A picture of Nigel Farage in front of the I'm A Celebrity logo

I’m A Celebrity faces boycott threats as Nigel Farage complaints land in their thousands

Will you be tuning in or turning off?

Things are heating up with I’m A Celebrity before the show even airs – and it’s all down to Nigel Farage joining the show.

Ten celebrities have been announced so far for this season, with a few more rumoured to join subsequently. However, Nigel’s signing has sparked the most backlash.

Former politician and GB News presenter Nigel Farage will join the likes of This Morning’s Josie Gibson and First Dates Fred Sirieix with hopes of being crowned this year’s winner.

Former politician Nigel Farage stood in front of a jungle background
Nigel Farage’s announcement has divided viewers of the show (Credit: ITV)

Calls to boycott Nigel Farage

There are fears now that the show might not pull in its usual viewing figures after being plagued with boycott calls. Since Nigel’s signing was announced, more than 3,500 complaints have been sent to Ant & Dec’s representatives via email.

Civil society campaign Best of Britain launched an initiative asking viewers to “pledge not to watch” the ITV show. It was launched on November 13.

The page has a call-to-action form: “It’s time to ask Ant & Dec if they’re comfortable presenting a programme promoting this man, and to pledge not to watch I’m a Celeb until Farage is ruled out.”

This also follows reports that Farage is to be paid £1.5 million for appearing on the show. He will follow in the footsteps of notable former politicians such as last year’s contestants Matt Hancock and Nadine Dorris in 2012.

The website also said: “In the first hours since launching, the campaign has prompted more than 1000 people to send a written complaint to Ant and Dec.”

The company has told ED that the figure is continuing to grow after hitting 3,500 in the first 24 hours.

Letters to Ant and Dec

CEO of Best for Britain, Naomi Smith, released a statement adding this was the wrong decision from ITV.

The statement reads: “While the thought of Farage mingling with other creepy-crawlies may seem appropriate, anything that normalises or amplifies his toxic views must be opposed.

“After a weekend that saw police injured at the hands of a far-right mob, and after years of his politics poisoning our society, we want the public to send a clear message to Ant and Dec, ITV, and the media at large, that giving a divisive populist like Farage a nightly primetime platform is not good for our country.”

Nigel Farage talking while on GB News
Nigel now has a regular show on GB News (Credit: YouTube)

What the viewers are saying

Fan reaction to his inclusion on I’m A Celeb has been mixed on X, formerly Twitter.

One viewer confirmed they won’t be watching. “Not this time, but I will see who advertises to cancel them. Giving Farage a platform to spread his hate is a step too far,” they said.

A second added: “Didn’t watch last year cos of Hancock and won’t watch this year cos of Farage.”

“Boycotting it this year due to Farage. Giving airtime for his PR stunt is a mistake,” a third chimed in.

He still has some supporters online, with one spectator posting: “I reckon @Nigel_Farage could win!”

Another said: “OMG I’ve avoided watching this show for years, but now I’m going to make sure I watch it. Good on you @Nigel_Farage.”

Read more: Full I’m A Celebrity 2023 line-up CONFIRMED by ITV as Nigel Farage, Josie Gibson and Danielle Harold appear

I’m A Celebrity 2023 starts on ITV on November 19.

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Jamie Body
Freelance Writer