Skip to main content

Nigel Farage Is Not an Innocent Reality TV Star, He Is a Politician

by Kerenza Willcox

Nigel Farage, former UKIP and Brexit Party leader, joined the 2023 cast of I’m a Celebrity: Get Me Out of Here for a reported £1.5 million. 

Whilst ITV surely hoped for Farage to bring entertainment to the show, perhaps it hasn’t quite worked out that way. Viewing figures were down by 2 million for the first episode compared to last season, and Ofcom received over 1000 complaints before the show even started over their signing of the controversial figure.

It’s not just the British public that are getting tired of politicians appearing on reality shows; even hosts of the show Ant and Dec spoke out on Instagram, suggesting they do a year without any politicians. 

The general consensus about Farage featuring on I’m a Celeb is a negative one amongst my peers, however I’m sure this would vary if I was asking a different audience.

Despite never having been an elected MP, the broadcaster and politician has still been influential in UK politics, particularly regarding the country's decision to leave the European Union. 

He served as a Member of European Parliament from 1999-2020, and has discussed politics multiple times in the Australian jungle, sparking debate amongst campmates.

With a past filled with anti-immigration campaigns and euroscepticism, Farage isn’t shy about his opinions - continuing to be vocal and true to his public image throughout the show. 

He has been met with criticism from some of his fellow contestants, particularly Fred Sirieix of First Dates. The French maître d'hôtel brought up a UKIP poster featuring the words ‘Breaking Point’ above a line of refugees, stating that it was shameful, demonising migrants. From this, Farage responded simply saying: “In your view it was, but it wasn’t”.

Matt Hancock’s appearance on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here and subsequently Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins seemingly softened his public perception, and he became somewhat of a TikTok sensation. 

Whether or not people were posting humiliating clips of him or genuinely encouraging support, virality is a surefire way to stay in the competition. As they say, ‘all publicity is good publicity’.

For Hancock, these shows were a way to let the British public see the ‘real him’, which clearly worked to some extent as he came out of both shows in the final three. 

Whether people kept him in to punish him with trials, or if by the end they’d actually come to like him, it’s easy to forget the decisions someone has made when they’re locked in a tank grinning like an idiot with a toad on their head.

Farage expressed frustration at not being picked for a bushtucker trial, saying to fellow contestant Grace Dent: “You see, if you do the challenges, it is 25 percent of the airtime. I'm looking to reach a new audience", showing that - like most other contestants - he’s on the show at least partly for a popularity boost.

Following a discussion between Farage and fellow contestants Tony Bellew and Josie Gibson about Brexit, and particularly the financial side of the EU withdrawal, Bellew said: “Politicians will sugarcoat things and dress things up to suit their narrative”, adding: “I’m not sure Nigel’s being absolutely 100 with us”.


Hancock’s treatment in Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins was very different to his time in the jungle. He handled the physical tasks relatively well, yet it was in the interrogations that we saw the true politician in him. 

One interrogation saw him being called a “Weasel faced c***”, which did the rounds online, whilst the final interrogation solidified his sarcastic arrogance and need to come across as cool and collected. This appearance showed that there absolutely is a way to include politicians in reality television without putting them on a pedestal, however this is a difficult task for the celebrity jungle as it attempts to be a light-hearted, easy-going watch.

So, what’s the answer? Perhaps politicians should be just that, politicians, not reality tv stars or laughable idiots. 

Surely Boris Johnson taught us that a ‘loveable’ (by some) goof doesn’t make a good political leader, so maybe it’s time to stop the celebritisation of politicians. They’re not meant to be your mates. 

Most Popular

Fashion For a Cause: Brands That Stand with Palestine and the history of fashion as a form of Activism

by Oana-Maria Moldovan For over two months, there has been an ongoing genocide war in Gaza. To simplify a long and horrific issue, the situation that started, on a larger scale, around one hundred years ago, and has only become amplified since October 7th 2023. Taking place around the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and Israel–Lebanon border, the armed conflict is between Israel and Hamas-led Palestinian militant groups.  The problem is about “stolen” land. Said land is seen as an important holy part of both religions involved. But really, how holy can we consider a land to be, if people kill other people for it? It’s important to remember that this genocide is about three things: forced occupation, zionism, and religion. It’s also important to remember what ethnic erasure is. This terrible expresion, also known as cultural or ethnic assimilation, refers to the process by which the distinct cultural or ethnic identity of a particular group is gradually diminished or erased, often due to ext

‘Make Tattooing Safe Again’: Sheffield Based Tattoo Artist Exposed for Indecent Behaviour

 by Emily Fletcher TW: SA, Animal Abuse, Transphobia Photo Credit: @ meiko_akiz uki Recently, an  Instagram account  has been created to provide a  ‘space to safely give a voice to those who want to speak out about the behaviour of one, Sheffield based tattoo artist’. A  total of 40+ posts have been made by the above social media account regarding  one of Sheffield's most popular tattoo artists .  Thankfully, all posts are prefaced with a Content Warning prior to sharing screenshots of the messages that have been sent anonymously to the page. The majority of Content Warnings refer to sexual behaviour, abuse, and sexual assault. It is clear that there is a reoccurring theme within each submission, as many clients appear to have had the same experiences with the tattoo artist. Women, mostly, are being made to feel uncomfortable while being tattooed. One of the most vulnerable positions anyone can be in, tattoo artists should make their clients feel comfortable and safe during the pro

Now What? The Aftermath of the 'Manic Pixie Dream Girl'

by Susan Moore Here is a bit about me: I am an open, excitable, creative AFAB who is also moderately attractive. I have a unique sense of personal style and a personality that on the surface can only be described as “bubbly” and “quirky”. For this reason, dating is a nightmare. To be sure, I do not have a hard time finding dates or potential suitors. The problems arise when said dates spend some time with me and decide that I am a rare specimen, and the connection they feel with me is “unlike anything they have felt before”. Then, things go one of two ways.  Either a) they decide I am too high maintenance and no longer palatable, or  b) they choose to never look further than the surface and are content to date the idea of me rather than the real me. There is something rather interesting, perhaps funny, about my situation. It is in no way unique. I have met so many people who constantly dealt with the same problem. Even funnier still, is the fact that there is a trope that simultaneousl