As Corbynmania continues to divide the Labour party, it appears that casting directors at ITV are keen to bring the party’s inner turmoil to the small screen. With several Labour MPs resigning from the frontbench after Jeremy Corbyn was announced as the new leader, producers have been sniffing around disillusioned party members in the hope of luring them onto this year’s I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here!
Jamie Reed writes in the Guardian that he has declined an offer asking him to take part in the ITV reality show. He says he received the offer three days after he resigned as the party’s shadow health minister in response to Corbyn’s election:
‘Three days later, sitting in my Westminster office, surveying the post-apocalyptic landscape and reflecting upon the zombie-like behaviour of my new Twitter admirers, an unusual email flashed upon my screen:
I am writing to see if you would be willing to meet with senior producers to discuss the next series of I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here!’
With one of his staffers warning Reed to not even think about joining the show — which sees ‘celebrities’ left for weeks in a jungle environment — the Labour MP declined on the basis that he is ‘a politician, not a celebrity’:
‘Ultimately though, I’m a politician, not a celebrity – and I don’t want to be one. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not puritanical with regard to the awkward interface between politicians and celebrities. Jamie Oliver is using his celebrity to great effect to make a political difference; Brian May signed my guitar in parliament. Then there’s Geldof, Bono, Charlton Heston – the list is endless (though it’s not all good).’
Given the trouble Tory MP Nadine Dorries got herself into when she appeared on the programme in 2012 — and later failed to declare her fee, Mr S suspects it may be for the best that Reed has given it a miss. Of course, whether all disgruntled Labour MPs will be so sensible is another matter entirely.