By John Ensor •
Published: 21 Nov 2023 • 10:36
Image of Nigel Farage.
Credit: lev radin/Shutterstock.com
ITV’s much-anticipated, ‘I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! has suffered a huge crash in viewing figures, and all the evidence seems to point to Nigel Farage.
‘I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!’ has experienced a significant viewership decline in its 2023 launch, a contrast to its usual status as a ratings juggernaut for ITV.
On the 2023 premiere, which took place in the Australian jungle, the show attracted a peak audience of 7.8 million and an average of seven million. These figures represent a sharp fall from the previous year’s launch, which peaked at 10 million and averaged 9.1 million viewers.
Many attribute this downturn to the appearance of Nigel Farage, the Brexit architect known for his right-wing stances. Farage’s participation in the show was met with widespread criticism and calls for a boycott, which has led to a noticeable ratings drop, dubbed the ‘Farage Effect’
Farage, a regular on GB News, confirmed on his show that he had considered joining ‘I’m a Celebrity’ for some time, enticed by ‘really quite substantial sums of money.’ Reports suggest he was offered £1.5m, surpassing the previous record fee of £600,000 which was paid to Noel Edmonds in 2022.
It appears that the channel’s gamble has not paid off. The backlash has been so intense that some viewers have labelled Farage’s casting as a ‘cynical bid to boost ratings’ and accused ITV of giving undue publicity to an ‘extremist’. Several petitions have been launched to remove Farage from the show, illustrating the public’s resistance to his participation.
The decision to cast Farage, who has been accused of xenophobic rhetoric, sparked outrage among viewers and celebrities alike.
Outspoken comedian, London Hughes, stated: ‘I’d say that I’m quite shocked that ITV is platforming a racist as a form of entertainment, but nothing really surprises me anymore.’
Broadcaster Danny Baker also criticised ITV’s choice, calling it ‘insensitive, crass, tone deaf, idiot provocative, morally bankrupt’.
One person wrote: ‘I make no apology for hammering the BoycottImACeleb drum. Normalising Farage, and packaging him for prime-time light entertainment is wrong on every imaginable level. Chowing down on kangaroo b****cks is nothing compared to the sh*te he has fed his army of the gullible.’
One person didn’t write anything but got their message across by simply posting a photo of legendary cricketer Geoffrey Boycott.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
I am actually not watching it this year because I am sick to death of Ant & Dec and their monotonous same old, same old routine, they, and the show are well past their sell by date. Time to move on with something new ITV.
I haven’t watched a single episode ever and I’m proud of that record. Perhaps viewers are just bored with it now
Yes I agree, the program is now looking antiquated and is a thing of the past like an old cathode ray tube TV.
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