of trials, adding: “I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up doing some of the trials. I am hoping I can win some stars for the camp, but most of all I am looking forward to being myself.”
ITV bosses also defended their decision to book Mr Hancock for the show.
Executive producer Olly Nash told The Mirror: “It’s always an individual’s choice to come into camp, isn’t it? And at any point, any celebrity can say I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here. So that’s the only thing really to add. I think,” he said, “ Nobody has to do the show in the same way and nobody has to stay in camp and nobody has to do a trial. So it’s up to any celebrity to make that choice.”