Nigel Farage is first to land in Australia for I’m a Celeb
Nigel Farage says he’s been “demonised” and portrayed as “mean-spirited” and “nasty” – but he hopes his I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! appearance will give him an opportunity to correct people’s “misconceptions”.
The former UK Independence Party leader and Brexit Party leader is virtually guaranteed to make waves in the jungle – and it’s been predicted that he could clash with Frenchman Fred Sirieix over their differing views on European membership.
However, 59-year-old Nigel, who is rumoured to be receiving the highest ever pay package in the history of the show, is determined to create a good impression,
“I was for many years the lone voice saying Europe wasn’t where we should be, so I have been a little bit demonised,” he exclaimed.
“I am hoping those who hate me might hate me a little bit less afterwards,” Nigel continued, acknowledging that it could be “a gamble”.
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He added: “The things I represent – mean-spirited, small-minded, nasty, the ‘little Englander’ – all those accusations that have been flung at me over the years just aren’t true. If we can dispel some of those misconceptions, then that will be a good thing too.”
Nigel says that he’s anticipating a “frosty” reaction from some of his campmates, pointing out that when fellow politician Matt Hancock entered the jungle, his reputation was “on the floor”.
There was some scarcely veiled hostility from Boy George, whose mum was hospitalised with Covid during the pandemic, and the Do You Really Want To Hurt Me? star said he’d considered walking out in indignation over Matt’s presence.
However, the former Health Secretary, who was disgraced over breaking lockdown rules due to his affair with Gina Coladangelo in 2021 and went on to resign, did gain some supporters.
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Nigel said he was ready for potential animosity, explaining: “I survived for 20 years in the European Parliament with all sorts of people trying to trip me up so I am used to that!”
Meanwhile, he was involved in a debanking scandal by Coutts in June, which he claimed was a direct result of him expressing political opinions.
Multiple petitions have been created protesting his appearance on I’m A Celebrity, with broadcaster Danny Baker stating: “Nigel Farage being put into the jungle by @ITV shows how insensitive, crass, tone deaf, idiot provocative, morally bankrupt a network they are.”
However, Nigel is going ahead with his appearance, and will be joining Britney Spears’ sister Jamie Lynn, This Morning presenter Josie Gibson, JLS star Marvin Humes, Strictly star Zara McDermott’s boyfriend Sam Thompson and Danielle Harold of EastEnders, to name just a few.
He has stated that he hates rats, snakes and anything to do with heights, which means he could be in for more than a few heart-in-mouth moments in the jungle.
“Given millions hate me, I do expect people will vote for me to do trials!” he groaned, adding that he’d be “very surprised” if his fellow celebs fail to mention Brexit and banking scandals on the show.
However, he concluded: “I have been demonised over the years and so it will be nice to show people I am not nasty!”
I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! kicks off on Monday November 19 on ITV and ITVX at 9pm.
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