Nigel Farage, who used to lead UKIP and the Brexit Party, finished third in the 2023 season of “I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!” after bosses called him boring.
I’m A Celebrity’s Nigel Farage took third place in the final of the 2023 series
Throughout the competition, Nigel Farage, the 59-year-old former UKIP leader, faced tough competition against finalists Sam Thompson and Tony Bellew but fell short of claiming the title of King of the Jungle. Despite the significant sum of £1.5 million reportedly paid for his participation, Farage struggled to secure a notable presence on the screen, with the production crew deeming him “boring.”
Farage’s camp, however, mounted a persistent and somewhat sneaky campaign to boost his chances of winning the series. Despite limited appearances, Farage managed to make brief moments count, often seen expressing discontent about the camp’s conditions, advocating for more screen time, and navigating through various trials with some difficulty.
Behind the scenes, the show’s producers faced a daunting task trying to find footage of Farage engaging in topics unrelated to politics. Many crew members in Australia, where the show was filmed, regarded him as dull and not worth the significant financial investment. A senior TV source revealed that while Farage brought value to discussions about Brexit and cultural issues, his overall lack of entertainment value became evident, with the local wildlife in the jungle overshadowing his presence.
In essence, Farage’s journey in the jungle not only fell short of winning the crown but also left an impression of being one of the least captivating campmates, struggling to contribute to the show’s entertainment beyond his known political affiliations.
Even though the former Member of the European Parliament (MEP) had limited on-screen time, his supporters took to social media to fervently campaign for him to stay in the camp and emerge as the series winner. Some of the desperate campaign tactics involved the creation of fake photographs, aiming to persuade people to vote for the former politician.
His social media feeds became inundated with images depicting what seemed to be “Vote Nigel” posters strategically placed on notable landmarks. These included a London bus, a black cab, inside the Tube, and remarkably, even projected onto the iconic Empire State Building in New York. The use of such fabricated visuals demonstrated the extent to which Farage’s supporters were going to influence the voting process and secure his victory on the show.
As Nigel Farage consistently outperformed other popular celebrities in the public vote, viewers took to social media expressing frustration and accusing the show of being a ‘fix.’ Many were bewildered by how Farage managed to survive each public vote, leading to comments such as “#ImACeleb absolute joke Farage still there @itv getting their money worth and fixing the vote. #unreal #whatafix #stitchup #totalwhitewash #fix.”
Some viewers pointed out the pattern of controversial figures making it to the final three, with comparisons drawn to the previous year’s contestant Matt Hancock, the disgraced former Health Secretary. The discontent among fans was evident, with some questioning the choice of contestants and expressing disbelief at Farage’s continued presence in the competition.
Before the series even began, Farage’s participation had already sparked outrage, leading some fans to vow to boycott the show, resulting in a decline in ratings compared to the previous year. The first episode of the 2023 season, featuring Farage in an outback challenge, attracted a peak audience of 7.8 million, down from the previous year’s peak of 10 million.
The trend of divisive politicians entering the jungle for two consecutive years, including Farage and Hancock, has not only frustrated viewers but even the show’s hosts, Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly. In response to fan questions, Dec expressed the intention to propose a politician-free lineup for the show in 2024, a sentiment supported by Ant. Their influence on the show’s planning suggests a potential shift away from controversial political figures in future seasons.
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