Would you invite Nigel Farage around for drinks and dinner? Steph and Dom Meet…Nigel Farage shows what happened when the ‘posh couple’ from Gogglebox did just that. The Ukip leader comes across as a pretty ordinary bloke — or at least his projection of one.
This Gogglebox special could be seen as either a Ukip party political broadcast or the makings of a political satire — with some great throw away lines. ‘He looks like a frog that’s sat on a nail,’ said Dom in anticipation of his guest’s arrival. ‘Was it the politics that screwed up the first marriage?’ he went on.
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Farage happily told the pair he ‘couldn’t care less’ what people call him, ‘as long as they vote for me’ — although he did say Nige was the ‘street chat’. Serious politics had a look in, with Farage explaining he understands there is no chance of reforming anything in Europe, so Britain has to leave.
On the disadvantages of being a big name politician, Farage admitted he can no longer visit his local pub in Kent because the press is often staked outside. ‘They’d wait to see me go in there and say something stupid,’ he said.
In a rare personal moment about his career, Farage also said he had ‘no regrets about this course of action’ but said his relationship with his children has suffered because of his political life. He also revealed he has no aspirations to be Prime Minister: ‘There are two types of people in politics: those who want to be something and those who do something' — he is the latter and finds that ‘really exciting’.
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Steph and Dom Parker are known for their love of drink, which dominated the whole programme. Throughout the evening, Farage cracked his way through several pints, a few glasses of champagne, wine and aperitifs at their B&B. There was an unedifying moment where Farage, several drinks in by this stage, dropped his glass of champagne after missing a garden step. He was forced to change into some jeans, making him look ‘like a member of Bros’ in the words of Steph Parker.
Although some might find it a little undignified to see a top politician putting it away and ruin his trousers on national television, it's hard to imagine Miliband or Cameron carrying off a boozy, blokey appearance with the Parkers with such apparent ease. As this YouGov polling from October shows, only Boris is seen as a more likeable person to drink with:
Farage's appearance won't do much for Ukip's woman problem either — at one point, Dom and Nigel were seen sniggering down at the pub while the former's wife rings to find out where they are. It also showed how carefully honed his public image is now. Drinking, smoking and laughing, that’s what the 'real' Nigel Farage is about.