Humble. Modest. Unpretentious. None of these words could be used to describe Nigel Farage, as the former Ukip leader last night treated ITV viewers to a summary of his role in the 65-year history of the European Parliament.
“Do you know what? I’m the biggest name the European Parliament’s ever had in terms of international news that I made,” he told TV presenter Josie Gibson while lying (in both senses) in the camp trailer.
“I put them on the map globally. I said to them one Christmas, ‘you should all be grateful to me, I’ve made you all famous’.”
Being an MEP, he told millennial Wurzel Gibson, was “an amazing lifestyle”. “You get to the airport, there’s a chauffeur-driven Mercedes waiting for you. You want to go out for dinner, the chauffeur takes you. You get €300 a day spending money, cash. The members’ dining room is just wonderful, crab and lobster buffets. Every day!
“The Ukip table was often the noisiest in there. Because we drank and we had a laugh, you know. And if you’re an MEP, the power that you have is incredible. Because you are treated like the elite. Women throw themselves at you.” As your correspondent has pointed out before, it is boxer Tony Bellew in the camp who made a living being repeatedly punched in the head.
Later, all the campmates received a surprise visit from a family member or friend. Tears were shed, hugs were held tightly. Except Farage, who, upon being greeted by his daughter, showed all the emotion one might upon greeting the postman. His daughter “loved seeing your bare bottom on the telly,” she told him. Farage nodded solemnly.
He was far more excited at the prospect of doing another Bushtucker Trial. The 59-year-old, who has spent much of his time in camp calculating how much air time he is getting, insisted it was “my turn”, patronisingly holding Gibson’s face as he did so. “Let Nigel do it, he wants the air time,” said the This Morning presenter.
The trial, which he performed with boy-band member Marvin Humes – later to be the next campmate voted off the show – was Grotty Little Christmas, a festive feat involving the pair being pelted with offal, fish guts, rotten parsnips and bread sauce. Finally, they were forced to crush raw fish eyes in their mouths and drink its contents.
“This is my speciality – drinking,” said Farage. It was a much more accurate statement of how history will remember him than any of his boasts in the trailer.