Carol Vorderman Sets The Record Straight Over Claims She 'Cosied Up' To Matt Hancock At Cheltenham Festival

"What are you meant to do, you can’t call him a… in the royal box, can you?" the Countdown host said.
Carol Vorderman at Cheltenham Races earlier this week
Carol Vorderman at Cheltenham Races earlier this week
Max Mumby/Indigo via Getty Images

Carol Vorderman has set the record straight over claims she could be seen “cosying up” to Matt Hancock at Cheltenham Races earlier this week.

The Maths aficionado is best known for her presenting work on shows like Countdown and Loose Women – but in recent months has been making headlines for very different reasons, by speaking out against the Conservative government on social media.

She also criticised Hancock during his stint on I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here! last year, so some fans were surprised to see pictures of Carol engaging in conversation with him at Cheltenham Races.

However, in a video posted on Twitter, she’s branded the whole situation a “set-up”.

“We just looked online and there’s a whole bloomin’ thing in the Daily Mail about how I’ve been cosying up to Matt Hancock at the races!” she began, putting particular emphasis on that final syllable, before pulling an incredulous face.

Clarifying her meeting with Hancock, Vorders explained that she’s a regular guest at Cheltenham Races, and joined some friends in the royal box during her recent visit.

She and her pal Jules then headed out onto the terrace to watch Cheltenham staple Honeysuckle’s final race before retirement.

“We’re there [with] maybe three other people, it’s a big terrace,” she explained.

“And we’re looking out at the course – [and we had a] tap on the shoulder, ‘hello, my name’s Gina [Coladangelo, Hancock’s partner]’. And then I turn around, and it’s Matt Hancock – ‘hello my name’s Matt’.

“I went, ‘oh hello, I’m Carol, this is my friend Jules’. What are you meant to do, you can’t call him a… in the royal box, can you?

“So I said, ‘are you into racing?’, and she said, ‘not particularly, but Matt is, because his constituency is in Newmarket and he’s even ridden in a race’. Didn’t know that! So, I said, ‘that’s really interesting, we want to watch this race’.”

Matt Hancock
Matt Hancock
Max Mumby/Indigo via Getty Images

Carol continued: “So, we turned around, to watch the course, and then he said, ‘oh by the way, thank you’ – so I turned around, to be civil – ‘for everything you do with your son about enlightening people about dyslexic, I am dyslexic, la la la la’. And I said, ‘it’s very important to me as a mother of a child who had special educational needs that people are aware that you can become very successful… it takes them longer to get to where they need to be, that’s all’.

“And at that point I said, ‘by the way, I really want to watch this race’, turned around, and watched the race. Jules and I never spoke another word [to them] again. That’s it! Talk about a bloody set-up! Honestly!”

Carol added: “I mean, what are you meant to do? I was brought up to be polite, just as I am to 500, 600 people who ask for selfies every day at Cheltenham. That’s how I was brought up. Make of that what you will. It just made me laugh.”

Responding to another report from the day, she joked: “Also, by the way, apparently I’m now having an affair with Gareth Gates. Really?”

Cheltenham Races is just one of several public appearances Hancock has made in recent history, previously popping up on the red carpet at Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball, the studio audience of Dancing On Ice and, of course, in the I’m A Celebrity jungle.

The West Suffolk MP was suspended from the Conservative party for taking part in I’m A Celebrity, and has since insisted he will not stand for re-election in the future.

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