I’m a politician. Get me out of here! 


Manchester Evening News (Image: James Gourley/ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Eva Burrows, Reporter

Should politicians, who run the state, be able to use reality TV as a ploy for the public to forgive them for their political mishaps? 

As we were presented with former health secretary, Matt Hancock, in the country’s living rooms we began to question the morality of his presence. Whilst Matt was eating goats’ bollocks in the Australian outback, the debate over the relationship between politicians and reality TV has risen again. However, this case is different as Hancock is still a working M.P for West Suffolk. Many people asked if it is both morally and legally permissible with his I’m a celeb paycheck of £400,000. 

Politicians and reality TV are not a unique sight to the British public’s eyes, Ed Balls did the gangham style on Strictly and George Galloway pretended to be a cat on Big Brother. In Ed Ball’s case, the public embraced this gesture of vulnerability with open arms and assigned him a certain sympathy for his embarrassing yet enjoyable performance. His image from the public eye was ultimately changed from the politician who raised the age in education to 18 but who unfortunately lost his seat by 422 votes in 2015. This appearance on Strictly glamourises his career as one of a loveable goof who can do no evil, rather than one of a failed politician. 

Some politicians start on reality TV before starting their career in politics like the infamous Donald Trump in which he starred as the brutal Boss in which he cashed in iconic quotes such as ‘You’re fired’. He brought in this brutalist persona into his politics career to which we all know did not turn out so well. This egotistical nature seen in many successful reality stars of today like the Love Island runner up Molly-Mae Hague and the big brother star Stephen Bear can also be seen in the leaders like Trump.  

Matt Hancock is best known as the health secretary during the covid epidemic. Many of us suffered as a result of his leadership. Many of us missed Christmas with our families. However, on the reality show Hancock asked for forgiveness from the public for breaking some of his own guidelines as seen in the infamous clip of his workplace affair. This made him a laughingstock and highlighted his hypocrisy. He stoically endured the constant bush tucker trials that were delivered to him by the vengeful public. As he tried to appear more humane by doing silly dances and talking about childhood celebrity crushes, the public remained sceptical. But he did get through to the final to which he underachieved 3rd. 

His campmate, Chris Moyles, epitomized the duplicity and superficiality of politicians on reality tv in his statement about Matt Hancock: “I have to treat campmate Matt Hancock and MP Matt Hancock as two separate people.” Was Hancock’s’ plan for forgiveness foiled? We are yet to see his next move. However, what comes under question is whether he should be getting such an impressive pay cheque for creating such a façade which will continue to help him in his still active career as an M.P Will other politicians continue in his footsteps?  Or should us as the British public stop this deception from reaching our T.V?