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Ant and Dec plead ‘no more politicians’ in TV jungle

The call for a break comes as Nigel Farage appears Down Under this year – following Matt Hancock.

Image source, ITV/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! hosts Ant and Dec have suggested the ITV show takes a break from putting politicians in the jungle.

Asked on Instagram whether Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was a potential future campmate, Dec said: “I think we do a year without any politicians.”

“Agreed, agreed, agreed,” Ant responded, according to the Daily Mail.

Former MEP Nigel Farage is on this year’s show, while ex-health secretary Matt Hancock appeared last year.

Asked about the comments from the presenting duo, ITV declined to comment.

The pair – real names Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly – made the comments during an Instagram livestream with fans on Saturday, the Mail reported.

Farage is the latest political figure to star on the show, following in the footsteps of Hancock last year.

Both have brushed with controversy by appearing in the jungle.

Nigel Farage, who is earning £1.5m for taking part, entered the jungle claiming he is “a hero” to some people and “an absolute villain” to millions of others.

“In the jungle you’re going to find the real me,” the former Ukip and Brexit Party leader promised viewers.

His fellow campmates have taken the opportunity to question his political beliefs on multiple occasions.

Image source, ITV/Shutterstock

Early on in the series, YouTube star and influencer Nella Rose accused him of being anti-immigration, adding that the former politician wanted people like her “gone” from the UK.

“Anti-immigrant, right? No, no, all I’ve said is we cannot go on with the numbers coming to Britain that are coming,” Farage responded.

He was also criticised by another contestant, First Dates star Fred Sirieix, about a poster he used in his campaign for the UK to leave the European Union during the 2016 referendum.

Sirieix said Farage was “demonising migrants” and that it was “shameful”.

Farage replied: “In your view it was, but it wasn’t.”

Meanwhile, Hancock’s appearance on I’m a Celeb last year caused a public outcry.

He was suspended as a Conservative MP as party managers disagreed with his decision to take part in a reality TV show while Parliament was sitting.

Hancock – who came third in the show and made it to the jungle final – defended his decision to leave his constituents behind, saying he wanted to raise awareness of dyslexia and show that politicians are human beings.

He was paid £320,000 for taking part, according to the register of MPs’ financial interests.

Other political figures who’ve had stints in the jungle include Robert Kilroy-Silk in 2008, Nadine Dorries in 2012, Edwina Currie in 2014, and Kezia Dugdale and Stanley Johnson in 2017.

This year’s series has so far attracted a lower audience than last year’s.

While the previous series’ launch episode attracted an overall audience of nearly 12 million, this year’s launch has only been watched by seven million in its first week.

BBC News has contacted Ant & Dec and Nigel Farage’s spokesperson for comment.

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