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Charlene White on Matt Hancock: We trusted him and leaned on him

Charlene White said she was surprised when former Health Secretary Matt Hancock delivered the I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! Jungle, but over time the group came to trust and lean on him as a roommate.

The 42-year-old journalist and broadcaster became the first celebrity to be banned from the ITV reality show on Friday after receiving the fewest public votes.

During her time on the show, White Hancock had quizzed with his assistant Gina Coladangelo about how she had broken coronavirus social distancing rules during the pandemic, to which the politician replied, “What I’m really looking for is a little bit of forgiveness.”

In her first interview since leaving the Australian jungle, White told Loose Women panellists: “I think the team trusted him and leaned on him because he had to do a lot of things that a lot of us at camp have not done. I don’t know how to do it.

“I felt that in my role as a journalist I had to ask questions on a daily basis that perhaps a lot of people back home would want answered because Matt is a sitting MP and Parliament is still alive.

“We asked her and it was done, he answered and it was never brought up again.

“Matt and I got on with the day-to-day life and hit it off while we were there, I just had to walk a tightrope, which was fine because he’s lovely.”

White had been criticized by her roommates for refusing to sleep in an RV with Hancock after they became camp manager and deputy.

She told Loose Women host Jane Moore that as a journalist, it “didn’t sit well with her” to share an intimate space with a seated MP, but she “massively regretted” not explaining her decision to her roommates, who were confused by their rejection.

“I just felt like being in that intimate space was a step too far, but I think the mistake I made was not saying so to the other housemates who were confused about it.” made it clear enough,” she said.

Housemate Scarlette Douglas, who left the show as the second contestant, said while she appeared friendly in the jungle with former Health Secretary Matt Hancock, it didn’t mean they would be “best buddies” after the series ended.

The 35-year-old TV presenter’s departure comes after West Suffolk MP Hancock spoke for the first time since arriving at the camp about his dyslexia, his experience of being diagnosed while he was studying and that he was “desperate to study” and found that he could do math but struggled with English.

Douglas said on Good Morning Britain: “He walked in and everyone was shocked to see him in there and for me I had to pull him aside and just let him know how I felt when he was in the jungle.

“When we’re in there, we’re in a closed space, it’s a very strange environment, so nobody wants it to be toxic. We just have to get on, be friends, be a family in the camp, otherwise it won’t work.

“We’ll get along in the jungle, but that doesn’t mean we’re best buddies on the outside, but in here we just work together as a team and that’s all we can do. That’s the most important.”

When co-host Richard Madeley asked the A Place In The Sun host if she liked the politician, she replied, “I like his getup.”

She continued, “I like the fact that he has drive, I like that he’s determined. I like that he doesn’t give up anything and I like those qualities in general.

“That’s how I like Matt Hancock, I don’t think I’ve had enough time to really get to know him because when he came he tried to win us all over. He did his best to make sure he was involved in everything, but for me it was just that I want to make sure we all get along as a camp.”

After two weeks in the jungle, Hancock discussed his dyslexia diagnosis for the first time during Sunday’s show after saying he will use the “incredible platform” to raise awareness of the learning disabilities ahead of his performance.

Speaking to comedians Babatunde Aleshe and Seann Walsh on the episode, Hancock was asked what he’s been struggling with in life, to which he replied, “I can’t dance, I can’t sing and I can’t read very well. very fast.”

Walsh asked, “Are you talking specifically about reading?”

Hancock replied, “Yes. And the moment I was identified as dyslexic at university, it was, ‘Ahh, well actually I’m fine with the language, it’s just that my brain works differently and I can work on that’.”

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