Matt Hancock is a total starf***er – he behaved like weird teenager at my party, hit on A-list celeb & wouldn’t leave


LET’S face it – Matt Hancock has always loved a celebrity. Always loved a famous face. Always loved a bold face name.

When he was promoted to culture secretary in Prime Minister Theresa May’s reshuffle in January 2018, he simply couldn’t get enough of them.

Matt Hancock is starring in this year’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here
The former health secretary on the red carpet of Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball last year

And I should know, as I saw him with my own eyes.

The night I encountered him, some said he was a bit of a starf****r, and while I initially thought that was a bit rude, I have to say I think they’re right.

I first met Hancock on January 9 that year, which was the night he moved up from digital minister within the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, replacing Karen Bradley, who that day became Northern Ireland secretary.

I was hosting a big dinner for 120 people at Jason Atherton’s fashionable Berners Tavern in the West End during London Fashion Week.

I had seated Hancock on the top table, next to Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw, presenter Maya Jama, TV legend Dermot O’Leary, model Alexa Chung, influencer Jack Guinness, supermodel David Gandy, rapper Tinie Tempah, fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger and a host of other luminaries.

But around lunchtime Hancock was promoted and someone from his team called to say he was terribly sorry but he was now so busy that he could only stay for drinks.

So I replaced him at the table with Jodie Harsh, the transvestite DJ.

When Hancock eventually arrived at the dinner (he was late), I went up and thanked him for coming when he was so busy.

“It’s ok,” he said, rather grandly, “but now I have to do a lot of really important things. It’s a really, really big job.”

Which certainly told me. And so I walked off to welcome more guests as Hancock headed for the bar.

But at 8.30pm, when we were due to sit down for dinner, Hancock was still there, still having his picture taken with all the slebs.

We asked him if we could call him a taxi. But no. He was fine, he said, looking over my shoulder in the hope that someone more important had walked in. Simply put, he just wouldn’t leave. 

A-list snap

Matt Hancock took a picture with Rita Ora and posted it on Twitter

Anyway, having been told three times that we were about to start dinner, he simply pulled up a chair next to Rita Ora and started chewing her ear off. 

He was also still wearing his overcoat, which made him look even more ridiculous, like someone who had just walked in off the street, straight into a celebrity party.

Which, in a way, he had. 

The talk that night was largely about Georgia Toffolo, who had just won the latest series of I’m A Celebrity.

I remember there was much discussion about whether or not she could have a career as a fashion model. 

Hancock appeared only to be interested in Rita Ora, so much so that in the end she turned away and started talking to David Gandy.

But as she did, Hancock whipped his phone out and quickly took a selfie with Rita, without asking her.

She smiled, as she is a total pro, but when Hancock sprang up to leave, she turned around to me and looked completely bemused.

Mission accomplished, Hancock promptly walked to the door, trying to post his picture on Twitter as he did so.

The whole episode was bizarre, and I have to say we spent the rest of the evening wondering why our next culture secretary had acted like a weird teenager.

“It could be worse,” said David Gandy. “He could be going on a reality TV show.”

Gandy was right of course, but seriously – who on earth in their right mind would do that?

Matt tweeted about his night at the dinner
The former health secretary takes part in a challenge on I’m A Celeb