Matt’s Hunted look

The Parkour Secretary is just waiting for his call up

“An instant team of forty people from across the system made up of laboratories, logistics, data analytics experts was mobilised to trace the individual. The team began with very little information”, NHS England’s Susan Hopkins informed us this evening.

Fans of Channel 4’s Hunted know the drill. A group of ordinary people go on the run from a team made up of ex-cops who try to track them down across the UK before they escape onto a waiting chopper, or if the budget is tight that year, a boat.

Most Hunted viewers reckon they could evade capture and try to work out how they’d do it. Would you hunker down with distant friends in a big city or escape for the hills with a pop-up tent and a Swiss army knife? Matt Hancock, however, is probably the only person who wants to be one of the hunters. Not the grizzled “Chief” who orders people around, he’s been doing that job for the last few years. He wants to be one of the spunky operatives who gets to make the capture, chasing an overweight accountant through a canal and uttering the show’s cheesy catchphrase: “your time on the run is over”.

“I went for a run this morning”, Hancock, a well-known fan of Parkour casually slipped into today’s press conference. Twitter users were already aware, with pictures of the Health Secretary doing press ups and leaping over fences in St James’s park doing the rounds all day. It even made the Evening Standard.

His heart not in it, Mr Hancock let NHS England’s Susan Hopkins reveal to us the rather duller, more real life version of the reality TV show that played out over the last few days. A number of people with the Brazilian variant were thought to exist last week and now the sixth person has finally been tracked down despite the fact they’d forgotten to fill out their form properly. Nobody thought to ask agent Hancock whether they should face ten years in jail.

Sadly for the Health Secretary, his skills in the field were not needed. Some laborious detective work had narrowed down 10,000 households to just 27 and the person phoned the NHS in the end to give himself up. It turns out the fugitive had gone from Brazil back home to Croydon where he had just sat around for a week. Nobody had come into Matt Hancock’s office to plead with him that he was the only one in the building agile enough to make the capture: “We’ve seen you jump over a bench Secretary of State, you’re the only one who can keep up with the rogue from Rio!”  For now, Mr Hancock sits waiting by the phone in his office, for the call that means he can stop pen-pushing and start work as the action-based NHS field operative he’s been training so hard for. Sadly for Matt, whenever he tries the person in charge of the NHS, it’s always engaged.

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