Matt Hancock asked Michelle Heaton for 'swamp eye' advice after Celebrity SAS bonding

The reality TV co-stars struck up an unlikely friendship over tropical diseases.

Michelle Heaton and Matt Hancock shared a bond on Celebrity SAS. (Channel 4)
Michelle Heaton and Matt Hancock shared a bond on Celebrity SAS. (Channel 4)

Michelle Heaton has revealed Matt Hancock asked for her advice on dealing with "swamp eye" after the pair developed an unlikely friendship on Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins.

The Liberty X star, who found fame on Popstars and has opened up on her journey to sobriety, can be seen in the current series of Celebrity SAS alongside disgraced former health secretary Hancock.

Although they might not seem like the most natural pals, Heaton told Steph's Packed Lunch on Tuesday that when they both developed the same painful condition known as swamp eye from their time in the Vietnamese jungle for the Channel 4 show, Hancock turned to her for tips on dealing with it.

Teddy Soares, Danielle Lloyd, Siva Kaneswaran, Montana Brown, Matt Hancock, Amber Turner, James 'Arg' Argent, Zoe Lyons, Jermaine Pennant, Melinda Messenger, Gareth Thomas, Michelle Heaton, Gareth Gates, Perri Shakes-Drayton, Jon-Allan Butterworth MBE, Kirsty-Leigh Porter - Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins Series 5 (Channel 4)
The latest Celebrity SAS cast. (Channel 4)

Heaton, 44, said: "I remember Matt texting me about a week after I posted that (a photo of her swollen eye) on the group chat saying, 'I've got it too, what are you doing, where are you going?' I sent him where I had been (for treatment)."

She added of the condition: "To this day, I'm still quite blurry over my right eye and I haven't got the same vision."

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Heaton also told how many of the group had suffered "jungle rot" on their feet from walking in wet boots, but admitted she had got on well with Hancock, 45, despite the public outrage he caused over his handling of the pandemic in care homes and for breaking his own social distancing rules by having an affair with his aide.

Heaton said: "Any question that anybody posed to him, he didn't shy away from it. The answers that he gave us in confidence were no different from what he's already said on TV. When he came to Vietnam and we met him, I had nothing but a lovely conversation with him.

Michelle Heaton attends the UK premiere of
Michelle Heaton said she'd got on well with Matt Hancock. (Getty Images)

"When you're doing something like this, it's professional to leave everything at the front door because we've all got pasts, people judge me because I was an alcoholic and everyone's got preconceptions. I only treat people the way they treat me in that moment and he was nothing but respectful."

Asked whether he would come and watch her perform with Liberty X, she said: "He has hinted for a gig ticket but I don't know."

She also added that the cast had grown closer by having the opportunity to form a bubble after many months of social distancing, as the series had filmed not long after lockdown.

Matt Hancock - Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins. (Channel 4)
Matt Hancock took part in Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins. (Channel 4)

Heaton said: "What I got out of it was some great friendships. We were in a little bubble at the beginning because it was COVID times and restrictions. We got to do eight days together just enjoying each other's company. That was nice because it was just after all the restrictions (at home)."

After Celebrity SAS, which challenges contestants to take on Special Forces training, Hancock went on to compete in I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! although that show aired first as it broadcasts live.

It caused huge controversy amongst his campmates and the show's viewers.

Matt Hancock in I'm A Celebrity
Matt Hancock has also done I'm A Celebrity. (ITV)

Meanwhile, Heaton said that she felt "empowered not weakened" by her Celebrity SAS experience which she finally felt strong enough to take on after getting sober.

But she said that she hadn't quite believed close pals Katie Price and Kerry Katona when they told her about their own tough experiences on the show until she saw how gruelling it was for herself.

Heaton admitted: "I spoke to Kerry and Katie. They both said it's terrible and so much worse than you see on TV. I just thought they were being drama queens because it's Kerry and Katie."