Sue Cleaver praised for not unleashing ‘gobby’ persona on Matt Hancock

I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! star Sue Cleaver may have been expected to deliver a dose of archetypal Northern bluntness when it came to controversial former Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s appearance. Yet her husband Brian Owen has now spoken out to reveal that, in real-life, she couldn’t be more different than her “gobby” Coronation Street character, Eileen.

Brian, a lighting technician for ITV, knows the real Sue thanks to the close relationship they have enjoyed for the past two decades – and he was keen to tell the world she’s nothing like Eileen.

“You are seeing the Sue we know. She thinks before she speaks,” he praised.

“She has not been too nasty with [Matt], she has been professional and doesn’t want to cause a ruckus between all the people in the camp.

“Sue as we know her, she doesn’t dive in like Eileen would as a gobby Northern woman. Sue sat back and listened and sussed out everyone really.”

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The Corrie star has made no secret of her love of the Labour Party, tirelessly campaigning against the Conservatives, so some had expected her to deliver a dig at Tory Matt.

Love Island star Olivia Attwood had vowed she’d give the shamed Health Secretary a piece of her mind when he arrived in the jungle, but was forced to pull out of the competition after just 24 hours – and before Matt had arrived.

All eyes had turned to Sue for her verdict, but Brian – and Elliot, Sue’s son from a previous relationship – have both praised her “professional” behaviour, confirming that she is the same woman they know at home.

Elliot joked that Sue might end up as a Prime Minister candidate herself, chuckling: “Her stuff with Matt Hancock was interesting. Prime Minister Cleaver 2025… we will have to see what happens!”

Meanwhile, her family breathed a huge sigh of relief when they discovered Matt would be entering the jungle alongside her, as it reduced the likelihood that she’d be picked for gruelling trials.

Matt has been a controversial character ever since he was shamed for breaking his own social distancing rules to snatch a kiss with his aide, Gina Coladangelo.

Those who’d been unable to visit loved ones in hospitals due to the government’s strict lockdown rules were furious with Matt, but he’d insisted he’d entered the show to make amends with the public and hoped to receive “forgiveness”.

Meanwhile, Brian exclaimed: “Once we knew Matt Hancock was going in there I said [Sue] is going to have a great first week!

“[I said that] she won’t be doing any trials, because of the strength of feeling [against Matt] in Britain!”

Their predictions were correct, as a horrified Matt initially endured six consecutive trials, yelping at the prospect of spiders and snakes crawling up his trouser legs.

Sue, who is diabetic, also looked on as Matt chowed down on a range of deeply unpleasant food sources, including kangaroo testicles and cow anus.

Son Elliot declared he was “relieved” that she hadn’t been forced to tackle many gruelling situations so far, and praised that she had come “out of her shell”.

“She is being her true self,” he insisted, adding: “It is nice to see her in another light being herself on the screen.”

He added that it had been “strange” for him watching her portray a character that wasn’t her own on Coronation Street for so many years.

She had previously told the world that she kept her home life strictly private.

However, I’m A Celebrity is expected to give fans a more candid insight into the real woman than they have ever witnessed before.

I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! continues at 9pm on ITV.

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