Having paid a reported £1.5m to get him, the I’m a Celebrity... producers wasted no time making Nigel Farage chew on the anus and penis of various animals this festive season.
On Day Two, the ex-MEP was treated to both on a slice of pizza in a bushtucker trial. “Is this what it’s come to?”, a surprisingly sedate Nigel wondered morosely, before gulping them back, perhaps dreaming of the claret he usually washes lunches down with at the East India Club, and wondering where his career is going next. Just think of the money, Nige.
And that wasn’t the end of Farage’s troubles. Back at the camp, the deliciously-accented Fred Sirieix of First Dates managed what several journalists have failed to do over the past few years: hold Nigel accountable for Brexit. “I thought it was shameful what you did” Fred fumed, angry at the demonisation of immigrants. Sirieix said the restaurants he works at – apparently he’s not an actor, which may be news to many – have been battered with red tape.
Farage just about roused himself to argue that the referendum was a good idea, saying the main benefit was “being self-governing… we’re in charge”. But that was the best he could offer, and even he agreed lots of things are much worse these days.
Despairing, food critic Grace Dent did what most of us opt for during political dust-ups these days, and invited her fellow campmates to go and do the washing up.
Asked what Boris Johnson is like, Nigel told campmates: "Entertaining in small doses” – not showing much self-awareness. He went on to say that behind closed doors, Johnson is “surprisingly introverted – you see this big act…” and muttered: “I think he’s one of the most disorganised people who’s ever lived… shambles”. Farage, of course, is far more put together.
It was definitely the Nigel show: we literally saw far too much of him, especially in a very unerotic shower scene. Presenter Josie Gibson, who caught a glimpse of his backside, whimpered: “I’ve seen worse… no I haven't”. Ant and Dec were having fun too, joking that Farage had “finally” become an MP after years of trying. “The MP stands for munching penis – but he’ll take it” they cackled, also having a pop at GB News and its low viewing figures. It all felt a bit like shooting UKIP in a barrel, but maybe that’s OK.
Elsewhere, there was Jamie-Lynn Spears, slightly mystifyingly acting like a big star, given that she’s only known to British audiences for having a feud with her sister Britney. “I miss my kids” Jamie-Lynn wept, leading to a baffling moment where Marvin from JLS and several other campmates serenaded her in a soothing bath. Oddly, she seemed cheered up by the ordeal. Only on I’m a Celebrity…
Tipped to win: Josie Gibson was a likeable presence, and is odds on with bookies to win, forming a tipsy seeming team with Hollyoaks actor Nick Pickard in their painting challenge – there’s no booze in the jungle, apparently, though we can't be sure. But the star of the episode was YouTuber Nella Rose, who overcame her suspicion of Farage to form a fun pairing during their gruesome eating task. “No one’s going to marry me after this” she joked, forcing down a particularly retch-inducing morsel.
I'm a Celebrity... is on ITV every weeknight at 9.15pm