I’m A Celebrity 2022: The best quotes and shocking moments, from Matt Hancock’s entrance to Boy George’s hair

Matt Hancock (ITV)
Matt Hancock (ITV)

It flew past oh so fast... it feels like just a couple of days ago that it was announced that Matt Hancock was going to be a contestant on the survival TV show (it was, in fact, three weeks).

He had the Whip removed, was rumoured to have been paid £400,000 for appearing on the show, and cackling viewers from around the country sat down to watch the disgraced MP, alongside an all-star line-up that included rugby player royal Mike Tindall, Chris Moyles and Boy George, tackle disgusting challenges in the Australian jungle.

Then, on Sunday, it was the grand finale and favourite Jill Scott (the midfielder, who was on the English team that won the Euro finals in the summer) won. Matt came third - not bad at all given he is thoroughly more Mr. Bean than Bear Grylls - while Hollyoaks star Owen Warner was the runner-up.

For those who haven’t been keeping up with the ins and outs of the show (what have you been doing? Have you been stuck in a jungle somewhere?), here are some of our favourite quotes and moments from this year’s series.

Matt Hancock’s big entrance

Expectations were high when former Health Secretary Matt Hancock made his debut in the jungle alongside comedian Seann Walsh, and he did not disappoint. First off, he stumbled spectacularly on the rickety bridge on the way in; secondly, the appalled expressions on his campmates’ faces was something to behold.

Seann Walsh immediately burst into uncontrollable laughter, while Boy George told the Bush Telegraph that he’d almost walked out of the show when Hancock walked in - his mother was very ill during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I want to show that politicians are just human beings too,” Hancock told his stupefied audience.

Boy George gets political

A sentence we never thought we’d write: during I’m A Celebrity Boy George did what so many Brits wish they could do and attempted to grill Matt Hancock.

“Just spend less on arms. £35 billion a year. Why do you sneer at spending less on arms?” questioned the Culture Club singer about government spending. “I don’t, I don’t, it’s just a different debate,” replied Hancock.

The subject was changed by TV presenter and co-contestant Scarlette Douglas, which annoyed Boy George. Speaking to the Bush Telegraph he said: “I don’t know whether Scarlette’s got political aspirations. But sorry, I’m just not going to stop talking. I will say what I want.”

Hancock said to the Bush Telegraph, “‘I seem to have a trial whether I go out on an official trial or stay in camp. But most of the conversations are really interesting and I love a debate anyway, so that’s fine.”

But with Hancock reportedly facing the wrath of angry constituents and colleagues upon his return to the UK, the jungle questioning could almost be seen as helpful debate prep.

Hancock meets Sheeran

In perhaps one of the most jaw-dropping scene of the show, Hancock continued his quest to be Mr Relatable with an homage to Ed Sheeran.

Despite saying he wouldn’t get a tattoo of any singer’s name on his neck (the conversation having taken a clearly weird turn), it turns out that Hancock is a fan of Sheeran. “I’m from Suffolk as well,” he told Walsh, before breaking into a few bars of Perfect.

“Don’t get me started, I’m terrible,” he added, before continuing blithely onward. Truly, a nails-on-blackboard performance.

Sue Cleaver discusses farting, to Hancock’s seeming dismay

We’re all for honesty about human bodily functions, but when English actor Sue Cleaver started sharing stories about her persistant flatulence, it tested even the most resiliant viewers.

“Do you know what? I have never, ever, ever farted so much as I do in here!” said Cleaver, before moving on to talk about her armpits. Meanwhile, Matt Hancock seemed to have gone elsewhere in his head, staring off into the distance. The Daily Mail called him “distraught”.

Well, Cleaver didn’t have long to wait until matters got back to normal. She was booted off I’m A Celebrity shortly after, the third contestant to leave the show. By all accounts she seemed overwhelmingly relieved: “Thank goodness for that! My times has come!” she said.

Some viewers were less than tactful about her departure: “Glad I don’t have to hear poo, farting, dirty arm pits and stupid dancing with pants that was fake fun. Sorry but didn’t feel authentic at all,” Tweeted one.

Hancock seemingly recreates the scandal picture

Surely he must have known what it would look like? At the end of the series, when Matt Hancock finally reunited with his girlfriend Gina Coladangelo, they embraced on the bridge and, inadvertently (we truly hope) recreated the CCTV footage which made them both so famous. Hancock said to Coladangelo, “I love you so much.”

The Twitter-sphere obviously found it all too much.

“I literally could not stop laughing when Matt Hancock embraced his misses Gina, I mean his hand went straight to the same place as the picture headline in the Sun, was that just me?” said one.

Boy George and his new hair

Eighties icon Boy George made a splash in the jungle by explaining who the inspiration for his new hair transplant was.

“Do you know what made me do it? Wayne Rooney. I saw his hair and thought, I can actually get my hair done,” he explained, after footballer Jill Scott complimented him on his barnet.

Comedian Walsh joked it was like George was “rebuilding himself”, to which he replied: “I am Darth Vader.” To each his own.

Matt Hancock the camp leader

Hancock has been the unlucky butt of everybody’s ire during his time in the jungle – but doing practically all of the revolting tasks the producers could think of seems to have paid off: one week he was voted Camp Leader after a challenge that required him to work in a pair with Loose Women host Charlene White.

“Obviously, it’s a great honour and privilege to be camp leader. I want to thank everybody who voted for me,” he said

White then asked if the win felt “sweet, especially after you lost to Boris? Do you feel like you have been vindicated?”

