ITV bosses fear cast of hit show will be met with boos at NTAs amid backlash

ITV bosses are worried that if I’m A Celebrity wins an NTA the moment will be overshadowed by a torrent of boos for Matt Hancock.

The former Health Secretary resigned in 2021 after breaking his own lockdown social distancing rules by getting caught in a clinch with his then aide and now girlfriend, Gina Coladangelo.


ITV fear that boos for Matt Hancock will overshadow a potential win for I’m A Celebrity wins at the NTAsCredit: Getty

Matt, 44, has been invited to the ceremony at London’s 02 Arena with other campmates and has confirmed he will be there.

I’m A Celebrity is likely to win the Bruce Forysth Entertainment Award, and it is traditional for the show’s most recent campmates to appear on stage to collect the prize.

A TV insider said: “This is a very real headache for ITV because the jungle has won this particular accolade for the past four years and last year’s series was one of the most popular in the show’s history.

“Bosses see this win as proof of I’m A Celebrity’s ongoing popularity but also a reflection of the fact that it returned to form in 2022 after Covid forced it to be filmed in the UK rather than Australia for two years.

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“They don’t want that glorious moment on stage to be affected by anything negative, but they also know the strength of feeling against Matt.

“They realise there’s not a great deal they can do to control the crowd of up to 20,000 people.

“Anyone who saw I’m A Celebrity last year and the reaction he sparked among campmates will see that he still has the power to divide more than two years after he was forced to quit Cabinet.”

When Matt initially arrived in the jungle last autumn there was uproar among viewers and his fellow celebrities, particularly singer Boy George.

Matt finished in third place behind Hollyoaks hunk Owen Warner and retired England Lioness Jill Scott.

The series created a buzz and enjoyed ratings it had not seen in years, so ITV has high hopes it will triumph in the Entertainment category this year.

But I’m A Celebrity is facing intense competition from Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, The Masked Singer and Gogglebox, which have also proved hugely popular with viewers.

ITV declined to comment.

Matt, 44, has been invited to the ceremony at London’s 02 Arena


Matt, 44, has been invited to the ceremony at London’s 02 ArenaCredit: Rex

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