UKIP leader Nigel Farage has become the first celebrity to be confirmed for this year’s series of Strictly Come Dancing, and he’s putting it down to the party’s success in the recent Eastleigh By-Election.
‘I’ve always thought that being successful in politics is not just about winning the hearts and minds of the voters, but also about conquering the world of light entertainment as well. Before Eastleigh, I’ve had no luck getting on anything. Trinny and Susannah never returned my calls and I didn’t get past boot camp on Popstars – The Rivals. I was due to go on Celebrity Love Island a couple of years ago, but they changed their mind at the last minute and went with Frank Bough instead.’
And Farage has promised to show the same commitment and enthusiasm to dancing that he has shown recently on the campaign trail,
‘I will be doing everything I can to win this. I’m not a natural dancer. I’m heavy footed and I tend to lead with the right far too much, but I promise to work really hard with whichever lovely English girl they pair me with.’
While some have criticised the move, Mr Farage has found a surprise ally in 2010 contestant Ann Widdecombe, who commented, ‘I think this is a very shrewd move. After a couple of weeks of graceless galumphing around the dance floor, I found that the public started to take me to their hearts, conveniently forgetting that I am in fact a hideous, sour faced old homophobe. If it worked for me I’m sure it will work for Nigel.’
However Farage will surely by mindful that not all forays into reality TV have worked for politicians. The decline of the BNP has been largely attributed Nick Griffin’s disastrous appearance on Celebrity Masterchef last year. The party leader stormed off the show after refusing to recreate a series of French classics, instead serving up a toad in the hole which chef John Torode described as ‘Lardy, half-baked and bitter, leaving a nasty taste in the mouth.’ Fellow judge Greg Wallace proclaimed it ‘Delicious!’