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Oxford Union ‘debate’ with reality star Gemma Collins… but it turns into Sainsbury’s ad

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‘What a sale’: Students hit back after Oxford Union holds ‘debate’ with reality TV star Gemma Collins… but it turns into an ad for Sainsbury’s

  • Oxford University hosted Christmas food debate with ‘secret celebrity guest’
  • Students were shocked to find TV star Gemma Collins in their union room
  • However, the debate turned out to be part of a Sainsbury’s advertising campaign
  • The Union has now been accused of ‘selling out’ and ‘running embarrassingly low’










As the world’s most prestigious debating society, the Oxford Union has hosted behemoths of politics, literature and science for nearly 200 years.

So when a debate on the topic of Christmas food with a “secret celebrity guest” was promoted, excitement arose on the university campus.

Now, however, students have accused the union of “selling out” and “reaching an embarrassing low” after discovering Monday’s debate was in fact part of a Sainsbury’s advertising campaign featuring reality TV star Gemma Collins.

Those in attendance showed up for a discussion about whether “Christmas food should contain only traditional dishes and flavors.” But instead they found Miss Collins and cameras recording the proceedings.

Oxford students have accused the union of ‘selling out’ after discovering Monday’s debate was in fact part of a Sainsbury’s advertising campaign featuring reality TV star Gemma Collins

During the ‘fake’ debate, the former star of The Only Way Is Essex (Towie), known as ‘The GC’, is said to have delivered a speech to the opposition that repeatedly referred to ‘Sainsbury’s investigation’ and the ‘delightful’ food from the store. before those in attendance were told to vote for her. She competed against the quarter-finalist of the European Debate Championship, Samuel Scheuer.

Mrs. Collins turned to her rival and said: ‘You have put forward the most astonishing points. I can’t say I totally agree… but you were fantastic, honey.’

The Union partnered with Sainsbury’s to promote its unusual, festive food range, including sushi with pigs in blankets and mayonnaise with sage and onion filling.

But after attending the 45-minute debate, one student said many were shocked that they had become “ignorant extras” in a supermarket PR campaign.

Those in attendance showed up for a discussion about whether

Those in attendance showed up for a discussion about whether “Christmas food should contain only traditional dishes and flavors.” But instead they found Miss Collins and cameras recording the proceedings

The Oxford Union was founded in 1823 and previous speakers have included Winston Churchill, Richard Nixon and Professor Stephen Hawking

The Oxford Union was founded in 1823 and previous speakers have included Winston Churchill, Richard Nixon and Professor Stephen Hawking

The participant, who declined to be named, said: ‘What does this say about the current state of affairs in the Union? We expect high quality debates.

“We didn’t pay a membership fee to be an extra in an ad. It’s kind of embarrassing that the union is now organizing fake debates for ads for Sainsbury’s.’

When announced on the Union’s Facebook page, the event was described as a ‘debate co-hosted with Sainsbury’s’ and members were told it would be filming. But those who attended through word of mouth would be unaware.

The Oxford Union said it was intended to be a “lively and light-hearted event before Christmas.”

And Sainsbury’s said: ‘In conjunction with the Oxford Union, the event was clearly communicated in advance to all attendees and standard protocol followed.’

The Oxford Union was founded in 1823 and previous speakers have included Winston Churchill, Richard Nixon and Professor Stephen Hawking.

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