Nigel Farage has faced his first challenge on I’m A Celeb, but it remains to be seen whether he has come out of a sticky situation unscathed.
In a picture released ahead of the new ITV series debut on Sunday evening, the former Ukip leader was seen wading waist-deep in a trough of suspiciously-brown “sticky gunk”.
The gruesome snapshot depicts the GB news presenter, 59, looking horrified as he rummages through the unidentifiable stodgy liquid wearing a stained pink button-down linen shirt and clear goggles.
The task marks an I’m A Celeb first, where three of the ten celebrity contestants were taken to the Australian outback for a new set of surprise challenges.
Mr Farage joins This Morning presenter Josie Gibson and YouTuber Nella Rose for the debut, where they are faced with “searching through gallons of sticky gunk and scary hell holes in a bid to score tokens for time”.
It comes after the former politician said he is hoping for a Matt Hancock-style reputation rehabilitation by appearing on the new series.
Speaking ahead of the first episode, Mr Farage said: “I understood why Matt Hancock did it. He went in there with his reputation on the floor.
“I am hoping those who hate me might hate me a little bit less afterwards.”
The 59-year-old has previously turned down offers of hundreds of thousands of pounds from the channel, but reports suggest that he will receive up to £1.5 million as a contestant on the popular ITV reality programme.
He will appear alongside the actress and singer Jamie Lynn Spears, radio presenter Sam Thompson, food critic Grace Dent and TV presenter Fred Sirieix, among others.
It is understood ITV executives hope that Mr Farage’s participation will attract the same attention as Matt Hancock’s appearance in last year’s series, which resulted in him being stripped of the Conservative whip amid outcry from his local Conservative association and constituents in West Suffolk.
Speaking after his participation in the jungle was confirmed, