Nigel Farage ate an udder-topped pizza and got up close with snakes in the first episode of UK reality TV show I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here, getting good reviews and achieving his apparent aim of portraying a different side of himself to the voting public along with it.
Brexit leader Nigel Farage is believed to be happy at having been offered the highest ever appearance fee in the 23-year history of one of the UK’s most-watched television shows, as well as getting the chance to introduce himself to a wider and less political cross-section of the public. It is just the first week but indications that controversy over his inclusion and his honed television manner will combine well to produce healthy coverage of his stint in the jungle are strong, and UK tabloids appear to have reacted well to his first performance.
Sunday night’s episode saw Farage having to stick his head into a box of snakes to move tokens with his tongue: in return for him completing the challenge, his fellow contestants were rewarded with food. Farage was also selected for another trial, this time involving a gross-out meal of a pizza topped with the udders or teats of a camel, sheep, and cow.
While his teammate screamed out in disgust, Farage appeared relatively sanguine about eating the meal, complaining it was a little tough to chew on.
Farage said on the show: “In the jungle, you’re going to find the real me. You might like me more, you might dislike me more, but you will at least find out. The best way to handle conflict is to tackle it head on. I dealt with snakes in the European Parliament, I can cope with this too.”
There were brief references to Brexit and politics in the show but Farage appeared content to brush them off. While driving a 4×4 in one segment the hosts asked, rhetorically, whether Mr Farage had veered too far to the right, and when another responded to Mr Farage saying the stress of taking on challenges in remote places was “something different, an adventure” by remarking “it can’t be worse than Brexit”, he laughed it off.
The major tabloid press seems to have reacted well to Farage so far, with the Daily Mail noting fan reactions of a “chilled dude” taking the challenges in his stride and The Sun focussing on how high around the waist Farage wears his trousers, compared to the younger contestants. Martin Daubney, former Brexit MEP and now a GB News broadcaster voiced his views, saying the more disgusting challenges the show threw at Farage, the better off he’d be.
Daubney said: “He’ll scoff at his critics and he’ll wash it down with Remainer tears! Because Nigel loves to wind people up and the more they throw at him, the more popular he’ll get.”