I’m A Celeb’s Boy George is a toxic tyrant but TV gold with his merciless campaign of bitching and undermining


OVER in the Australian jungle, this week former Health Secretary Matt Hancock was stung by a scorpion.

A painful release of neurotoxins that, in a slightly higher dose, could have caused ­nausea, vomiting, catastrophic bowel release and ultimately death, in the poor scorpion.

Boy George takes on the La Cucaracha Cafe Bushtucker Trial
Matt Hancock does the Deserted Down Under Bushtucker Trial
And & Dec triumphed again thanks to the combination of natural comic timing and a work ethic

Fortunately, it lived, but has now vanished.

Which is a shame, ’cos if you put that thing in a little blue T-shirt, with a phone number on the back, it would be King of the Jungle and have its own ITV2 series by the end of December.

As it is . . .

I have remained transfixed by a fascinating and revelatory series of I’m A Celebrity . . .  Get Me Out Of Here!, although an unsatisfactory pattern had established itself by last ­weekend.

Every night, the unbearable tension of the camp would be lifted by the live arrival of Ant & Dec, who’d reveal the next Bushtucker humiliation would be visited upon . . .  “Matt”.

And another little bit of Chris Moyles would die.

An unsatisfactory outcome for everyone because, say what you like about Hancock, he may have an unbearable air of entitlement and triumphalism, but he attacked those trials with a degree of skill and courage that was way beyond blowhards like Moyles.

It could’ve continued like that all week as well.

As good judgment would have it though, the public worked out far quicker than I did that it was much more fun letting Hancock make a nuisance of himself in camp, where he was free to dance, sing, lord it over the others and wind up contestants who were actually far more unpleasant than him, like Boy George, who seems to have been working on the basis that letting rip with a few barnyard noises every morning makes him the Dalai Lama of the dunny.

It doesn’t, obviously.

Buddhism is all about ­eliminating vices like selfishness.

Boy George is defined by his and never even considers other people unless they are unfortunate enough to find themselves in his toxic crosshairs, at which point they will be subjected to a merciless campaign of bitching and undermining, just out of ­earshot.

The same kangaroo court rules do not apply to him, obviously.

As well as being something of a coward, George is also an Olympic-class ­hypocrite.

So when Scarlette Douglas confronted him about his conviction for false ­imprisonment and assault on Wednesday, he kicked off with a tirade of bluster and indignant denial, claiming it was only his honesty that landed him four months in prison where, by the time he left, he was so loved they actually thanked him for not being a total nightmare.

And anything else you’ve heard, apparently, is “a slightly exaggerated tabloid scene”.

You can read the reports for yourself on that one.

Reign supreme

What I cannot deny though is that this poisonous old tyrant is jungle gold and has landed on exactly the right television show, because it’s the one place on the box where the dark edges of any character will be lightened every five minutes by the appearance of Ant & Dec, who’ve triumphed again thanks to the combination of natural comic timing and a work ethic which means their team of scriptwriters are up all night polishing lines until there is not a comma or a pause out of place once they’re on air.

In due course, absolutely no one will be surprised when this performance wins them another NTA award.

What may have puzzled you a bit is the complete lack of pretenders to their throne from younger generations of presenters.

It was all laid bare though on Monday’s show when A Place In HOAR host ­Scarlette sought advice on becoming a stand-up comic from Seann Walsh and Babatunde Aleshe — a move which, in terms of a fool’s errands, is right up there with asking Ant for a driving lesson.

The complacency and arrogance of their response still took my breath away though.

Seann: “If you are serious about comedy, write what you want to say and forget about the jokes.” Babatunde: “Don’t try and be funny when you’re writing.”

Yeah, laughter must play no part in the process, guys.

Expect Ant & Dec to reign supreme indefinitely.

Expect Scarlette to top the bill on Live At The Apollo a week next Thursday.

FEELGOOD moment of the week was Friday’s ­episode of ITV daytime quiz Riddiculous, where a policy adviser from Luton called Isaac accumulated £3,600 winnings and then, on the final double-or-nothing riddle, lost every ­single penny, leaving him with precisely nothing.

And if you’re wondering why this twist made my heart sing with joy, as I punched the air with delight, one further biographical detail about Isaac.

He’s a Just Stop Oil activist.

Tony’s Matt finish

BLACKPOOL, Blackpool and more Blackpool.

Will Strictly Come Dancing hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman ever stop referencing ruddy Blackpool?

Strictly Come Dancing hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman

No, of course they won’t.

It’s a contractual obligation that’s turned into an obsession.

