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48 things you need to know about Nigel Farage

Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage. Picture Ben Birchall. - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

From losing seven attempts at becoming an MP to computer illiteracy – these are the 48 things you should know about the former UKIP leader.

1) Born on April 3, 1964, Nigel Farage is younger than Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt.

2) In 2014 Farage claimed: ‘I don’t think I know anyone in politics who’s as poor as we are. We live in a small, semi-detached house. A small semi-detached cottage in the country and I can barely afford to live there.’ Nigel earns €100,000 per year as an MEP, collects another €300 per day as a living allowance, gets free first-class travel on top and until recently charged the EU another £27,000 per year to pay for his secretary, who happened to be his wife. His small semi in the country is worth over £550,000, and all four of his children have attended fee-paying schools.

3) Farage rose to notoriety in February 2010, when he publicly insulted new EU president Herman Van Rompuy, telling him he had ‘the charisma of a damp rag’. The clip of Farage’s speech has been viewed 1.4 million times on YouTube.

4) Farage has claimed up to £15,000 a day from the European Parliament for bodyguards. He spent £58,000 of EU money on security for five events, including one at a darts arena in Essex which attracted no protesters whatsoever.

5) In January 2015, after an incident in which he was forced to stop his car when wheel nuts came loose, Farage claimed sinister forces had tampered with his vehicle and that he had reported the matter to French police. The owner of the garage which repaired his wheels later reported that the problem had probably been caused by poor repair work.

6) Farage’s German wife Kirsten says he has serenaded her with football song ‘Two World Wars And One World Cup’.

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7) In May 2013 Nigel had to be rescued from an Edinburgh pub after a group of 50 protesters blocked his exit while singing ‘Nigel you’re a bawbag, na-na, na-na.’

8) The first thing Farage did after crawling from the wreckage of the light aircraft crash which nearly killed him in 2010 was to ask for a cigarette. He was covered in aviation fuel at the time.

9) When Nigel visits his local pub, the George & Dragon in Downe, near Bromley, he often sits by a sign reading ‘Be Nice Or Leave’.

10) In 2012 Farage claimed the lack of council flats in London was because ‘if you come from Eastern Europe, all you have to do is to get a national insurance number – which you can get easily within a fortnight – and then you qualify automatically for social housing’. In fact, no-one qualifies automatically for social housing and only the employed can get on the list, while obtaining a national insurance number takes months rather than weeks.

11) In February 2015, Farage spoke at CPAC, a gathering of American rightwingers in Washington DC. His speech drew an impressive crowd of 250 people in a hall built to accommodate 5,000.

12) In 2014 Nigel was alleged to have formed a very close friendship with his former press aide Annabelle Fuller. She said they had bonded when she advised him to always drink a glass of water with his breakfast kippers.

13) Things progressed further and it is alleged on their first night of passion Farage had slipped into bed ‘wearing a white T-shirt and white Y-fronts’ before whispering ‘that my arse had looked amazing in the moonlight’. Later he told her to say nothing of their affair ‘to save Brexit’.

14) Farage has denied claims that while a schoolboy at Dulwich College, he and a group of fellow Army cadets ‘marched through a quiet Sussex village very late at night shouting Hitler Youth songs’.

15) In 2017 he tested his popularity in Essex by bringing his one-man show to Clacton-on-Sea’s Princes Theatre. As of the day before the gig, he’d sold a whopping 179 of the 802 available tickets.

16) At a 1981 meeting to select Dulwich College prefects, one teacher remarked that young Farage was ‘a fascist, but perhaps that was no reason why he would not make a good prefect’.

17) In 2013, a journalist spotted Farage grabbing a red wine from a train drinks trolley. It was just past 11am.

18) He inadvertently referred to his followers as ‘the great unwashed’ during a live BBC interview. Farage told Daily Politics that Theresa May’s speech in Florence was ‘a big two fingers up to 17.4million, the great unwashed who wanted Brexit.’

19) Farage only has one testicle, after contracting testicular cancer when he was 24. He refused to have an artificial testicle implanted.

20) Nigel was asked to leave his job at French bank Crédit Lyonnais Rouse in the early 1990s after taking a drunken friend onto the floor of the Stock Exchange.

21) Nigel shared a flat in Brussels with former UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom, who in 2013 questioned the concept of foreign aid by saying ‘how we can possibly be giving £1bn a month, when we’re in this sort of debt, to Bongo Bongo Land is completely beyond me.’

22) Farage’s wife said in 2014 that he was virtually computer illiterate. ‘He can send and receive texts and that’s it… He can scroll up and down, he has learned that – but that is pretty much it. He honestly doesn’t know how to [use a computer] and he has missed the boat, I don’t think he ever will now.’

