Comedian Nish Kumar slams ITV as “villains” after allegedly paying Nigel Farage £1.5m for I’m a Celeb appearance

COMEDIAN Nish Kumar has slammed ITV as “villains” after the station have allegedly paid Nigel Farage up to £1.5m to star in this year’s series of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!

Prominent Brexiteer Farage famously campaigned for the UK to leave the European Union during his leadership of UKIP from 2010 to 2016 before becoming leader of the Brexit Party from 2019 to 2021.

It was announced last Monday that the 59-year-old has signed up to the jungle in this year’s survival reality TV show, which began on Sunday.

However, his appearance has since been slammed by comedian Nish Kumar and journalist Coco Khan in an episode of the Pod Save the UK podcast yesterday, who aired their feelings on Farage.

When discussing their “villain of the week” with guest James O’Brien, Nish proposes: “My choice is ITV.

“They have allegedly paid £1.5m into the opportunistic, money-grabbing hands of Nigel Farage in exchange for him appearing on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! following on from Matt Hancock.

“The reason I’m picking ITV [and] not Farage is because once again, this is an example of enabling and effectively fun-washing a deeply unpleasant, vile man who’s propagated some of the most hard-right conspiracy theories.

“And I mean, for better or worse, Nigel Farage ultimately is the most significant and influential politician of the last 15 years in British politics, maybe of this century of British politics.

“Because, he has essentially called the tune that the Conservative Party has danced to because of their fear of him on the right flank.

“And now the man who stood in front of a breaking point poster is now going into a fun reality show where he gets to eat bugs and present himself as being a relaxed, fun guy.”

Guest and LBC radio presenter James O’Brien adds: “I wondered a bit about Ant and Dec, actually, because they’re not stupid.”

“No,” agrees Nish.

O’Brien continues: “They’re not politically disengaged, and one presumes that they would be as repulsed by elements of Farage’s schtick as all decent people are.

“I wondered whether any of it would tarnish their reputation – but I suspect not.”

The clip was posted to social media yesterday with the caption: “Our villain of the week is… ITV. Nish says the channel is fun-washing Nigel Farage’s reputation.”

The video has since received over 6,200 likes and more than 250 comments from users left divided by the GB News presenter’s appearance.

One user claimed: “100% he will win, majority of decent people agree with Nigel but don’t shout off like the left-wing media. Come on Nigel… ITV ratings will soar.”

Another commented: “These guys are living on a different planet.”

A third said: “It’s going to devastate people when he wins.”

Another wrote: “‘People whose opinions I don’t agree with aren’t allowed on TV’.”

However, a fifth replied: “Absolutely agree with everything you say, which is why I’m not watching anymore. To put these hateful people in and pay that money is shameful.”

Whilst another commented: “‘Fun-washing’ is a great description.”

Farage beat the previous payout record held by ex-Deal or No Deal host Noel Edmonds who appeared on the show in 2018.

Edmonds was reportedly paid £600,000, but was only in the jungle for nine days, meaning he was paid an eye-watering £66,667 per day.

Last year, fellow politician and disgraced former Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock entered the jungle after being paid a whopping £400,000 before tax.