I'm A Celeb: Josie Gibson walks in on Nigel Farage showering
How do you turn eating a four-penis pizza into a political victory? Sure, it earned Nigel Farage 5/5 stars on the show. But will it win him any votes?
On last night’s episode, ITV also flashed his bare behind and showed him snoring and doing his morning workout routine, all within the first five minutes.
Ahead of Nigel's appearance on 'I'm a Celeb', I read a lot of speculation on social media that the ITV editors and producers would try to stitch him up somehow.
As a former TV producer myself, I know how powerful the editing process is. Many of these claims sounded like paranoid conspiracy theories yet it’s true they’ve not been kind to him at times.
But let's be realistic, if ITV can give Nadide Dorries a fair roll of the dice, I am sure they can give Nigel Farage one.
We all expected them to be unforgiving when planning the Bushtucker Trials. And to be fair, they always are.
But what I for one did not expect is for them to also leave us blushing.
We've now watched Nigel eating a creamy nipple pizza (no comment needed) after, on night one, watching him using his mouth for tasks that should only be possible with hands.
Nigel always did have a surprisingly keen faction of female fans (I helped to sort the fan mail more than once) and I am genuinely unsure if they will be more or less keen after the last 24 hours of television. Answers in the comments section, please.
But as usual, Nigel was unaffected. He knows not to take himself seriously and he is certainly no prude. If this is the plan to make him look silly, it will fail.
He met last night's embarrassing and disgusting dishes with energy and determination. And alongside him was Nella Rose. The two were giggling and giving each other positive affirmations and encouragement the entire time.
"Nigel you are smashing it, you are smashing it," Nella cheered at one point.
She is the exaggerated, non-political, viral millennial YouTube star and he is the gruff, boomer, political bogeyman.
The beauty of this pairing is they most probably knew very little about each other before meeting. They have no preconceptions to hold them back and can form their own opinion of each other without the Guardian having already done it for them.
There had been some smug celebrations among Guardian types earlier in the day after the first night’s viewing figures were published and were revealed to be down a couple of million on last year when architect of lockdown Matt Hancock walked into The Jungle.
But the show also reportedly boosts its popularity among young audiences, with 77% of 16–34-year-olds tuning in to watch.
Nella and her fans are exactly the type of people Nigel wants to reach. He wants to show young people there is nothing wrong with being a conservative and demonstrate to them that they should probably not believe most of the rubbish they hear about him (and Brexit) on the BBC and, indeed, ITV.
And he got his first opportunity to defend Brexit, and democracy, last night.
When Fred Sirieix had a pop at Nigel about it and called his “Breaking Point” poster “shameful”, half of the campmates just got up and left, looking bored. Those who stay look unfazed. Two said they found it “interesting”. He won’t be unhappy with similar reactions from people at home.
And if this is the worst political attack they’ve got for him in The Jungle, Nigel won’t be worried. He’s had worse in Tesco.
Nella was just the second person Nigel spoke to on the show and he immediately complimented her as "the mega influencer". He understood the importance of social media very early on and he has always understood the importance of reaching the masses. And he will be genuinely interested in her talent for building a huge audience online.
Just recently, Nigel has attended boxing fights by Nella's fellow YouTube star KSI and he was on TikTok before most millennials.
During both episodes so far, Ant and Dec have taken a swipe at GB News, claiming their audience of "Keith and Linda" would be missing him.
There is an element of truth in this. GB News fans are amazing, but they are Nigel's core audience and he needs to reach beyond them, into the home of people who don't ordinarily consume news, if he wants to win elections again.
So far, so good.
Liam Deacon was former head of press at the Brexit Party and now a communications consultant
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