Boris Johnson in talks for I'm A Celebrity after Hancock's controversial stint

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Boris Johnson in talks for I
Boris Johnson in talks for I'm A Celebrity after Hancock's controversial stint

Boris Johnson is in talks to enter the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! jungle later this year following his former cabinet minister Matt Hancock's stint in the Australian jungle last year.

But the shamed former Prime Minister is expected to turn down the invitation to jet Down Under - because he’s raking in enough cash from his after-dinner speeches. Despite this, Johnson is thought to have pushed for a deal which dwarfs the £400,000 paid to fellow Tory MP Matt Hancock last year.

One source said: “He’s not looking likely. The truth is he doesn’t need the cash as much as he did before, thanks to his income from speeches and, of course, he still thinks he’s going to stage some sort of political comeback at some stage.”

The jungle talks come six years after his dad, Stanley Johnson, appeared on the hit ITV show alongside Georgia Toffolo and Jennie McAlpine in 2017. In June, Johnson stood down as the Conservative MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip after an investigation into the Partygate scandal found he had misled parliament – and recommended a lengthy suspension from the House of Commons.

Boris Johnson in talks for I'm A Celebrity after Hancock's controversial stint erideuiqtqiqdrinvFormer Tory MP Matt Hancock was a surprise addition to the I'm A Celebrity jungle last year after his lockdown antics (ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Branding it a witch-hunt” he declared he was “very sad to be leaving parliament – at least for now.”

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His enforced departure from politics came nine months after he resigned as PM after a police fine for breaking his own Covid rules. Earlier this year it emerged that Johnson had received £2.5m as an advance for speeches, and he is thought to have racked up £5m in the six months since leaving office.

A spokesman for Boris Johnson said: “Boris is not doing this programme and is not in talks to do so.“

If Johnson does sign up for the year’s show, which airs in November, he is likely to be eating critters alongside This Morning favourite Josie Gibson and Corrie actor Alan Halsall. Despite his betrayal of the country, Johnson was still allowed to reward his closes allies with peerages in a resignation honours list.

The 40 pals given gongs included Martin Reynolds, who held a Downing Street garden party during lockdown in 2020, and his former director of communications Jack Doyle, who’d worked to downplay the story.

An I'm a Celebrity stint wouldn't be the first time Mr Johnson has appeared on TV and he previously enjoyed many appearances on BBC's Have I Got News For You, both as a guest and a host. The former Prime Minister hosted the programme four times and appeared as a guest three times, twice on Paul Merton's team and once on Ian Hislop's team.

Mr Hancock received a hefty £320,000 fee for appearing in I'm A Celebrity but said at the time he did not "primarily" go on the ITV reality show for the money.

The former health secretary donated £10,000, 3 per cent of his total fee to charities, which he defended as a "decent sum". During an interview with Good Morning Britain, Mr Hancock claimed his donation amounted to "more than my MPs' salary" during the time he was in the jungle. Mr Hancock told ITV viewers he signed up to the jungle to try and "show who I am" as well was using the exposure to draw attention to his experiences with being dyslexic, a learning difficulty he was diagnosed with at university.

Boris Johnson in talks for I'm A Celebrity after Hancock's controversial stintMr Hancock received a £320,000 fee for appearing on the ITV reality show

The West Suffolk MP was suspended from the Conservative Party for taking time off from his parliamentary duties to appear on the show but still received his MPs salary while taking part. Since appearing on the ITV reality show, Mr Hancock received £48,000 for the serialisation of his book, Pandemic Diaries, and £45,000 for taking part in Channel 4's Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins, as declared in the register of MPs interest.

Mr Hancock's jungle appearance ruffled feathers both in and out of the camp – as fellow campmate Boy George threatened to quit after the former Health Secretary entered the jungle. Speaking in the Bush Telegraph, the Culture Club star became emotional as he said: "I don't really know what to do with my feelings. You know, today was obviously quite emotional for me. I don't know what it's going to be like, I actually don't really know if I want to be here."

After consoling George, Corrie star Sue Cleaver told viewers in the Bush Telegraph: "George was having a bit of a moment. I think if I'm honest that most of us are sort of feeling it's a bit of a very strange situation to be in."

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Nicola Methven

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