23) In 2006, the News of the World reported the claims of a Latvian woman who claimed Farage had picked her up in a pub in Biggin Hill and made love to her seven times in one night before falling asleep and ‘snoring like a horse’.

24) Nigel lost in all of his seven attempts to become an MP.

25) In 2000, the brother of Blackadder star Rowan Atkinson accused then-UKIP chairman Farage of leading a dirty tricks campaign against him. Rodney Atkinson lost the party’s leadership election by 16 votes to Farage’s favoured candidate, Jeffrey Titford.

26) In the same year, the BBC announced it would not be screening a documentary made during UKIP’s campaign for the 1999 European elections. Nigel asked for a video of the programme and then got a friend to make copies, which were later sold for £5 apiece through the party’s magazine.

27) Farage was once invited to speak at a rugby club, only to find out when he arrived that he would be sharing a bill with ventriloquist Roger De Courcey and Nookie Bear. Said Farage: ‘He was amazing. He did a stand-up routine and only then did he produce the bear. The bear gave him licence to say anything. And he did so.’ Some people don’t need a bear.

28) In July 2015, Farage became enraged at the fact that it was Luxembourg’s turn in the rotation to take up presidency of the EU presidency and commission. ‘A country smaller than Croydon is running the European Union,’ he said. In terms of square miles, Luxembourg is 30 times the size of Croydon and is home to 175,000 more people.

29) Nigel admits he was no good at maths while at school.

30) Farage wore Union Jack shoes to a celebrity party held on the Sunday after the referendum, during which he met Rupert Murdoch.

31) Farage spent 11 months in plaster after being run over outside Orpington Station in 1985. He’d been in a local pub for most of the afternoon, ‘debating the Anglo-Irish Agreement.’

32) Nigel’s A&E notes after the accident read ‘lucid but aggressive’.

33) Farage was nearly caned at school for drinking whisky. He later wrote of the moments awaiting his punishment: ‘My arse twitched. My genitals bunched.’

34) Former City trader Farage wants everyone to feel sorry for City traders. He said ‘they commute in conditions that are Third World, work under an enormous amount of pressure and are forced to live in the most expensive part of the UK.’

35) Farage claims to have lost his company a seven-figure sum on the zinc market during a single morning in the 1990s, then insisted on carrying on with his customary liquid lunch. Nigel says that when his boss asked him where he thought he was going, he replied: ‘Out to lunch, but if you want me to take my jacket off again and stay put, I can start losing the same amount this afternoon if you’d rather.’

36) In a 2014 interview with Gogglebox’s Steph and Dom, Nigel revealed that while ‘I don’t think Hitler was very funny’, he thinks ‘Mussolini can be quite funny.’

37) When Farage turned up two hours late to a meet-the-leader UKIP event in Wales in December 2014, he blamed ‘open-door immigration’ for the fact that the M4 is ‘not as navigable as it used to be’.

38) One of Nigel’s favourite words is ‘mega’. He has described both poet John Betjeman and the 1980s drinking culture at the Stock Exchange as ‘mega’. When in 2014 a UKIP MEP described a Thai constituent as ‘a ting tong from somewhere’, he visited the woman to offer her ‘mega, mega apologies’.

39) In 2017 Katie Hopkins accused him of not being Brexity enough because of his lack of support for Anne Marie Waters in the UKIP leadership election. ‘He chose his Labour Broadcasting Corporation @LBC pay check over 17.4 million Brexiteers. End of.’

40) After a period of abstinence, Farage took up cigarettes again in 2016. With a Govian disregard for experts, he says: ‘I think the doctors have got it wrong on smoking’.

41) In 2014 Farage was accused of taking £15,400 from the EU to pay for his constituency office, despite the fact that it had been given to him rent-free by an admirer.

42) In 2010 Farage described Belgium, which has been independent since 1830 and has a population of over 11 million – greater than that of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland combined – as ‘pretty much a non-country’.

43) Pictured in 2014 holding the hand of tourism official Ande Soteri leaving a bar in Malta at 3.42am, Farage insisted he had done so only because the woman was disabled.

44) Nigel believes breastfeeding mothers should have to do so in the privacy of the women’s toilets ‘or perhaps sit in the corner, or whatever it might be… I know particularly people of the older generation feel awkward and embarrassed by it.’

45) Farage blamed the infamous 2014 interview in which he said people would be concerned if Romanians moved in next door on being ‘completely tired out.’

46) Nigel refused to join in with a standing ovation given to Prince Charles by MEPs in 2008. He has called the heir to the throne ‘a deluded chap who wobbles around’.

47) Farage has broad tastes in comedy. He enjoys both the WWII sitcom Dad’s Army and ‘Allo ‘Allo, a sitcom set in WWII.

48) He was the subject of the most unfortunate, and yet the most accurate, typo in recent history on the BBC News website: ‘Nigel Farage hired by Fox News as a political analcyst’.

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