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Matt Hancock
Some viewers will be happy to know there reportedly won’t be any more politicians in the jungle, but is that enough? (Picture: James Gourley/ITV/Shutterstock)

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! is reportedly set to ban politicians from entering the jungle after a warning from TV watchdog Ofcom. But Women’s Aid have warned the move isn’t enough. 

Bosses for the reality programme, fronted by Ant and Dec, are said to have ditched plans to include another politician in the jungle. 

The likes of national treasures Lioness Jill Scott and reigning champion Sam Thompson have all taken part in bushtucker trials in recent years, as have Matt Hancock and Nigel Farage, who was reportedly the highest-paid campmate ever

And after viewers threatened to boycott, there may be no more politicians in the jungle but what about other controversial candidates, and even accused abusers? 

Women’s Aid has urged the broadcaster to do more, asking TV producers to show that domestic abuse ‘won’t be ignored or tolerated’ and stop ‘ignoring a proven track record of violence against women’ by casting certain stars. 

Teresa Parker, head of media at Women’s Aid, told Metro.co.uk:‌ ‘Despite the raise in awareness around domestic abuse, unfortunately we are still seeing reality TV producers casting known abusers on their shows, often ignoring a proven track record of violence against women. 

‘This demonstrates an ongoing lack of understanding of the harmful message this sends out, and the impact on those directly affected by the abuser of seeing them included on a reality show, especially when no acknowledgement of the abuse is made, or remorse shown by the perpetrator. 

Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly presenting I'm A Celebrity
I’m A Celebrity is undergoing a huge change after immense backlash (Picture: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)
Nigel Farage on I'm A Celebrity
Viewers threatened to boycott I’m A Celebrity over Nigel Farage’s inclusion (Picture: James Gourley/ITV/Shutterstock)

‘It is vital that producers, when appointing candidates for any reality TV show, are mindful of the impact that seeing these men can have on women who have survived domestic abuse and how they will feel watching a known abuser on TV on a nightly basis, for the sake of entertainment. 

‘At Women’s Aid we would urge the producers to consider how they approach this, as for many survivors of abuse, the inclusion of men convicted of abuse in entertainment programmes will already be a sign that these crimes are not taken seriously – the entertainment industry has to consider the impact on women of who they give a platform to and derive entertainment from. 

‘Reality TV has a huge reach, often amongst young people, who are developing their understanding of what behaviour is acceptable in relationships. To end domestic abuse we have to show it won’t be ignored or tolerated, and TV producers have a role to play in this as much as anyone else.’ 

Matt Hancock on I'm A Celebrity
Matt Hancock also came third after his stint in the jungle (Picture: James Gourley/ITV/Shutterstock)

This comes after sources claimed ITV bosses were making a change in casting for I’m A Celebrity, with an insider reporting: ‘It was already highly doubtful that another political type would be cast for I’m A Celeb after the backlash last time, particularly to Farage but also the kickback to Hancock. 

‘They also change up the playbook every year to keep things fresh.’ 

Former health secretary Hancock hit headlines during the pandemic, when it was revealed he broke his own rules after CCTV was leaked showing him kissing his former aide Gina Coladangelo when social distancing measures were still in place. 

He resigned and returned to backbenches, only to have his whip suspended when he joined I’m A Celebrity. 

Matt Hancock and Gina Coladangelo
Hancock sparked outrage after breaking his own lockdown rules by kissing his former aide (Picture: James Gourley/ITV/Shutterstock)

Meanwhile, GB News host Farage sparked outrage before going into the jungle, and even more on the way out, when his use of a ‘homophobic racial slur’ in a private video message was exposed (and he also exposed his bum). 

But it’s not just politicians on I’m A Celebrity that have sparked concern, especially for Women’s Aid, who issued a statement in 2022, posting on X: ‘Imagine experiencing gaslighting by a partner, undergoing therapy, and then watching that person garner sympathy on national TV?’ 

At the time, Seann Walsh was in the jungle, following his cheating scandal that landed him in hot water on Strictly in 2018, when he kissed his married professional partner Katya Jones while in a relationship with actress Rebecca Humphries. 

