Subscriber OnlyPeople

Brianna Parkins: I’m a Celebrity...the Brits are at it again

I’m a Celeb in a way suits Farage given the bang of colonialism it has off it

The Brits are at it again. In keeping with tradition, they are sending their dodgy characters to Australia. All in the hope that some manual labour in the bush will rehabilitate them enough to return to the warm embrace of normal society. Last year, Matt Hancock finished third on I’m A Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here! Not bad for the former health secretary who had to resign after breaking his own social distancing rules for the good reason of shifting his aide ... a woman who was unfortunately not his wife. (He already had one of those, probably at home at the time raising his children.) Sadly due to the wonder of CCTV we all had to see him wearing the face off his aide. In leaked messages after the scandal broke, Hancock told advisers “Crikey. Not sure there’s much news value in that and I can’t say it’s very enjoyable viewing”. He was wrong about the first part but right about the second. If he didn’t find it enjoyable viewing the footage of him grabbing his girlfriend’s bum as they kissed teenage disco style, it had the rest of us seriously considering joining the nuns.

Aside from using the show to reingratiate himself with the British public he let down at the height of Covid, he also netted himself a cool £320,000 for his appearance. That’s £32,000 more than the average house price in the UK.

Best of all he kept his job as MP for the entire time he was away camping. The good taxpayers of West Sussex who fork over his salary and expect him to represent them in turn were understandably a bit put out that he was off on a mini gap year while refusing to resign. He waved away their concerns, assuring them they could still contact him “at any point on any urgent constituency matters”. Funnily enough, at no point during the show did we see Hancock holding constituency surgeries next to the campfire about the state of local housing or sports facilities for youth.

At least that’s not something this year’s controversial political contestant had to worry about because Nigel Farage has never won an election to actually become an MP. He did stand for a seat in the House of Commons seven times without success, but look God loves a trier. Farage is famous for a few things, namely for being a long-standing member of the European Parliament despite being the main architect for the campaign for Britain to leave the EU. Then, like the annoying sibling who is winning at Monopoly but opts to quit while they’re ahead and walk away before the game is finished, he resigned as UKIP leader after the referendum. So he didn’t have to deal with the years of Brexit mess that followed. Handy.


Farage did admit that “Brexit has failed” this year, which would have been big of him had he not laid the blame solely on the Tories instead of himself for pushing the vote so hard in the first place. Before I’m A Celeb, Farage was languishing away on GB News, which going by viewing figures is the channel people watch when they can’t be bothered to find the remote.

But now Farage is back on our tellies every night wearing cargo pants and humbly doing his own washing up to show that he is a man of people. Even though he has the charm of a reheated TV dinner, he’s reportedly being paid a whopping £1.5 million just for sleeping on a fold-out camp bed.

So far he has sparked some mini controversies including denying to campmates that he’s anti-immigration.

“All I’ve said is we cannot go on with the numbers coming to Britain that are coming,” he protested.

Which is probably what the indigenous Australians, the traditional owners of the land he’s currently standing on, thought too over the years seeing the waves of Brits come in and colonise their country.

Maybe Farage didn’t realise that the British are the largest group of permanent migrants in Australia, with 1.2 million people born in the UK calling Down Under home according to 2021 figures.

Then he tried to suggest immigration is the reason people can’t get GP appointments before influencer Nella Rose swiftly denied immigrants like herself were the reason for that.

The British traditionally turned their noses up at what First Nations people ate due to notions of racial superiority.

“You’re not getting an appointment because the NHS is lacking funding,” she said slowly, as if talking to a confused child.

Perhaps Nigel again should have consulted Australian immigration figures, where the most popular occupation group of skilled migrants from the UK for the last year were general practitioners and resident medical officers.

The Australian governments have been actively recruiting medical staff from England and Ireland for years to a superior health system. Shows like I’m a Celeb are committed to showing the country as a colonial backwater full of creepy crawlies so folks in the northern hemisphere stay put. “I could never move there, I’d be too afraid of snakes and spiders,” Irish and English people will tell you about Australia. Personally, I’d be more afraid of the HSE and the NHS waiting lists, something more likely to hurt your health than a snake you might only see twice in your life.

I’m a Celeb in a way suits Farage given the bang of colonialism it has off it. For a start, the “Bush Tucker” trial appropriates the name for traditional indigenous food and turns it into a gross-out fest. Farage happily tucked into sheep, camel and cow parts which are actually all animals introduced by the European settlers and not native to Australia. The British traditionally turned their noses up at what First Nations people ate due to notions of racial superiority. Which is funny coming from a country that loves food as long as it’s beige and deems salt as too spicy. I’d rather take my chances with tender kangaroo, Kakadu Plums and lemon myrtle seasoning than eat mushy peas or a scotch egg. They should scratch the insects and give them a real food trial difficult for the British – eating a vegetable that’s not covered in gravy.

Time will tell if Farage successfully used his time in the penal colony to relaunch his career. That’s what the ‘jungle’ is all about. Except it isn’t a jungle. Because Australia doesn’t have jungles. He’s on the edge of a rainforest in a specially built compound about 10 minutes from the nearest residential house. Farage once said he would be “concerned” if a group of Romanian men moved next door. But no one’s yet asked the poor Australian neighbours how they feel about Nigel Farage skulking about complaining about the heat near their backyard.