I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! attracts all sorts – and former Health Secretary Matt Hancock is the name on the tip of the nation’s tongue this year.
But he’s far from the first politician – even the first Tory politician – to head into the Australian jungle faced with eating gruesome critters and bumping elbows with Love Island stars.
In 2012, Conservative MP Nadine Dorries was suspended from the Conservative party for her decision to appear on the ITV reality show for an eye-watering fee.
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All this while she was still being paid to represent her constituents as a Member of Parliament.
To mark what will be a very strange series of I’m A Celeb, we’ve taken a look inside her fateful stint, which saw her, perhaps unsurprisingly, voted off first.
Tory party suspension
In November 2012, Dorries was officially suspended from the Conservative party over her decision to appear on I’m A Celeb.
The MP for Mid Bedfordshire became the first ever serving MP to appear on the programme, and didn’t ask permission from the chief whip at the time before agreeing to take part.
Labour branded her decision at the time “shameless”, while a Tory party spokesperson said the chief whip at the time, George Young, “will have an urgent meeting with her when she gets back. The concern is that she will not be doing parliamentary or constituency business in the meantime.”
Former Prime Minister Theresa May – then Home Secretary – fumed: “Frankly, I think an MP's job is in their constituency and in the House of Commons.”
Similar to Matt Hancock, Dorries insisted at the time that she was doing the show to allow people to get an impression of the party, explaining to The Sun: “I'm doing the show because 16 million people watch it.
“If people are watching I'm A Celebrity, that is where MPs should be going. I'm not going in there to upset people, but I have opinions.”
Dorries was forced to apologise to the House of Commons after registering an £82,000 profit made by her company.
£40,000 of that came from her 12-day stint in the I’m A Celeb jungle, while her annual politician’s salary was more than £65,000 at the time.
She had hidden the full figure from the party due to a “confidentiality agreement” with ITV; though a standards committee found she should never have signed it in the first place.
She apologised “fully and unreservedly”, but called the incident “a genuinely inadvertent breach of the rules.”
Dorries reportedly agreed to donate the money she earned from her MP’s salary while in the jungle, the BBC said at the time.
Not surprisingly, Dorries was voted in to do plenty of gruesome Bushtucker Trials during her jungle stint – including eating an ostrich anus alongside Coronation Street star Helen Flanagan.
Viewers watched her gobble down camel toe, a baked spider and lamb’s testicle, dry heaving as she attempted to eat a fermented duck egg.
She admitted she felt “sick as a dog” after the stressful trial – which came following another ordeal during which she was buried beneath thousands of creepy crawlies.
She said at the time: “When I sat down and saw that massive spider with hairy legs on the plate I didn't think I was going to be able to do it. The thought went through my head, 'oh, we're not going to eat any tonight', but I thought to myself, 'yeah, you can do this'.
“The only one I failed on was this black egg. I tried it, I got it in my mouth and I just vomited it. I had no control over it."
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Nadine was no stranger to some sultry outfits while in the jungle, and donned some incredible swimwear throughout her stint.
Dorries was first spotted on a sun lounger at a four-star Gold Coast hotel before arriving in camp, sporting a leopard-print one-piece and a cream sun hat as she topped up her tan.
The resort, according to MailOnline, boasted a luxury spa, two pools and two award-winning restaurants.
Dorries could be seen beneath the brim of her hat, donning a large pair of dark shades as she applied suncream, with swathes of her thighs and shoulders on display.
And, not one to be left out of the iconic jungle shower scene, Nadine could be seen taking a dip in the cool jungle waters wearing a navy blue halter-neck swimming costume, her blonde hair worn loose around her shoulders as she waded waist-deep in the green waters.
Many columnists argued Dorries was keen to “relaunch her career” a la Myleene Klass after a sexy swimwear scene – and, judging by her later promotion to Culture Secretary, perhaps it worked.
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