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11th Dec 2023

Ian Hislop turned down I’m A Celebrity this year because he didn’t want to live with Nigel Farage

Charlie Herbert

Ian Hislop turned down I'm A Celebrity because of Nigel farage

‘Would I like to be around the campfire with Nigel?’

Ian Hislop has revealed that he turned down an offer to appear on ‘I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!’ because Nigel Farage was appearing on the show.

The Private Eye editor and Have I Got News For You team captain said that ITV have contacted him on several occasions about potentially entering the jungle.

Speaking to Times Radio, Ian said: “I was invited to go on ‘I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!’ this year. I mean, I have been asked a few years and I always think it’s a sign of whether I’m washed up or not. It’s whether I get the call. And I got it this year so it’s probably all over.”

He added: “And there was a moment I thought would I like to be around the campfire with Nigel? And then I thought, no. […] And again, they’re briefing at the moment that Nigel is very boring television and everything is very disappointing.”

On Sunday evening, Made in Chelsea star Sam Thompson was crowned the new king of the jungle, pipping former boxer Tony Bellew to the crown.

The pair were the final two, with Farage having earlier been announced as this year’s third placed finisher following the public vote.

After his third placed finish, the 59-year-old told Ant and Dec in the studio: “I’m absolutely thrilled, not everyone likes the stuff I’ve campaigned for and stood for over the years but we are all entitled to an opinion and I’m a human being like anyone else.

“I hope this programme has shown I’m as human as anyone else.”

Asked why he decided to sign up for the show (presumably aside from the huge pay packet), Farage said: “I had time to do it and I’m 60 next birthday and going to reach an age where you can’t do it.

“This is very physical, bringing buckets of water, doing the challenges, so now was the right time to do it and I’m very pleased I did. I did my best to show no fear at all in the challenges.”

Speaking about his experience in the jungle with his campmates, he added: “It was interesting. Obviously there were people there that have very different views on Brexit and other subjects, and I never raised one political debate in there – not one in the whole time I was there.

“Others did with me, but I think I managed to persuade them that we should respect the right of the other person to have a different point of view.

“And I had no screaming arguments… But we had proper debates. And I think in the end, I hope, the other candidates respected my point of view.”

The former UKIP leader’s inclusion in the show has been one of the most controversial in its history. Many decided to boycott this year’s series, and viewing figures seem to have suffered this year for ITV.

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