Charlene White defends being ok with sharing I'm A Celebrity camp with Matt Hancock - but not the RV
Charlene White has defended her decision to stay in the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp with Matt Hancock and why she felt sharing a campervan was a step too far.
The ITV News anchor and Loose Women star was the first campmate to be voted out of the ITV series, where she had spent time living alongside serving MP Hancock, agreed to be his deputy when he was camp leader, and hugged him as he explained his actions during the pandemic.
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But when as the camp's leaders they had been offered an RV to sleep in, White had refused, meaning that there were not enough beds to sleep the rest of the campmates - and she called her Loose Women co-stars from Australia on Monday's show to explain why it was her line in the sand.
Jane Moore asked her: "What is the difference between being in the camp with Matt Hancock and eating the food that he's won in trials, but not going into that RV and freeing up beds for other people?"
White explained: "The RV was a very intimate space. I felt being in that intimate environment with a very high-profile Conservative MP would reflect badly on me as a journalist in the future.
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"I couldn't quite understand how it would be taken if I were to be interviewing Labour politicians, Lib Dem politicians, the Greens, when they know I've shared an intimate space with someone in an opposition party, it just didn't sit well with me."
She continued: "Whatever other shows I do, I always have to be mindful of my main objective and that is as a journalist and so I just felt that being in that intimate space was a step too far, but the mistake I made was not being explicit enough about that with the other campmates who were confused about it."
White added: "Matt and I had an understanding, we did know between us why I felt uncomfortable going in there and every single night we begged for other people to be allowed to sleep in the RV with him."
However, despite feeling that sharing the RV would have been a conflict of interest, White remained in camp with Hancock who entered the show as a late addition and even admitted to liking him, labelling him "lovely".
She said: "I was surprised that he'd chosen to do it but I think it was the impact on the rest of the camp, because I think people though the good natured attitude we'd built within camp was going to be shattered."
White said she had encouraged the others to separate their feelings about him in the outside world from the way they treated him in camp and added: "The camp grew to trust him and grew to lean on him."
Talking about the probing questions she had asked him about the pandemic and why he was in the show, she said: "My journalism hat is never off. We had no idea how it was being received at home. I felt I needed to ask the questions people at home would want answers to."
But White added: "I had to walk a tightrope, which was fine 'cause he's lovely."
Watch: Charlene White's amazing reaction to Matt Hancock in the jungle