I’m A Celebrity boycott: fans pledge not to watch ITV series over Nigel Farage appearance, turn on Ant & Dec
Fans of I’m a Celebrity will boycott series and turn on Ant and Dec for platforming Nigel Farage
I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! 2023 could see a drop in ratings as some fans plan to boycott the show over Nigel Farage’s participation in the reality series. The controversial former Conservative Party member, former UKIP leader, former Eurosceptic MEP, and now leader of the Brexit Party is estimated to have been paid a massive £1.5 million for his role in the series.
If the figure is anywhere close to accurate, it will be by far the most any celebrity has been paid to appear in the entire history of the show. The next best paid is believed to have been Deal or No Deal host Noel Edmonds, who entered the jungle in 2018.
Farage is far from I’m a Celebrity’s first political booking - earlier contestants include Matt Hancock, Nadine Dorries, Edwina Currie, and Lembit Öpik, but the arch-Brexiteer could be the show’s most controversial contestant so far.
ITV have shelled out a fair amount for the politician, but it could prove to be a bad investment, as many fans have vowed to boycott this year’s series over the channel’s decision to give Farage, who is still active in politics, a platform.
Why have I’m A Celebrity fans turned on Ant and Dec?
As I’m a Celebrity fans shared their thoughts on the Farage booking on social media, many expressed their plan to boycott ITV altogether to send a message.
One user posted on X: “Don't watch it, don't send them money in phone votes, don't reward the advertisers, and f**k Ant and Dec for platforming him”.
Another shared: “Just so upset by this. Ant, Dec & ITV platforming a xenophobe who revels in whipping up division & poison. What has this country become?”
A third X user referencing last year’s controversial political booking for the series, wrote: “I didn't watch Hancock, I definitely won't watch him. I used to love Ant & Dec on this. Not any more.”
Some went further, directly calling on Ant and Dec to use their influence as the undisputed stars of the reality series to prevent Farage taking part. Best for Britain, a group which aims to foster internationalism following Brexit, launched a campaign to pressure ITV to drop Farage.
Following the launch of the campaign, more than 1,000 people wrote an email to presenters Ant and Dec asking them not to platform the divisive politician. The pair have not yet publicly responded to the backlash - their latest social media post is a clip from Taste Mates, their online cooking series.