Why is John Bercow on The Traitors US?

UK fans of The Traitors US all have the same question

John Bercow, Kevin Kreider and Peter Weber pictured in The Traitors US
John Bercow, Kevin Kreider and Peter Weber pictured in The Traitors US. (Getty)

New viewers of The Traitors US have the same question after the show aired in the UK on BBC on Wednesday.

There was one particular name in The Traitors US line-up that fans of the show found particularly surprising. Everyone wanted to know exactly why former British politician John Bercow, 61, ended up appearing in the line-up for The Traitors US.

In his introduction, Bercow told viewers that he was fully prepared for the reality TV series. He told cameras: "Backstabbing, deception, it’s all part and parcel of the political life." Despite his life experiences, he wasn't chosen as a traitor in the first episode.

As the speaker of the House of Commons from 2009 to 2019, he's known for shouting "Order". So, of course, Bercow shouted "order" to try and calm the chaos around The Traitors roundtable in the first episode.

His appearance immediately left everyone asking the same question: why exactly was Bercow there? Among the comments, one person said: "Well John Bercow turning up on the US version of the Traitors wasn't on my Bingo card."

Speaker John Bercow calls the house to order in the House of Commons
Speaker John Bercow calls the house to order in the House of Commons. (Getty)

Bercow joined the US stars from various reality shows from Survivor to The Bachelor that command huge audiences. He was also joined by Love Island UK 2022 winner Ekin Su Culculoglu, who has done plenty of British reality TV shows including Celebrity Big Brother and Dancing on Ice. Fans were shocked by Bercow's appearance on the US show that is filmed in a castle in the Scottish Highlands.

Someone else wrote: "How is John Bercow(?) in the US Traitors!"

Another shared: "Seeing John Bercow on The Traitors US before bed will give me nightmares."

Also a viewer added: "John Bercow a strange choice here #thetraitorsUS."

Someone said: "Going into the US Traitors featuring... John Bercow and Ekin Su?"

Questions included: "What’s John Bercow doing in the American traitors?"

Shocked a viewer wrote: "I’ve started on The Traitors US season two. It has John Bercow on it!!!"

Another said: "How have I only just been made aware that John Bercow is on the US traitors WTH!"

John Bercow joined The Traitors US roundtable
John Bercow joined The Traitors US roundtable. (Getty)

As surprised as British viewers were, it's not Bercow's first time starring on a game show for TV. After leaving the world of politics behind, he has been making a TV profile for himself. Prior to The Traitors US, he made TV appearances on game shows including the Celebrity spin off of The Weakest Link and The Wheel.

Bercow was on the Celebrity version of The Weakest Link alongside stars including: Martin Roberts, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Melvin Odoom, Anneka Rice, Kelle Bryan, Richard Blackwood and Suzi Ruffell. TV quiz host Romesh Ranganathan enjoyed grilling the celebrities in the episode that aired last year in July.

In 2021, Bercow competed on Michael McIntyre's The Wheel. At the time he joined celebrities including: Bill Bailey, Scarlett Moffatt, William Hanson, Big Zuu, Denis Lewis and Anna Richardson. He was one of the celebrity experts and of course his specialist topic was parliament.

John Bercow pictured at Parliamenton his last day as Speaker of the House of Commons
John Bercow pictured at Parliamenton his last day as Speaker of the House of Commons. (Getty)

It's been a few years since Bercow quit his role in the Commons in 2019. In March 2022, he was banned from parliament after an independent inquiry ruled he bullied House of Commons staff. At the time, Bercow accused the investigation of being "a protracted, amateurish and unjust process" in his own statement.

PR and entertainment expert at Press Box, Lynn Carratt, said reality TV gives former politicians a chance to show a different side to themselves and even possibly increase their popularity.

She previously told Yahoo: "Many MPs often find themselves unpopular with the British public. They see reality TV as a golden opportunity to rebrand their image and share their real-life persona with the viewing public, rather than the side of them that has to toe the political party line. Ultimately, MPs see appearing on reality shows as a PR platform to sell themselves as likeable individuals.

"Viewers enjoy seeing our politicians humiliating themselves on TV; it worked for Ed Balls because he went from has-been to national treasure because he understood voters what viewers wanted to see - Ed Balls performing the Salsa to Gangnam style is one of my favourite Strictly moments of all time."

Former politicians is nothing new on reality TV. In fact in the past year, there have been plenty. Nigel Farage divded opinion on I'm A Celebrity, following on from Matt Hancock's stint in the jungle. Seemingly got the bug for reality TV, Hancock got to the final of Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins. Shamed tractor porn ex-MP Neil Parish made an appearance in prison show Banged Up.

Watch The Traitors US on BBC iPlayer now.