Matt Hancock’s book has officially flopped – clearly, I’m a Celebrity wasn’t the fix he’d hoped

Hancock’s book, ‘The Pandemic Diaries’, sold a humble 3,304 copies in its first week on shelves

Nicole Vassell
Thursday 29 December 2022 06:47 GMT
Matt Hancock serenades Gina Colangelo with Perfect by Ed Sheeran

Bad news for Matt Hancock... it seems as if gobbling camel penis isn’t quite the golden ticket to a bestselling book.

The disgraced former health secretary went on the 2022 season of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! in an attempt to rehabilitate his image after leaving office in a haze of controversy.

He ate animal genitals. He cringed us out with his karaoke “skills”. And he bared his soul about how much he was looking forward to forgiveness after the show.

To the surprise of many, his quest was somewhat successful. Hancock ended up finishing in third place, a higher final position than that of Mike Tindall, Chris Moyles and Boy George.

Though many viewers were confused as to how Hancock managed to stay in for so long, there were clearly several others who ensured his survival to the show’s very last day.

It looked as if public opinion was well and truly turning. Would Hancock successfully rebrand from ex-Tory MP to nation’s sweetheart?

Not quite. It’s since emerged that the support Hancock received on I’m a Celebrity doesn’t seem to have translated into book sales.

Hancock’s tome, The Pandemic Diaries: The Inside Story of Britain’s Battle Against Covid, was released on 6 December, and according to official figures, it only shifted 3,304 copies in the first week – and just 600 in the second.

Matt Hancock on ‘I’m a Celebrity’ (James Gourley/ITV/Shutterstock)

Though it entered the official Nielsen book chart in position 191, sales plummeted so steeply that it was out of the top 1,000 within a week.

Despite The Pandemic Diaries being released in time for Christmas, it seems as if a look back at lockdown, through the eyes of an MP that broke the guidelines he helped to set, wasn’t the stocking filler that he’d hoped.

Though books aren’t quite Hancock’s forte, he needn’t fear – he’s already being rumoured for the next series of Strictly Come Dancing.

Perhaps some spandex is all he needs to fully shimmy his way into the hearts of the nation. Or perhaps the mere thought of him busting out a tango will send The Pandemic Diaries fully into oblivion.

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