Ofcom Responds After Matt Hancock's I'm A Celebrity Stint Sparks More Than 1,000 Complaints

The former health secretary's arrival in the jungle last week was met with a widespread backlash.
Matt Hancock taking part in a Bushtucker Trial last week
Matt Hancock taking part in a Bushtucker Trial last week

Ofcom has issued a response after receiving upwards of 1,000 complaints about Matt Hancock’s participation in this year’s series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!.

Earlier this month, news that the sitting MP and former health secretary was due to enter the I’m A Celebrity jungle as a late arrival was met with widespread backlash, and ultimately led to his suspension from the Conservative party.

It’s now been revealed that TV watchdog has received 1,100 complaints about Hancock’s involvement in the show in the last week, which they’ve addressed on their website.

“The majority of complainants – around 1,100 - objected to Matt Hancock’s presence in the jungle,” they said, noting that an additional 627 “expressed concerns about how he was being treated by the other contestants”.

“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,” the media regulator added.

“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.”

Since entering the jungle last week, Hancock was chosen by the public to take part in all but one Bushtucker Trial, with prime minister Rishi Sunak having been vocal in his criticism about the former Tory MP taking part in I’m A Celebrity.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that a Covid bereavement organisation had flown a banner with a message berating Hancock over the jungle in a protest against his involvement.

The Covid-19 Bereaved Families For Justice group previously said: “The fact that he is trying to cash in on his terrible legacy, rather than showing some humility or seeking to reflect on the appalling consequences of his time in government says it all about the sort of person he is.

“Our families were ripped apart by Matt Hancock’s actions, and turning on the TV to see him being paraded around as a joke is sickening [...] ITV should do the decent thing and remove him from the programme.”

I’m A Celebrity airs nightly at 9pm on ITV1.


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