ITV strategy ‘backfires’ as Nigel Farage enjoys ‘massive hike’ in popularity polling

ITV’s strategy backfired after Nigel Farage enjoyed a “massive hike” in a popularity poll, according to GB News’ Ben Leo.

It comes after an impressive stint in the I’m a Celeb jungle for the GB News star which saw him storm to third place.

Farage’s success was not limited to the jungle as his favourability rating jumped by two points in YouGov’s latest polling.

Speaking to Martin Daubney, Ben Leo said this was the last thing ITV would have wanted despite shelling out £1.5million for the former Brexit Party leader.

Ben Leo says ITV would not have wanted Farage’s popularity to surge


“A massive hike in his popularity ratings” he said.

“On the political front, where of course Nigel is honorary president, a poll from Redfield and Wilson Strategies has reform up one per cent to 11 per cent and just two percentage points behind the Liberal Democrats.”


Asking whether ITV will be “happy” about the effects of Farage’s I’m a Celeb exploits, Daubney said the broadcaster was keen to cast him as a “bogeyman”.

“They wanted him to go on there to be this kind of far-right miscreant they could just annihilate forever”, he said.

“Obviously, that hasn’t happened. It pinged off the armour.”

Leo, who was present in Australia for the opening weeks of Farage’s time in the jungle, fleshed out details from conversations he had with ITV workers in his time down under.

FarageFarage finished third in this year’s I’m A CelebITV/SHUTTERSTOCK

“I was speaking to people working on the show and from what I gathered and assessed, they did try and throw loads of hurdles and challenges at Nigel”, he said.

“They wanted to get him to trip up over Brexit, immigration, having rows and getting amongst it with people like Fred [Sirieix], a staunch Remainer.

“It didn’t work and that’s when we started seeing the drop off in airtime because from my perspective, I thought they were trying to stitch him up.”

Farage has criticised ITV bosses after his time in the jungle, but added he had “no problem” with production stuff from the hit show.

He had particular criticism for Director Kevin Lygo, who he accused of “unpleasantries”.

“It seems whilst I was in the Jungle, one or two people at the top of ITV were doing their best to make things unpleasant for me”, he said.

“What I will say to Kevin Lygo, the boss of ITV, it’s up to you mate. If you want to go to war with me, you really can.

“The last person to do that was Dame Alison West, from NatWest bank, and look what happened to her.

“So I would suggest, Mr Lygo, that I am prepared to ignore your rude, one-handed gestures, the rude pathetic attempts from your staff to stitch me up.

“I am prepared to forget all of this if we can call a truce. If you really want to go to war with me, I don’t think it would do ITV share prices a lot of good.

“Let’s end the nonsense, and let’s do it now.”


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