ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
Just when it seemed things couldn’t get any worse for Malcolm Turnbull, they have.
This morning, the Prime Minister was forced to address rumours that his deputy Barnaby Joyce had taken leave not to hide from the spotlight of public outrage – but to appear on Network Ten’s cornerstone programme, I’m A Celebrity! Get Me Out Of Here!
Turnbull spoke to waiting journalists today at the Lower House entrance in Canberra around 10 am this morning.
“At this time, I can confirm that Barnaby Joyce, the Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of The Nationals, has taken leave from parliament to star on that ‘I’m A Celebrity’ show on Channel Ten,” he said.
“It’s disappointing that this has happened, I had no control over it. It’s a National Party initiative to repair his image and rebrand Mr Joyce as a knock-about bloke who’s been judged too harshly for his many, many trespasses,”
“That’s all I’m prepared to say at this time, thank you.”
The Advocate reached out to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister but have yet to receive a response.
A representative from the reality television programme did answer our reporter’s queries, outlining the coup to get Joyce on the show and the purpose behind it.
“Commerical television is a lot like politics,” said Jack Hewitt, the show’s fourth-unit director.
“You need to keep things fresh, keep it in the headlines. We’ve been able to keep the ratings up by bringing the flavour of each month on. When everyone was hounding Bernard Tomic for having no ticker, we got him on the show and basically paid him to quit,”
“So it’d generate headlines. We got Danny Green and The Man Mundine on the show because respectfully hate each other and it makes fireworks. Now that Joyce is coming on the show next week, we can expect another ratings bonanza. Nothing is what it seems on television, just like politics.”
More to come.