CHARLENE White has admitted that she was “walking a tightrope” from the minute Matt Hancock arrived in the camp — because she feared he would jeopardise her job.
The ITV newsreader, 42, revealed she was “constantly worrying” that being seen to become friendly towards the MP would damage her professionally.
And she said she was also consumed by thoughts of the grieving families who suffered the losses during the pandemic — including her own.
Charlene, 42, became the first campmate to be evicted on Friday.
She said: “It went from me having a laugh to constantly worrying about whether or not I could still do my job when I came out.
“I didn’t want anyone to feel like I was being too sympathetic to Matt because that would jeopardise the job that I love and it would jeopardise my journalistic integrity.
“It would have shattered the impartiality that I’ve consistently had for 20 years.”
Charlene, whose great-aunt Dell died aged 82 at the peak of the pandemic in 2020, continued: “I spoke to so many families who had lost dads, mums, grandads, grandparents and as soon as he walked in I thought… I’m going to be walking a tightrope here.”
The Loose Women star was slammed by viewers during the ITV series for “rule-breaking” when she chose not to sleep in the duvet-clad RV with Matt after he elected her as his deputy camp leader.
Charlene blamed spiders in the van for turning down the privilege, but later admitted she was scared Covid-hit families might judge her.
She said: “I was wrong, completely wrong not to be more explicit about it. I understand that now and hindsight is a wonderful thing.
“But I only ever had the thoughts of those who have lost loved ones and still want answers and who feel, I assume, that wasn’t the right thing for Matt to do.”
Charlene was also quizzed on the MP’s failure to mention dyslexia so far in the camp.
She added: “I think what we kind of focused on mostly in camp was getting through the experience and we were always very much there for each other.”