Just seconds into the show’s launch episode on Sunday, 19 November, #BoycottImACeleb began trending on X, formerly Twitter, as many shared their anger at the former politician’s participation on the show.
One wrote: “Absolutely deplorable that #ImACeleb pays a fortune for disreputable politicians to appear on it. This year and last. If we #BoycottImACeleb ITV will lose much needed advertising revenue.”
“I would have watched this year but I won’t have that racist a**hat Farage on my TV. @ITV stop hiring failed politicians for entertainment. Especially after the damage they’ve done to this country. First Hancock now Farage. #BoycottImACeleb” added another.
While a third penned: “I’m a celebrity is my favourite show of the year I have watched it every year (even though Hancock was on last year) I cannot in all conscience bring myself to watch it this year. Shame on you itv. #BoycottImACeleb.”
And a fourth simply said: “I’m gutted but I cannot bear to waste a second on his smugness and his vile attitudes. So no #ImACeleb for us this year #BoycottImACeleb.”
It’s been reported that the former UKIP leader signed up for the show after he was offered a whopping £1.5 million to take part.
The show’s first episode saw Nigel, This Morning presenter Josie Gibson and YouTuber Nella Rose dropped in the outback where they attempted to get as many tokens as possible from a camper van that was filled with snakes.
With a total of nine tokens up for grabs, the trio managed to secure six tokens, and therefore six minutes, for their campmates who were tasked with inching sideways along a skyscraper before sliding along a horizontal pole to unclip carabiners and release their star print flag.
And as the launch came to an end, with the celebs successfully winning 10 meals for the camp, presents Ant and Dec revealed to the campmates that viewers had been voting for the next Bushtucker Trial, announcing that Nigel and Nella would be taking part.
Despite proving controversial with viewers, political expert Matt Goodwin has argued that the show could see Nigel connect with the young generation and become a “man of the people”.
“I suspect he will connect with a new audience. He’s already big on things like TikTok, he’s already quite well known among Generation Z and he will be going into this thinking, ‘I’ve got a unique opportunity to raise the visibility of my brand, to connect with a new generation of voters, to show an older generation of voters that I wasn’t really what the media said I was’,” he said.
“And also to be ‘man of the people’. If he does well, you know if he takes it on the chin, if he has a good laugh and if he comes across in an authentic way, explains to people why he holds the views that he holds, and why he cares about the country and why he thinks it’s going down the drain.”
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