Ant and Dec urge ITV bosses to axe certain stars from Im A Celebrity line-up

Ant and Dec will urge ITV bosses not to sign up a politician next year on I'm A Celebrity – after two years of controversy caused by the inclusion of Matt Hancock and Nigel Farage.

The ITV show has included political figures in the past, but after Covid the decision to pick two men still actively involved in politics has hit the headlines, and not always for the right reasons.

Answering questions from fans in a video chat, Dec said he would "put a motion through" for there to be no politicians on the show in 2024 and Ant agreed with the comment.

The pair often give bosses ideas for celebs to target for the line up, and their comments are likely to be seriously considered by show execs when they plan for next year.

Many fans of the show were upset that former health secretary Matt was paid £320,000 to go into the jungle whilst he was a working MP in 2022.

This year it is thought Nigel has now earned around £1 million and is using the show as a springboard for a return to mainstream politics, with people even talking him up as the next leader of the Conservatives.

But when he was announced as a contestant, millions of people on social media called him divisive and said they would not watch the show because of his comments in the past on issues like immigration and Brexit.

And they have stayed true to their word, as ratings are down around two million this year and 'the Farage factor' is said to be a big part of that.

During the video chat, Dec read aloud that a viewer suggested "Rishi Sunak next year" and Ant laughed and said "see you next year", seeming to joke about the Prime Minister's potential demise at the next General Election, which is set to be in 2024.

But Dec then said stony faced: "I think we should do a year without any politicians." Ant raised his voice and quickly added: "AGREED! Agreed."

And Dec then said: "Let's put that motion through shall we?" Whilst the show has been criticised for signing up Nigel, fans also turned on Ant and Dec as the hosts.

A tweet by the duo on social media site X showing a video of the new campmates including Nigel ahead of the show starting received over 1000 replies. The vast majority were negative and criticised Nigel being on the show. There were also montages/cartoons being created showing Nigel with Ant and Dec and they are being criticised for allowing him on.

Comments with hundreds of likes include Ellis Jacklin saying to Ant and Dec: "Always been the one reality show we watch. Not this year lads."

Activist Tanisha Bramwell said: "There’s some fantastic people on the line up but it’s overshadowed. I am appalled at the platform and presenters. The hatred whipped up by farage and his friends has seen increases in hate crime across our country. Disgusted."

Eddie Burfi said: "Shame on ITV, Ant and Dec and the I'm A Celeb production company for platforming & normalising race-baiting grifters. Farage has done untold damage to the fabric of our country. Now he'll have a nightly platform to create the illusion of a 'normal' & 'safe' election choice. He's not."

Before lockdown I'm A Celebrity has had other political figures but they seemed to be less controversial. Lembit Obik appeared on the show in 2010, months after he lost his seat in the general election.

Nadine Dorries appeared on I’m a Celeb in 2012, having been an MP since 2005 and lost the Conservative whip. Edwina Currie appeared in 2014 but by then she was very much an ex-politician having served as an MP from 1983-1997.

And in 2017 former Tory politician and Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Stanley Johnson and Kezia Dugdale, the leader of the Scottish Labour Party, both appeared in the series. Kezia was criticised and given a written warning for her decision to appear on the show.

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