After the kiss made headlines in the media, Seann’s now ex-girlfriend Rebecca shared that when she questioned if anything ‘inappropriate’ was going on, ‘he aggressively, and repeatedly, called me a psycho/nuts/mental. As he has done countless times throughout our relationship when I’ve questioned his inappropriate, hurtful behaviour’. 

Seann Walsh
Seann Walsh entered the jungle four years after his cheating scandal (Picture: James Gourley/ITV/Shutterstock)

Women’s Aid latest warning comes after Kate Middleton’s uncle Gary Goldsmith entered Celebrity Big Brother despite his history of domestic violence. 

Just a day after giving a charged abuser the biggest platform it had at the time, ITV launched its campaign to combat domestic violence. 

At one point on the show, Goldsmith wept over his actions in the past that turned him into a ‘national villain’. 

Those actions in question included attacking his wife Julie-Ann Goldsmith and knocking her to the ground in a drunken row in 2017. 

The couple had been arguing about his drug use and after he was slapped, Goldsmith then punched his wife with a ‘left hook’ after which she fell to the floor, smacking her head on the pavement, and was unconscious for about 15 seconds before coming to. 

In court, he later admitted one charge of assault by beating and was handed a 12-month community order with 20 rehab sessions to ensure ‘this sort of loutish behaviour does not reoccur.’ 

Gary Goldsmith 'Celebrity Big Brother: Late and Live'
Kate Middleton’s uncle, Gary Goldsmith, starred on Celebrity Big Brother despite his history of domestic abuse (Picture: Shutterstock)

It had previously been claimed that bosses were vowing this huge change, with politicians including Edwina Currie and Stanley Johnson having starred on the reality programme in the past too. 

And while Johnson, the father of the former Prime Minister wasn’t a politician when he was in the jungle, he was certainly no less controversial, having allegedly broken his ex-wife Charlotte’s nose. 

The reported decision to ditch politicians comes after new guidance issued by TV regulator Ofcom, considering I’m A Celebrity may air around the time during of a General Election. 

The insider continued to The Sun: ‘The timings of the General Election are just too much of a headache and it was the final straw. 

‘Of course, casting is in its early stages and never say never, but they are extremely unlikely to go down that road.’ 

Stanley Johnson
Stanley Johnson, who allegedly broke his ex-wife’s nose, has also appeared on the reality programme (Picture: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

The publication notes that Ofcom has also sent a warning to TV and radio stations over breaking impartiality rules during election campaigning. 

‘If broadcasters want to take the risk of having a high-profile politician, who’s not standing for a seat hosting a programme, they’re going to have to work bloody hard to make sure that those programmes are duly impartial,’ Ofcom’s Broadcasting and Media Group Director, Cristina Nicolotti Squires, said. 

She added: ‘And we will come down on them like a ton of bricks [if they aren’t].’ 

A spokesperson for ITV previously said: ‘Any names suggested for I’m A Celebrity are speculation.’ 

While Hancock finished in third and Farage followed in his footsteps in the same position, Ant and Dec were among those calling for ‘a year without any politicians’. 

Dec said last year: ‘I think we do a year without any politicians,’ with Ant replying: ‘Agreed, agreed, agreed.’ 

Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly on I'm A Celebrity
Casting for the new series is still in the early stages (Picture: ITV/Shutterstock)

Meanwhile, comedians London Hughes and Katherine Ryan were outspoken on the dangers of having Farage and Hancock appear on the show. 

Addressing the former Ukip leader’s stint on the show, London said that if she were to be included in a line-up alongside Farage, she’d quit immediately and sue ITV in the process. 

‘If I went on I’m A Celebrity and found out I was on the show with Nigel Farage, I’d leave and sue for racial negligence… but that’s just me,’ she remarked. 

‘I’d say that I’m quite shocked that ITV is platforming a racist as a form of entertainment, but nothing really surprises me anymore,’ she added. 

‘Quick, there’s another hate baiting c**t available,’ Kathy Burke also commented at the time. 

And Katherine told us: ‘I vehemently am against glorifying people like Matt Hancock and Nigel Farage and reducing them to light entertainment fodder when I think that they’re very dangerous people who have directly hurt lots of families.’ 

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! is available to watch on ITVX.

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