I'm a Celebrity: Five things you might not know about Matt Hancock

Matt Hancock.
Credit: PA

Former health secretary Matt Hancock says he signed up for this year's I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! so that viewers could discover the personality behind the politician.

As one of the most high-profile government faces during the pandemic, many voters may feel they know a lot about the West Suffolk MP already.

But we all have hidden depths - and here, ITV News Anglia political correspondent Emma Hutchinson guides you through five things you may not know about Matt Hancock.

1) He's a horse racing fan

As the MP who includes Newmarket in his constituency, he is keen on horse racing and in 2012 trained as a jockey.

His regime saw him lose two stones to get himself down to "jockey weight" and took part in a charity race at the home of horse racing, which he won. An omen for his time on I'm a Celebrity?

Credit: PA

2) He'll play cricket anywhere

Not a reference to his frosty reception in the camp - but to his claim to have played in the most northerly game of cricket ever. As a keen cricket fan, he pulled on the pads to play a game when he was on a trek to the North Pole in 2005.

He did then suffer frostbite and had to be rescued from the Arctic.

3) He's done parkour (well, once)

When he was Culture Secretary he had a go at Parkour, saying he wanted to try something new and support a minority sport - even if it was potentially embarrassing.

It's not clear if he had kept up the hobby, but if he has, it may help him to get out of a tight spot or two when taking on the jungle challenges.

4) He is dyslexic

His dyslexia was only diagnosed when he got to university. He says his own experience has led him to campaign for dyslexia screening for all primary school age children - and he is trying to get legislation through Parliament to make that law. 

Mr Hancock says going into the jungle will give him the opportunity to highlight the issue with millions of viewers, adding that if just one child in his own constituency gets diagnosed when they otherwise might have been overlooked, then his trip Down Under "will have been worth it".

Credit: PA

5) He wanted to be prime minister

In July 2019 Mr Hancock stood to be the leader of the Conservative Party in the race to replace Theresa May.

But he received just 20 votes from fellow MPs and dropped out of the race after the first round, with Boris Johnson going on to win the contest.

He'll be hoping to avoid a similar fate in his quest to be crowned the King of the Jungle.

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