So every two minutes, on Saturday’s show, they were referencing “the iconic ballroom”, in “the iconic tower” to the show’s iconic viewers who must have been baffled by the cult-like worship of this Marmite resort.

The truth, of course, is that it’s got slightly more to do with money than donkey rides on the iconic pleasure beach.

However I won’t be watching tomorrow night’s Blackpool special anyway, now the voting process and a hamstring injury has eliminated Tony Adams, who was the one funny, joyful and utterly determined reason to watch this year’s show.

A crime against television for which I blame Matt Hancock, on the entirely unscientific grounds that I think the voting public only has room and money for one novelty TV contestant at a time.

So poor Tony was finished the moment West Suffolk’s MP first minced over that rope bridge in Australia.

It’s a total hunch, obviously, that still doesn’t explain Strictly’s B-word fixation, which is partly tied up in the bonus payments contestants receive for progressing to this stage of the competition.

Not that any of them were admitting as much when Claudia asked each couple a variation of the same question: “How much would reaching Blackpool mean to you?”

Exactly £35,000, Claudia. That’s how much.

Unexpected morons in the bagging area

TIPPING Point, Ben Shephard: “In May 2021, Christie’s auction house sold Waterloo Bridge: Effet De ­Brouillard, a painting by the French ­impressionist artist Claude who?”

Cher: “Van Damme.”

Ben Shephard: “The mobile phone game Perfect Swing is a virtual ­representation of what club and ball sport?” Cher: “Horse racing.”

The Chase, Bradley Walsh: “Which civil rights leader was imprisoned in Alabama in April 1963?”

Becky: “Al Capone.”

Random TV irritations

CORONATION Street reaching the point of no return with its deranged plot about right-wing eco-terrorists.

Two Channel 4 documentaries mythologising the absolutely dreadful 1990 World Cup.

The BBC’s neutrality claims remaining a sick joke for as long as Frankie Boyle and his New World Order sycophants are spewing their poison.

Blankety Blank’s deeply mistaken belief that there’s no such thing as too many over-the-top camp contestants.

And the absolutely savage push-me, pull-you finale to the women’s rugby World Cup Final which – at the risk of being sexist – triggered flashbacks to the one and only time I dared attend Lidl’s Black Friday sale. Never again.

I’M A Celebrity, Boy George: “We should chant.”

Scarlette Douglas: “How does it go?”

(All together now).

Who’s the w***er? Who’s the w***er? Whoooo’s the w***er in the hat?

Great sporting insights

SCOTT PARKER: “The one thing you want is talent, quality and real intelligence.”

Chris Sutton: “Nobody wanted a penalty except all the players.”

Robbie ­Savage: “The people behind you have to be behind you.”

(Compiled by Graham Wray)

TV Gold

MATT HANCOCK dancing the electric slide to a Cameo song on I’m A Celebrity, having cheerfully declared Liz Truss’s political career to be “totally finished”.

Alan, from Scotland, cleaning out every section of The Wheel, with Michael McIntyre.

Bradley Walsh fitting Blankety Blank like a glove.

The SAS creating havoc in North Africa to the sound of The Damned, on BBC1’s thrilling Rogue Heroes. And The Crown’s Elizabeth Debicki and Salim Daw occupying the roles of Diana and Mohamed Fayed so completely it spooked me out a little bit.

Though, please, do not see this as an invitation to waste nearly ten hours of your life watching series five of The Crown, which in every other meaningful respect is a heartless, clumsy, deceitful and thoroughly patronising hatchet job.

TV Mysteries

TV mysteries of the month: When did Mark Owen turn into Keith Lemon?

How has Gogglebox’s Mary avoided murdering Giles?

Take That’s Mark Owen has turned into Keith Lemon

Why didn’t the I Can See Your Voice graphics ­register “BAD” when Lulu sang Relight My Fire?

And what’s more ­poignant? Patsy Kensit ­marrying for the fifth time?

Or Patsy Kensit ending up on EastEnders?

GREAT TV lies and delusions of the week. I’m A Celebrity, Owen Warner: “Chris Moyles is a bottomless bucket of talent.”

HOAR’s Fabulous magazine, Jayde Adams: “If you see me do comedy you’ll realise why I’m where I am, because I’m f***ing brilliant at comedy.”

And I’m A Celebrity, Chris Moyles: “People are going to see ­lovable Chris Moyles and go, ‘Wow, he’s so much nicer than I thought he’d be. He’s not an arehole’.” Ar*ehole.

Lookalike of the week

Mike Tindall, left, and Ed from Ed, Edd n Eddy

THIS week’s winner is Mike Tindall, pre-nose straightening, and Ed from Ed, Edd n Eddy.

Emailed in by Karen M.