Nigel Farage’s appearance on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here is as polarising as his ideas, with some individuals dissatisfied with his appearance on the ITV show.
The former UKIP leader and European Parliament member will appear alongside Josie Gibson, Marvin Humes, and Danielle Harold on the light-hearted entertainment show, which has prompted thousands of people to write letters to the broadcaster and hosts Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly asking for his axe.
Best for Britain, which aspires to keep the UK closely tied to Europe after Brexit, is spearheading the drive to remove Farage, 59, off the ballot.
The organization’s CEO, Naomi Smith, has indicated why they feel it is critical that Farage not be engaged.
‘While the thought of Farage mingling with other creepy-crawlies may seem appropriate, anything that normalises or amplifies his toxic views must be opposed,’ she began.
‘After a weekend that saw police injured at the hands of a far-right mob, and after years of his politics poisoning our society, we want the public to send a clear message to Ant and Dec, ITV, and the media at large, that giving a divisive populist like Farage a nightly primetime platform is not good for our country.’
Farage’s beliefs can be characterised as polarising and extremist; as part of the EU exit campaign, he previously issued an anti-immigrant billboard claiming that immigration had reached a tipping point.
New UKIP Poster launching today – Breaking Point pic.twitter.com/PjMWSLbBNZ
— UK Independence Party (@UKIP) June 16, 2016
Amongst his controversial comments, Farage said people who could migrate to the UK are: ‘People who do not have HIV, to be frank. That’s a good start. And people with a skill.’
‘The decision to pay Nigel Farage £1.5m (the highest anyone has been paid to appear on the show) is completely incompatible with ITV’s values and goals,’ added Best for Britain.
More than 1,000 individuals filed written complaints within a few hours of the site’s inauguration yesterday.
Best for Britain advised anyone who objected to ask Ant, 47, and Dec, 48, if they are comfortable hosting a show endorsing Farage and to boycott watching the show until he is removed to send a strong message.
A show spokesperson said: ‘I’m A Celebrity has always featured a diverse cast from all areas of public life and has a history of featuring political figures throughout its over 20 years on screen.
‘As with any campmate, viewers are invited to form their own opinions when the show begins on Sunday.’
Many celebrities have also criticised Farage’s inclusion.
Comedian London Hughes has stated that if she were to be in a lineup with Farage, she would quit immediately and sue ITV.
‘If I went on I’m A Celebrity and found out I was on the show with Nigel Farage, I’d leave and sue for racial negligence… but that’s just me,’ she remarked.
‘I’d say that I’m quite shocked that ITV is platforming a racist as a form of entertainment, but nothing really surprises me anymore,’ she added.
On Instagram, journalist Bella Mackie took to her Story to explain why she would not be tuning into the reality series, which begins later this month.
She gave a dangerously lengthy list of heinous remarks made by Farage over the years.
Bella’s comments included Farage specifically targeting Romanians and suggesting that women were ‘worth less’ to employers.
‘I sincerely hope people don’t watch I’m A Celebrity if he’s on it this year. For real. How is this entertainment?’ she commented, calling her followers to action.
Lorraine Kelly also questioned why he was involved while presenting her ITV show: ‘I personally think it is wrong.’
‘I think it’s very bizarre,’ she added and predicted he’d rule himself out of trials for health reasons.
I’m A Celeb has a practise of pushing politicians to eat cow anus. Last year, the series featured controversial lawmaker Matt Hancock.
After violating Covid social distancing regulations, the disgraced former Health Secretary resigned from Boris Johnson’s cabinet in 2021. In government offices, the married father-of-three was observed kissing a coworker, Gina Coladangelo.
Hancock, 45, was fighting for votes on I’m A Celeb in November 2022, placing third behind winner Jill Scott and runner-up Owen Warner.
I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! 2023 kicks off on November 19 on ITV1 and ITVX.