Nigel Farage says there is “no way” he will follow in the footsteps of Neil Hamilton and Edwina Currie by joining this year’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! line-up.
Mr Farage, who announced his resignation as Ukip leader after the EU referendum, had reportedly been offered £250,000 to take part in the reality TV show which sees celebrities face a series of testing challenges in the Australian jungle.
He told Sky News that there was “no way” he would be taking part.
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One source had told the Mirror: “It would be TV gold to see Farage chomping on kangaroo anus or a turkey testicle in a Bushtucker trial.”
ITV like to include a politician in each series of the show, with the likes of Edwina Currie, who had a four-year affair with John Major, and Neil Hamilton, the former Tory MP caught up in a cash-for-questions scandal and who is now a Ukip member of the Welsh National Assembly, both previously appearing.
Former Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Öpik, whose previously dated Gabriela Irimia of pop music double-act The Cheeky Girls and has voiced his belief that an asteroid will wipe out life on Earth in the next decade, is also a former contestant.
Tory MP Nadine Dorries also entered the jungle in 2012 but was suspended by the party after signing up for the show took her away from her duties as MP for Mid Bedfordshire.
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Failed London mayor candidate and Lib Dem peer Brian Paddick and former Labour MP and TV host Robert Kilroy-Silk have also starred.
“Throwing a politician into the mix always makes fantastic TV,” added the source. “Edwina’s explosive rows with campmates was compulsive viewing, and Lembit’s trials were a ratings hit.
“This year, everyone is talking about Brexit, so producers are desperate to snare one of the biggest names from the Leave campaign for the jungle to make it the most talked about series yet.
“Farage is a win with British voters – so producers think viewers would be keen to pick up the phone and nominate him to be covered in cockroaches or fish guts.
“Besides that, his controversial views are bound to see him come to blows with the other stars. It’s easy to see why ITV are desperate to sign him up.”
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Speaking of reality TV, Mr Farage previously said: “I’m known for saying what I think and not holding back. If I got into one of those situations it could be tricky.”
But ITV bosses may be hoping he changes his mind, something he has form for doing, after resign his position as Ukip leader after the 2015 general election, before taking up the post again.
On the night of the EU referendum he also conceded a Brexit defeat, before changing his mind about the result, which ultimately was a vote to leave the European Union.