“This more than makes up for it,” Matt replied.

Why did I do that?

In one recent trial (and to the joy of the general public), Hancock was forced to hunt around in a huge doll’s house stuffed with creepy-crawlies (including a live snake, which almost bit him) in search of camp stars. One room consisted of a mass of offal; another contained 2.5 million flies.

After sticking his right hand into a drawer full of gloopy black molasses, he commented, “Why did I do that with my right hand?”

Catching onto the slightly dodgy innuendo, both Ant and Dec burst into fits of laughter. Jokes on them though: Hancock ended up finishing the challenge having collected nine out of eleven stars.

And as fellow contestant Scarlette told him, “If you can do the House of Commons, you can do the House of Horrors.”

Jill Scott’s footballing struggles

Shifting the tone considerably, English footballing legend Jill Scott also opened up about the moments in life she was proudest of - and the difficulty she faced as a football player on the schoolyard.

“I literally didn’t realise until a couple of weeks in that I was literally the only girl [playing football with the boys],” she told her campmates. “But I had loads of energy as a kid.

“Even my grandma said on my Christening day, my legs were [kicking] the whole time.” Despite that, Scott added that her schoolmates’ parents weren’t so accepting.

“If I beat their precious son, they’d shout stuff at us. Like, ‘kick her, hack her down…’ I’d come off the pitch literally in tears.”

Owen Warner’s funniest quotes

One of the joys of I’m A Celebrity is seeing some of the campmates jump out of their comfort zone, and gain a little enlightenment in the process.

No campmate has provided as many of these naturally funny moments as Owen Warner. The Hollyoaks actor has already clocked some of the lines of the season with his stint in the jungle so far.

When Scarlette Douglas entered on a speedboat to join the campmates, Boy George recognised her, and quickly said: “She’s from A Place in the Sun".

“Whereabouts?” was Owen’s adorably pure response.

Boy George clarified saying, “No, like the TV show.”

Awks, but all in good humour.

Mike Tindall easily chuggs vomit-drink, because he’s broken his nose eight times

The idea of breaking your nose once is enough to make anyone squirm, but ex-rugby player Tindall has broken his nose a whopping eight times - ouch.

But in the jungle the wonky schnozz did have its benefits: it meant that the sportsman could easily down a glass of disgusting “vomit” fruit smoothie during a challenge.

In one hilarious moment Dec said: “that’s the cheese fruit, the vomit fruit there”, though Tindall was not perturbed. He said he, “can’t smell anything through his nose anyway”, though after he added: “Yeah, it was bad. I understand why nobody buys it.”

Sticking the boot in

To the surprise of nobody, Matt Hancock came in for the lion’s share of the tasks on I’m A Celebrity, to the extent that the House of Horrors was his fifth trial in a row, with none of the other celebrities getting so much as a look-in.

“Why do you think you keep getting voted for?” presenter Dec innocently asked Hancock before he went in.

“It must be the facial expressions,” Hancock replied. Well, that’s one reason… a lot of this season has consisted of Hancock’s fellow contestants sticking the boot into him and challenging him about decisions that he made during his time as Health Secretary. Case in point: one recent debate where he defended breaking Covid lockdown rules due to being “in love”.

Cue the iconic response from Babatúndé Aléshé: “You didn’t fall in love. You were grabbing booty, man.”

Seann Walsh’s fitness woes

In a conversation with fellow campmate Owen Warner, the two discussed the awkwardness of letting someone know their deadlift technique is off in the gym.

Walsh admitted to Warner: “That would mortify me.”

Warner then showed Walsh the way to deadlift correctly - guiding him with instructions.

“Imagine you’re about to twerk” he says, with the comedian replying “Oh, that’s gonna help the bowels.”

Maybe a fitness DVD awaits the two after the jungle?

Mike Tindall and his budgie smugglers

Rugby royal Mike Tindall’s pool swim caused quite the stir when the star took off his towel to reveal his multicoloured speedo trunks.

Tindall entered the pool as Jill Scott was encouraging Seann Walsh to take a swim - and just as he thought he saw what he thought was a crayfish.

The crayfish actually turned out to be Tindall - in his vibrant budgie smugglers.

Walsh couldn’t resist adding a joke of his own after his fright, adding: “I think the crayfish was wearing speedos.”

The sentiment was clearly shared with the hosts as Dec chimed in adding: “I want to know what Zara was thinking of that: ‘That’s where my bikini bottoms went!’”

This wasn’t the last time we saw these teeny tiny tropical trunks, either: everything was extremely well-packed when Tindall dipped his toes in the freezing camp creek.

Is the reality show sexist?

Jill Scott may have won the show, but she was the last woman standing for days: in the countdown to the finale she was competing alongside seven men. It whipped up some interesting conversations online - is the show sexist? Why did the women fair so badly?

And it wasn’t just viewers turning online to join the discussion - ex-campmate Arlene Phillips also spoke about the issue on MailOnline’s Jungle Confidential while discussing Scarlette’s exit. Phillips said: “I think why a female quite frankly? Because on our show I was first, then Kadeena then Snoochie... I think it’s very important for women of every age to be on television. We need to be a stronger dominant force.”

Last week, Telegraph columnist Allison Pearson also Tweeted: “Why do all the immensely capable women get the boot? Are they not worthy winners? Depressing.”

The finale of I’m A Celebrity was released on November 27 on ITV