'I'm A Celebrity' 2022: Ant and Dec welcome Matt Hancock to jungle

Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly return to host I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here 2022. (ITV)
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Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly couldn't resist mentioning Matt Hancock as they began the new series of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!

The former Health Secretary is entering the camp late as a 'surprise' celebrity guest, but has already given an interview to The Sun newspaper about his decision to sign up to the ITV show while still a serving MP.

As hosts Ant and Dec launched the new series of the jungle reality show in Australia on Sunday night, viewers were introduced to the first 10 celebrity contestants.

Read more: Full list of 'I'm a Celebrity' 2022 contestants

Opening the show Donnelly said: "We'll be rolling out the welcome Matt for them very soon," and gave an exaggerated wink to camera.

While the show introduced former Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles, Loose Women’s Charlene White, Love Island's Olivia Attwood, comedian Babatunde Aleshe, and Lioness footballer Jill Scott, viewers were all talking about the absent MP for West Suffolk.

Mike tweeted: "Any one else thinking ... "Where's #MattHancock when you need him?" #ImACeleb"

Lucy shared the opinion of many when she said: "Thinking about all the trials we can all vote Matt Hancock in for #ImACeleb"

Tony commented: "Just downloaded the im a celeb app time to vote for matt hancock to do every task. [sic]"

And like many other viewers anticipating the other contestants' reaction to the former Cabinet Minister's arrival Rosie tweeted: "Waiting for Matt Hancock to come in the jungle just to see everyone’s reactions #ImACeleb."

Kate posted: "I mean, it's going to be weeks of ritual humiliation for Matt Hancock, so what's not to like?"

Matt Hancock MP pictured giving media interviews on College Green, Westminster, after prime minister Boris Johnson announced his resignation. Picture date: Thursday July 7, 2022. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/Empics
Matt Hancock has not yet appeared on I'm A Celebrity but he was still a big talking point. (PA)

Hancock will join the camp later in the week, along with comedian Seann Walsh, best known for being pictured kissing his married professional dance partner Katya Jones while he was competing in Strictly Come Dancing in 2018.

The former Health Secretary - who was forced to resign from government after his affair with advisor Gina Colangelo was exposed - revealed he turned down an offer from ITV to take part in the reality show twice, before making a last minute U-turn last week.

The 44-year-old father-of-three is still an elected MP for West Suffolk, meaning he is being paid an annual salary to serve his constituents.

Mike Tindall MBE,, Owen Warner, Olivia Attwood, Charlene White, Boy George, Chantelle Douglas, Sue Cleaver, Chris Moyles, Babatúndé Aléshé and Jill Scott MBE - I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here 2022 (ITV/Lifted Entertainment)
I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here 2022 contestants Mike Tindall MBE, Owen Warner, Olivia Attwood, Charlene White, Boy George, Chantelle Douglas, Sue Cleaver, Chris Moyles, Babatúndé Aléshé and Jill Scott MBE. (ITV/Lifted Entertainment)

He said his constituents are "still my first priority" and revealed he has agreed with producers that he can be reached at any point during filming if any "urgent constituency matter" arises.

Read more: Boy George vows to 'be more queer' in defiant response to homophobic trolls

I'm A Celebrity returned to the Australia, after two series filming at Gwrych Castle in north Wales due to restrictions around travel caused by the pandemic.

Among the other stars taking part this year are singer Boy George, former England rugby player and minor Royal Mike Tindall, who is married to the late Queen's granddaughter Zara Phillips.

Watch: Miriam Margolyes calls Matt Hancock an 'appalling adulterous creep'