I'm a Celeb's Fred Sirieix confronts Nigel Farage for "demonising" migrants

nigel farage on i'm a celebrity day 2
I'm a Celeb's Fred Sirieix confronts Nigel FarageITV/Shutterstock

I'm a Celebrity 2023 spoilers follow.

Fred Sirieix has confronted Nigel Farage for "demonising" migrants in his Brexit campaign, during the latest I'm a Celebrity episode.

There has been considerable controversy and backlash to ITV signing up the former UKIP leader to compete in the jungle, given his inflammatory political statements about migrants.

It didn't take long for the issue to come up in camp, as Nigel was directly confronted for his comments by First Dates star Fred during Monday's (November 20) episode.

The campmates were discussing Nigel's impressions of Boris Johnson when the subject of his role in the Brexit campaign was brought up.

i'm a celebrity fred sirieix on day 2

Related: Why I'm a Celebrity's 2023 premiere was so boring

When Nigel described the current political climate as "bloody chaos" and a "shambles", Fred pointed out that the former MEP should take some responsibility.

"What’s the benefit of Brexit then? If you are an average person from Britain, what’s the benefit?" Fred directly asked him.

Nigel argued that the Brexit vote was about the country being "independent", yet Fred suggested there was something more sinister at play.

"Brexit was about immigration, I remember your poster. I thought it was shameful what you did, Nigel. Shameful," Fred told him.

At the heart of the dispute was a Brexit poster depicting "mass young men moving illegally across borders" — in Nigel's own words — but he denied it demonisied migrants.

nigel farage on i'm a celebrity day 2

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"In your view, it was [demonising], but it wasn’t," Nigel insisted, before Fred shot back: "It’s not only just my view."

Grace Dent and Nick Pickard discussed whether there could actually be any resolution to the disagreement in camp since Nigel was so central to the Brexit campaign.

However, Fred stood his ground in the Jungle Telegraph: "Look, Nigel Farage is in the jungle with me. We’re bound to have this conversation. At the end of the day nothing is going to change, Nigel believes what he believes, I believe what I believe. It was only a matter of time.”

The ITV show faced a similar backlash for its previous hiring of divisive figures, such as when former Health Secretary Matt Hancock was cast in 2022's series, among other instances.

This time, ITV may not have captured the desired interest it hoped for in casting Farage, as Sunday's premiere episode was down two million viewers from last year's opener.

I'm a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here airs on ITV1 and ITVX.

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