It’s been a year since the T&C exclusively revealed a Mid Beds MP was in the running to be Queen of the Jungle during a controversial stint on ITV’s I’m A Celebrity.
And now Nadine Dorries reveals how her heightened profile, gained from being watched by ten million people for 11 days, has benefited her constituents.
Ms Dorries said: “It has had an amazing knock-on effect.
“If I stand up in the Chamber in the House of Commons and I raise an issue, whether it is about free schools, housing development or whatever it is, I have the Ministers’ attention immediately.
“That’s because no one wants me to complain; the press know who I am so when they write about anything negative that I have to say, it doesn’t look good for the Government.
“So if I’ve got a problem with one of my constituents or a constituency issue, it is sorted, they are onto it.
“For example when the Fernwood free school application collapsed they reopened it, they applied an extra level of appeal which doesn’t normally happen and the Department of Education looked into it really seriously and tried their best to make it happen for us.
“Now if I was just a backbencher MP with no profile at all, that wouldn’t have happened.
“At heart I am a campaigner; a campaigner for better living circumstances for people.
“That’s actually what I do and I’m still doing that, but what’s happening is I’m getting more attention for it.”
When the Tory MP’s involvement in the show was announced, Ms Dorries was accused of rebelling against the Prime Minister, abandoning her position and faced criticism for picking up a fee for her appearance.
But 12 months on she has no regrets as she looks to the next series of I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, which begins this week.
Ms Dorries said: “The fact is whatever journalists want to say, the constituents actually loved it; people still stop me to talk about the jungle.
“Everyone has the same questions; ‘What are Ant and Dec really like? What was it like being buried underground? Is it really jungle?’
“The viewing figures were up by half a million when I was on it so a lot of people know who I am and that has a lot of benefit to it.”
Contestants rumoured for this year’s show include presenter Matthew Wright, ex-footballer Paul Gascoigne and former politician Chris Huhne,
Ms Dorries added: “Chris Huhne and I became MPs on the same day, but he’s never smiled or returned a good morning once in eight years so it’d be really interesting to see some personality because I’ve never seen a smidgin of it here.”