ITV announced the official 2023 line-up on Monday (13 November), following intense speculation over which soap stars, actors, TV presenters, and politicians were headed for the Australian jungle this year.
Weeks before the announcement, Farage, 59, said he was giving an offer to join this year’s line-up “very serious consideration” after having turned down the opportunity “several times since 2016”.
“And they’ve always offered me really quite substantial sums of money to do so, and I have always thought ‘No, it’s probably not the right thing for me to do’,” he continued, during his GB News show on 30 October.
Farage appeared to self-reference these comments in a short video posted on his X/Twitter account, after the 2023 I’m a Celeb line-up was unveiled nearly one week before the season premiere on Sunday (19 November).
During the clip, the former politician play-acts a phone conversation with producers of the ITV show, quipping: “Oh, hello. Yeah, no. I’m a Celebrity, I’m used to the annual call.”
“I normally say ‘no’ but I’m a bit more thoughtful about it this year,” Farage replies, after a brief pause . “Oh god, that’s short notice. To be honest, I’m actually off fishing next week, so [it’s] a little bit tricky in terms of the dates.”
“How much?!” he asks incredulously, reacting to his proposed fees.
Having made up his mind, Farage continues: “Well, I’ll see you in the jungle!”
The rumours are true.. I’ll see you in the jungle! 🦘 pic.twitter.com/ohYl1vD4Dp
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) November 13, 2023
The British broadcaster is rumoured to be earning £1.5m for his time in the jungle, according toThe Daily Mail. This would be the third-highest fee amount any contestant has received during the show’s 21-season run.
In a video shared on GB News’s X/Twitter account, Farage said he is sure he will be able to survive the I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! jungle because he is “used to dealing with snakes and other horrible reptiles” – both in the European Parliament in Brussels and at Westminster.
Farage also shared that he has been training for the ITV reality show for the past five days by abstaining from tea, coffee and alcohol, while adding that he is “not a big fan of heights” after surviving a plane crash in 2010.
“I know that the ground does hurt quite a lot,” he said.
Farage also explained his reasons for joining the show, saying: “You know the (Brexit) referendum was a long time ago, there are a lot of young people who don’t know who I am, don’t know what I stand for.
“This is my big chance to reach a really big audience of young people, which I think will be good for me and really good for GB News as well. That’s one reason for doing it,” he continued.
In addition to Farage, this year’s celebrity line-up includes Britney Spears’s sister Jamie-Lynn Spears,Made in Chelsea star Sam Thompson, former Big Brother winner Josie Gibson, food critic Grace Dent, and Fred Sirieix, the French maître d’hôtel known for his appearances on Channel 4’s First Dates and BBC Two’s Million Pound Menu.