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I'm A Celebrity: Nigel Farage gets 'touchy' over Matt Hancock comparisons

The Brexit pioneer became defensive when Ed Balls asked him about sharing I'm A Celeb third place status with Matt Hancock.

Matt Hancock and Nigel Farage appeared on I'm A Celebrity (ITV)
Nigel Farage did not like being compared to Matt Hancock after they both came third in I'm A Celebrity (ITV)

What did you miss?

Nigel Farage appeared to be offended about being compared to Matt Hancock for coming third on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!

The Brexit pioneer appeared live on Good Morning Britain from Australia after placing second runner-up in the final of the 23rd series of the ITV jungle show, the same position held by the former health secretary last year. Ex-Labour MP Ed Balls offered a sarcastic apology when Farage took umbrage with his line of questioning about Hancock.

I'm A Celebrity's Nigel Farage wants to show everyone he's a nice guy (ITV)
I'm A Celebrity's Nigel Farage was placed third, after making it to the final. (ITV)

What, how, and why?

Farage appeared on breakfast show GMB to give his first interview since making it the final of I'm A Celebrity and finishing third behind retired boxer Tony Bellew and winner Sam Thompson. Balls appeared to be mocking the former Conservative politician when he asked him: "You now have the excitement, the honour, the pedestal of joining Matt Hancock as an ex-Conservative who has come third in I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! Is that a good comparison?"

Farage retorted: "The idea that I Can be compared to Matt Hancock on any level I find difficult to deal with. But an ex-Conservative - I was ex 30 years ago. He was part of a government that locked us down three times and did enormous damage. So no, I do not bear comparison to Mat Hancock, other than third place."

'I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!' Matt Hancock (ITV/Shutterstock)
Matt Hancock came third in I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! in 2022. (ITV/Shutterstock)

Farage quit the Conservative party in 1992 and founded the UK Independence Party as a campaigning Eurosceptic. In comparison, Hancock served as health secretary during the COVID-19 pandemic and was forced to resign from his position as a government minister in the cabinet after his affair with advisor Gina Colangelo was exposed.

Balls asked Farage if he hoped to rejoin the Conservatives in a bid to gain a seat in the UK parliament, "Because you've tried lots of time before."

Farage said: "I tried lots of time before. I also won two national elections in European elections leading two different parties which I don't think anybody has ever done before so I could do with a little bit less of that kind of commentary. I've literally just come out of the jungle, had a shave..."

Balls said: "That's a bit touchy." Susanna Reid added: "He was only stating facts Nigel." Farage hit back: "If you poke me with a stick, I'll poke back."

Ed Balls hosts Good Morning Britain. (ITV)
Ed Balls exchanged barbs with Nigel Farage on Good Morning Britain. (ITV)

Balls then offered a sarcastic apology, saying: "I'm really sorry about the Matt Hancok thing. I'm really sorry, it was shameful of me. How dare I say you've lost seven elections." Farage responded by saying he did not believe the Labour Party had the strength to rescue the country. He said: "I am looking at a Conservative government that is in total shambles... Rishi [Sunak] is a lame duck walking. The Conservative party are heading for total defeat.

"As to whether I have a future in politics, I have no idea at this moment in time. I would never say never but what I would say is our country needs people at the top with some firm guidance as to where we are going to go in the future. At the moment we are rudderless. I don't see a Labour party with the strength to get us out of this mess."

Former Reform UK leader Nigel Farage addresses the conference. Reform UK was formed in 2018 from the ashes of the Brexit Party. It was led by Nigel Farage until March 2021 when Richard Tice became its current leader. They are planning to stand in every seat in the upcoming general election. (Photo by Martin Pope/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Nigel Farage admitted his I'm A Celebrity fee was the most he has ever been paid. (Getty Images)

What else happened on Good Morning Britain?

Farage admitted his rumoured £1.5m million fee for appearing on I'm A Celebrity was the biggest pay cheque he has ever had - and he has no shame in accepting it. He said of his reasons for appearing on the show: "The money, of course what's wrong with that?!

"I gave up a very successful career in the City of London. Colleagues of mine are on the rich list. I gave all that up, I live very modestly, have done for years. I did it because I had a political career. I've never moaned about it, I've complained about it. But is this the biggest pay cheque I've ever had? Yes it is and what on Earth is wrong with that?!"

Good Morning Britain airs on ITV from 6am to 9am from Monday to Friday.

Read more: Nigel Farage