Nigel Farage said he has been “demonised” over the years and wants to show people he is not “mean-spirited, small-minded, nasty” as it was confirmed he will enter the jungle for I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here.
The former Ukip and Brexit Party leader, 59, will be joined by Britney Spears’ sister, the actress Jamie Lynn Spears, This Morning presenter Josie Gibson and singer Marvin Humes on the ITV show.
— I'm A Celebrity… (@imacelebrity) November 13, 2023
Other famous faces in the line-up are First Dates star Fred Sirieix, reality star Sam Thompson, YouTuber Nella Rose, food critic Grace Dent, EastEnders actress Danielle Harold and Hollyoaks star Nick Pickard.
Farage follows in the footsteps of former health secretary Matt Hancock, who was voted to complete numerous bushtucker trials before he made it to the final of the show last year.
The GB News host said he thinks he will face the same fate, saying: “Given millions hate me, I do expect people will vote for me to do trials.
“My crime was to stand against an establishment view and I was for many years the lone voice saying Europe wasn’t where we should be, so I have been a little bit demonised.
“I am hoping those who hate me might hate me a little bit less afterwards. But it’s a gamble.
“And the idea that somehow the things I represent – mean-spirited, small-minded, nasty, the ‘little Englander’ – all those accusations that have been flung at me over the years just aren’t true. If we can dispel some of those misconceptions, then that will be a good thing too.”
He added: “What will be interesting is the perception the other campers will have of me.
“They will go in with their preconceived ideas and it might be a little bit frosty – we will just have to see.
“I can’t pretend to be anyone other than who I am, I never have. But I survived for 20 years in the European Parliament with all sorts of people trying to trip me up so I am used to that!”
Farage was at the centre of a debanking scandal in June, when he revealed the bank Coutts, which is owned by NatWest, was planning to close his account.
He claimed it was due to his political opinions and the saga culminated in the resignation of chief executive Dame Alison Rose.
Explaining why he wanted to take part in the ITV show, he said: “I want to test myself. Business, politics, media, I’ve done so many different jobs and generally I have been reasonably successful. But I have never been tested in quite this way.
“It’s such a mental test and maybe I will discover who I really am.
“I understood why Matt Hancock did it. He went in there with his reputation on the floor. The truth is after the banking issue I raised a few months ago, I was standing up for a million people who had lost their bank accounts, then winning at the Tric awards, I am going in at a different stage of my career.”
He added he does not expect politicians to celebrate his appearance in the jungle, saying: “They will be mostly against it.
“But most people in politics are disconnected from the country and the real world.”
I’m A Celebrity.. Get Me Out Of Here starts on ITV and ITVX on Monday November 19 at 9pm.