Nigel Farage I’m A Celeb boycott working? Viewers continue to fall after fierce backlash

Viewing figures for Nigel Farage's I'm A Celeb season continue to plummet amidst boycott

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here viewing figures have taken a nosedive, following calls to boycott the show over its casting of far-right politician and GB News host, Nigel Farage.

The popular ITV reality series returned on Sunday (19 November) to huge backlash after announcing the former UKIP leader and Brexit campaigner would be entering the jungle. Many criticised the channel for offering Farage a platform considering his track record of offensive rhetoric, often targeted towards minority communities.

In the lead up to the first episode fans called for a coordinated boycott of the new season, which also features celebrities such as Jamie Lynn Spears and Nella Rose.

The boycott seemingly resulted in an impact from the beginning of the series as initial viewing figures from the series opener, at an average of 6.95 million, showed more than a two million drop compared to last year’s 9.1 million average viewers.

The latest figures indicate the boycott is continuing to impact viewing figures. Saturday night’s (25 November) saw another plunge with peak audience reaching just 5.5 million viewers. The average audience numbers settled at 4.8 million.

The news came alongside a YouGov poll which showed 57 per cent of Britons had an unfavourable view of the Brexit populist. Many fans have accused ITV of helping to sanitise Farage’s public image in a similar vein to the 2022 series, when former health secretary Matt Hancock was among the cast.

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Nigel Farage speaking at an event.
Nigel Farage continues to spark controversy. (Getty)

Anger has been further fulled following rumours that Farage was paid an alleged £1.5 million to appear on the reality show, based in Australia.

Fans have been taking to X/Twitter over the past week to maintain momentum for the boycott.

“Everyone watching I’m A Celeb who doesn’t want a right wing demagogue running the country in a few years needs to stop. If you’re watching you’re complicit with the Sanitisation of Farage,” one person wrote.

“Nigel Farage isn’t entertainment, and I’m a Celebrity shouldn’t be a PR exercise for fascist wannabe politicians,” another echoed.

SNP MP Owen Thompson, expressed his “deep concern and utter disappointment” at Farage’s platforming to The Daily Record on Tuesday (28 November).

“His presence on the programme normalises and trivialises his history of offensive and divisive statements and has no place in mainstream entertainment,” he continued.

“ITV or indeed any respectable TV channel should not be enabling the mediawashing of a hard right rabblerouser who seeks to profit from hate.”

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