Matt Hancock punched in the face by former footballer in gruelling challenge for Channel 4 series

Matt Hancock

Matt Hancock will appear on Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 22/09/2023

- 10:09

Updated: 22/09/2023

- 10:42

The former Health Secretary is trying his hand at reality television again

Matt Hancock is part of the star-studded line-up taking on a series of gruelling tasks for Channel 4's Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins.

In one of the first challenges fans will get to see, the 44-year-old will face off against former footballer Jermaine Pennant in a brutal fight.

Under the watch of the Special Forces experts, Hancock and Pennant go head to head in the pouring rain while their fellow celebs watch on.

In a test of their resilience, both stars are told to punch one another for one minute straight, with surrender not an option.

"Throw some f*****g punches," one of the experts yells at the pair as they find themselves throwing fists at one another.

"Brutal this," TOWIE star James Argent says from the sidelines as it appears Pennant lands more damaging shots on Hancock than the other way around.

Even the Channel 4 narrator acknowledges that Pennant takes an "early lead" against the politician.

Matt Hancock

Matt Hancock is punched to the ground in one of the tasks


Hancock begins to fight back in the explosive preview of the episode, however, as he lands a number of blows on the former Arsenal winger.

In the end, Hancock and Pennant end up in a pile on the floor after the footballer manages to punch the former health secretary off his feet.

This isn't the only gruelling aspect of the show Hancock will have to face head-on as during his time he'll also be tasked with walking over narrow poles 50 feet off the ground during next Tuesday's premiere on Channel 4.

Hancock also touches on his experience as health secretary when he faces a grilling from Jason Fox.


"It was the biggest experience of my life," Hancock tells the Channel 4 star. "It would be hard to see a bigger professional experience than being the health secretary in a pandemic.

"I've pushed myself in the past, but I want to test the limits (and) see how deep I can dig.

"I was managing a very difficult situation in a professional sense," Hancock confesses before he references his relationship with Gina Coladangelo.

"I fell in love with someone I have known since university and who I worked closely with in the pandemic, and I had to resign from government," he said.

Matt Hancock

Matt Hancock served as Health Secretary during the pandemic


"The truth is I was very careful not to break any of the laws but what I didn't think was that there was still guidance, it wasn't legally binding by that point, but it was still the guidance that we were putting out. I regret the lack of leadership at the end."

Hancock is joined by other celebs including Danielle Lloyd, Montana Brown and James Argent for the series.

It comes following a widely-discussed stint in the jungle for ITV's I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! last year.

Hancock's desire to break through into the world of celebrity - as well as the pay cheque he received for appearing on the show - became hot topics among the general public everywhere.

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