Why politicians appearing on reality TV is nearly always a bad idea 

25 Oct

Voters who enjoy seeing their elected representatives do ridiculous things on television are in for a treat – next week, Michael Fabricant will be opening his heart to the nation on First Dates, and Jeremy Corbyn is due to film a special episode of Gogglebox  over the weekend.

While reality television is in the fabric of many of our lives now – constantly playing on our television screens, creating celebrities and even cropping up in the House of Lords, it is rarely a great idea for a politician to appear on it.

With some notable exceptions (we’re thinking mainly of Ed Balls), many of our politicians have faced embarrassment – and even, in one case, sanctions, after appearing on reality television.

Here are some of the best examples. 

Nadine Dorries was sanctioned for her I’m A Celebrity appearance

The MP was suspended for agreeing to go on I’m A Celeb in 2012, which could have seen her take time away from Parliament and her constituents for up to a month. 

Then-home Secretary Theresa May said at the time: “Frankly, I think an MP’s job is in their constituency and in the House of Commons.”

After all that, Nadine Dorries crashed and burned on the show.

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