Former health secretary Matt Hancock says his latest appearance in a reality TV show was “one of the toughest physical and mental things” he has ever done.
The MP – who was forced to resign from government after being caught breaking his own COVID guidance by kissing his then-mistress Gina Coladangelo in his office – has already filmed his stint on Channel 4’s Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins, earning him £45,000 for 80 hours’ work.
It is his second spell on our screens since leaving office, after he took part in ITV’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, earning him an even heftier fee of £320,000 – though he donated just over 3% of the payment to charity.
But entering the jungle also led to a huge backlash from politicians and COVID-bereaved families, ending with him being booted out of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak saying he was “very disappointed” in his former colleague.
Speaking ahead of his Channel 4 debut, which will see 16 celebrities being put through SAS selection challenges in North Vietnam, Mr Hancock said: “Being on SAS was like nothing else I’ve ever experienced. It’s one of the toughest physical and mental things I’ve ever done.
“It really opens your eyes and makes you look into yourself.”
The 44-year-old added: “After coming through the most challenging period as health secretary during the pandemic, I wanted to push my limits.
“It’s safe to say the course tested my resilience.”
Other stars that will join him on the gruelling course include singer Gareth Gates, model and presenter Melinda Messenger, and former reality TV star James Argent.
The first episode of the new series will air at 9.30pm on 26 September.