As Matt Hancock signs up for I'm a Celebrity – MPs' most bizarre reality TV stints… including cringe First Dates guest | The Sun

IF you're looking to stand out from the staid Westminster crowd, there's one sure way to do it – sign up for a reality show,

At least, that's what a legion of politicians have decided to do over the years, with Matt Hancock the latest to jump on board the TV ship.

We exclusively revealed that the former Health Secretary is heading to Australia for this year's series of I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

The politician, who had to resign after The Sun exposed him for breaking his own lockdown rules by having an affair in the office, will be the 12th star to go into the jungle.

But just how well has appearing on reality TV worked out for politicians in the past?

Penny Mordaunt – Splash

The Leader of the House of Commons made a splash when she opted to show off her swimsuit on national TV.


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The 49-year-old MP, who recently threw her hat into the Conservative leadership race, appeared on the short-lived ITV2 series Splash! in 2014.

The aim of the contest was to teach celebrities how to dive like a professional under the watchful eye of Olympian Tom Daley.

Viewers were left in hysterics when she belly-flopped into the pool when trying to execute a perfect entrance into the water.

Penny was competing against celebrities like Gemma Collins, Perri Kiely, and Dan Osborne, and was the 9th person to be eliminated from the competition.

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Michael Fabricant – First Dates

Michael made a cringeworthy TV appearance on First Dates in the hopes of finding loveCredit: Channel 4

In a particularly unusual appearance, Conservative MP Michael Fabricant chose to go on Channel 4's Celebrity First Dates.

He was quickly offended after his date joked that he had "borrowed Boris Johnson's hair" for the night.

Things got worse when she told him to ditch his "wig", and led the 72-year-old to brand his date "aggressive and unpleasant".

Michael also used the Channel 4 programme to announce he was bisexual, but claimed that he would "really prefer a woman".

His appearance led to Theresa May joking in the house that she wasn't sure if he was the "celebrity or the date".

Sadly, Michael didn't find love on the show.

Lembit Opik – I'm A Celeb 

In 2010 former MP Lembit Opik headed into the jungle in a bid to boost his profile after losing his seat in Parliament.

The ex-Liberal Democrat politician, 57, wasn't a hit with fellow campmates, who didn't appreciate his sense of humour.

After the show fellow contestant, Nigel Havers told how Lembit had got on his "last nerve" and said he wanted to "kill him".

During his stint, Lembit was famously bitten by a snake while trying to succeed in an immunity trial during his time in jungle jail.

He only lasted 14 days in the jungle, but still has the bite marks to prove it.

Nadine Dorries – I'm A Celeb

In 2012 Nadine decided to head into the jungle while the house was in session – and as a result, had the Conservative whip removed.

She was highly criticised for going to take part in the programme instead of doing her job as an MP.

Before going in, she told The Sun: "I'm doing the show because 16 million people watch it. If people are watching I'm A Celebrity, that is where MPs should be going. I'm not going in there to upset people, but I have opinions."

But it was a swift exit for the politician, 65, who was made to eat an ostrich anus, a camel toe, and a baked spider during the 12 days she spent there.

She appeared alongside The Pussycat Dolls singer Ashley Roberts, boxer David Haye and Made in Chelsea’s Hugo Taylor.

Nadine was later suspended from Parliament for not declaring the fees she received for appearing on the show, before being reinstated in May, 2013.

George Galloway – Celebrity Big Brother

The former MP left viewers baffled by his antics in the Big Brother House.

The 68-year-old appeared on the show in 2006 alongside Rula Lenska, Michael Barrymore and Jodie Marsh.

Fans were shocked when the politician pretended to be a moggie after asking housemate Rula, "Now would you like me to be a cat?"

The strange scene saw him getting down on all fours, purring, and licking milk out of the cupped hands of Rula.

He told Davina McCall after the show that he was "glad" he'd done the show, but less so after seeing press cuttings.

Ann Widdecombe – Strictly Come Dancing

Straight-talking Ann Widdecombe, 75, headed onto the dance show in 2010 and was paired with Anton Du Beke.

Surprisingly, she proved a hit with fans and lasted ten weeks on the BBC1 series.

Viewers were treated to weeks of the politicians being twirled around the dance floor as she failed to master any dancing skills.

Ann even returned in 2018 for the Christmas special where it seemed she was still hopelessly out of touch with the dancefloor.

She has been dubbed one of the worst dancers to ever be in Strictly Come Dancing… but was hailed for her hilarious routines.

Edwina Currie – I'm A Celebrity

Controversial MP Edwina Currie caused quite a stir during her time in the jungle in 2014.

She quickly got into arguments with other contestants, including Kendra Wilkinson who told her to "f*** off".

The 76-year-old's bullish persona appeared to go down well with viewers and she came fourth place in her series.

The Labour politician's stint in the Australian bush came after appearances on Strictly Come Dancing and Come Dine With Me.

Edwina was forced to resign from the Cabinet in 1988 over a controversy about salmonella in eggs.

Ed Balls – Strictly Come Dancing

Former shadow chancellor Ed Balls won legions of fans for his hilariously bad routines on the competition.

Fans were thrilled when he and his partner Katya Jones danced to the viral hit Gangnam Style.

His amusing routines kept him in the show for ten weeks and have been unforgettable for Strictly Come Dancing fans ever since.

Since the show, he's admitted that he would have fallen foul of the infamous curse if he'd been a bit younger.

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He said: "There is definitely a Strictly curse, year after year. Luckily there’s an age cut-off and I was well above the age.

"Yvette's view was always when she got asked about it ‘In his dreams’. I'm afraid that's where it was. Katya's dad and I were the same age."

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