I’m A Celebrity winner Jill Scott has a ‘strong future ahead’, while ‘immature’ Matt Hancock will ‘struggle’ outside of the jungle – according to former Conservative MP Edwina Currie.
Just months after winning the Euros alongside her England teammates, ex-Lioness Jill was crowned Queen of the Jungle during last night’s final, after nabbing 47.29 per cent of the vote. But while Edwina believes the former footballer has a bright career in showbiz, the same can’t be said for Matt, who ended his I’m a Celebrity stint in third place.
Speaking on behalf of Slingo, Edwina reveals her thoughts on Matt’s reunion with girlfriend Gina Coladangelo, life for the former health secretary after the show, and how she really feels about Mike Tindall’s show appearance.
What were your thoughts on the final three campmates?
“I was surprised to find that Matt Hancock was in the final three. For him to get to the final four was quite the achievement, which is where I was when I did the show in 2014. To get so many millions of people voting for you is a real compliment. But to get to the final three for Matt was above and beyond! He looked a bit gobsmacked and kept saying how grateful he was. In the end, he didn’t have the same appeal as Owen Warner, who is an absolute sweet boy. Gorgeous to look at, lovely personality and only 23 years old – he’s got a great future ahead of him.
“I don’t think Matt thought he was going to be the winner at any time. A flicker of possibility opens up when you get into the last four, then you look at people like Jill and think, ‘no, this is not actually going to happen.’ I think he went into it for much the same reason that everyone else went into the jungle this year. Partially because they think it’s going to enhance or repair their reputation, like Seann Walsh. In some ways, it can also improve your chances of earning a good living in the future, which is why Owen no doubt jumped at the chance. The other reason is that they’re getting paid quite a lot of money and it’s easy money. People also do it for a bit of fun or adventure, which I don’t think was Matt’s motive at all. He said he was doing it on behalf of all politicians, which is beggars belief. If he was aligning himself with all politicians, he should have been back in Westminster doing his job there.”
How do you think Matt’s fellow politicians and constituents have reacted to his involvement?
“I think the people in his own patch, who have worked so hard to get him elected, will be very cross with him and he will have to face the music big time with him. There will be rows behind closed doors, believe me. At the moment, he does not have the Conservative whip. I think he’s decided at the age of 43 and with a new girlfriend, that he wants a new life and wants to be a TV pundit.
“He thinks it’s going to be a wonderful, lucrative, well paid job. Well, I’ve got news for him, because I’ve done that myself for many years, it ain’t enough to support two households! That’s what he’s going to have to do and he’s going to find it really quite hard outside of Parliament – much harder than he thinks. He’s tainted forever by his bad behaviour during the pandemic and by going off to the jungle. He’s going to find it quite a struggle when he comes back, whether he decides to stay in Parliament or not. I think he sees that there is other work out there for somebody as wonderful as himself, forgetting that most of his life that he’s been in politics. There’s nothing as ex as an ex-MP!”
How did you feel when you saw Matt reuniting with his girlfriend Gina Coladangelo on the bridge?
“This is a 43 year old man, but he isn’t behaving like one! He’s acting like a 33 year old who has met the love of his life. There’s something blind about his very open behaviour. I understand that Gina is his PR adviser – my goodness, I can’t see if she’s any good at the job to be honest.
“The PR that’s coming out of this is a bit poisonous. It really isn’t great and the day may well come that he regrets all this, perhaps when he has to do a bit more growing up. He comes across as a rather immature personality. He asked us to see him in his real light and now we do. In circumstances like that, I would have said to Matt ‘let’s do it in private and we’re not going to parade this because there are too many people out there who may be hurt by it’. But no, that’s not his approach to life. It’s as if he thinks he can be forgiven, but he can’t.
“It’s going to make it harder for him as he negotiates his way through his divorce. Instead of having a forgiving ex-spouse, he’s going to have an ex-spouse who is going to get as much money off him as possible. He’s going to find it expensive running two households. This is going to be the bane of his life. He’s going to need a job that pays him a quarter of a million a year and I don’t think he’s going to find it that easy to get one.”
Do you think Matt and Gina’s relationship will go the distance?
“There are two things that wreck relationships. One of them is poor sex and the other is not enough money, so we shall see.”
