After the party, the hangover. Last time we tuned in, Nigel Farage was cavorting around the I’m A Celebrity jungle topless, singing Right Said Fred’s I’m Too Sexy. The next day he was ruminating on the terrible things he’d done. Although in his case, it was Brexit.
But that was to come. The man now dubbed Nigel ‘Chippendales’ Farage by boxer Tony Bellew began his day by waking TV presenter Josie Gibson and Eastenders actress and Danielle Harold from their beds with an on-brand “We didn’t win the biggest empire the world’s ever seen by lying around in bed, did we?”.
It turned out Farage and Gibson had been chosen to earn dingo dollars by taking an aquatic challenge involving separating lilos from the water and putting them in the right area (“You’ve just got to get your leg over,” joshed Farage). One category was items with eight letters, a simple task proved more challenging by the fact that neither Gibson nor Dulwich College-educated Farage could spell the word pineapple.
Still, job done and back in the camp, Farage finally gave ITV what they paid the big bucks – a reported £1.5 million – for: his thoughts on Brexit, as Gibson and Bellew questioned the former Ukip leader on his motivations for signing up for the show (that reported £1.5m aside).
“Some of the press I’ve had to put up over 10 years or more, you sort of get just demonised by some of these people,” he whinged of a press which has given him such damning headlines in the last decade as ‘Britain says let Farage lead Brexit’, ‘Farage steps up fight for EU exit’ and ‘Why you must vote for Ukip’.
“So well, you come and do it, people see who you really are, it might help, it might not. But it might help.”
He then went on to explain the workings of the European Parliament to Gibson and Bellew. “When we were members of the EU, they helped to shape more laws than the British Parliament,” he lied.
“I think we should make our own laws on farming, financial services, you know, the insurance industry, we should make our own environmental law. We should be in charge of our country. That’s the point. And once we’re in charge, it doesn’t guarantee that things are better, but it means we’re in charge.”
“But now they’ve pissed that power up the wall,” noted Bellew.
“Well, they’ve got it. They haven’t used it that well – I agree,” said Farage. “But we do have that power.”
Bellew remained unimpressed. “We were promised X amount going to the NHS.”
“Well, I think it did, to be honest,” lied Farage again. “But – pfffffft! – it’s a bottomless pit, I’m afraid.”
£1.5 million? ITV could have got a similar level of insight from a five-minute black cab journey.
In the diary room, Bellew reflected on his conversation with the GB News host.
“Considering Nigel Farage has been part of the European Parliament I just don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing. I can’t get my head around it. But as we know, politicians will sugarcoat things and dress them up to suit their narrative. I’m just not sure Nigel’s being absolutely 100 with us.”
And, he could have added, he can’t spell pineapple.