Are you glad Jill Scott was crowned Queen of the Jungle?
“I always thought Jill would win. She’s a very remarkable woman with a wonderful personality, a real character, very funny, clever and absolutely genuine. The fact the Lionesses have done so well at football when the men are pretty useless at it, it’s been very much their year. Once people realised what a great person Jill was, there was no doubt that they were going to vote for her. I think the public were curious, supportive and full of admiration for Jill. When she first started, she was quiet and shy, but when she got confidence in the jungle, she showed that she’s got a bright and energetic personality. The personality I suspect that her teammates are very familiar with. She had the most hilarious jokes and was a proper potty mouth, which was very funny. I think she’s got a very good career as a sports pundit from here onwards. We’ve all got used to her Northern accent and she’s a very special person. I think she’s got a very strong future ahead of her for years to come.
“The person who came out looking the worst was Boy George, who turned out to have a mean mind and an ego as big as Australia. What an unpleasant man he turned out to be! I was more than happy to see him go and thought he should have gone earlier. He was trying to stir up trouble all the time and you don’t do that. If you have an issue in the jungle, you talk to people. What a horrible person! He was trying to create tension and conflict within the camp. Now on Twitter he’s trying to have a go at me, how dare he! I pointed out to him numerous times that I was in the jungle a lot longer than he was. He’s got half a million followers on Twitter, but they didn’t vote for him.”
Were you shocked to see Zara Tindall supporting Mike on the bridge?
“I thought it was lovely! I’m a fan of Mike and thought he behaved very well in the jungle. I expect when he’s with his mates in the pub, he’s a much wilder personality. To see him with his wife was very precious and absolutely lovely. The thought that came into my mind was what a shame all those years ago that Prince Charles and Diana didn’t have the same relationship.
“To begin with, I thought Mike was giving a little too much away, like when he was talking about splitting his pants in front of Princess Anne. Perhaps he then thought about it and realised that joking about in front of millions of people is not a good idea. He calmed down a lot more. Yes, I think holding back was the right thing for him to do. He lives, works and breathes with our Royal family, who behave with the greatest dignity in the most extraordinary of pressures. That’s something that the members of that Firm have to accept and I think he’s adapted to it extremely well. He makes Zara extremely happy, which is lovely. They’re a very good looking couple and I wish them well.
“I can’t see any of the other Royal family taking part in a reality show in the future. You have to be the right sort of age to do it. If you start doing it in your 60s, then you’re going to be in trouble and you’re probably not going to pass the fitness test. Plus, why would you do it? They’re not going to be short of money or a good hot dinner. I’m sure Prince Andrew has been approached. If he’s got any sense, wild horses shouldn’t draw him out of obscurity. He’s not going to do anything useful by appearing on a programme like this, but we shall see!”
Did you enjoy watching Mike in the jungle?
“I liked Mike. I thought he had to be quite restrained because he’s part of the Royal family. I think he had to be more disciplined than some of the others had to be, but criticising Matt Hancock turned out to be not a good move in the end. On the other hand, there were those on Twitter who thought that Mike crashed into Matt deliberately to try and hurt him during the Celebrity Cyclone. Let me tell you, I’m one of the handful of people in this world who have experienced the Cyclone, and you have no control. There’s no way you can plan to crash into someone to try and hurt them. You’re more likely to find that you’ve lost your foot or you’re covered in slime. You really have no control, so I think that criticism was particularly ill-founded.”
Does it take time to adjust to normal life after the show?
“During the first couple of days you’re still hyper. You’re still firing on all cylinders and you can’t sleep. You’re clean and you’re hyper, but then suddenly you go downhill. I slept to such an extent that I couldn’t go to the final party.
“When I did the show we were much more short of food and several people suffered a lot. If you are really short of food and you came in thin to begin with, like Mel Sykes did, you end up quite skeletal. You could see one or two of them having those issues, like Owen. Owen was beefier and curvier when he came in, but had chiseled cheekbones by the time he had finished. That was also true for Chris Moyles, who also didn’t get to eat too much. In the 21 days I was in the jungle I lost 15 pounds. About seven pounds of that went back on fairly soon, but I watched the other bit and kept it off.”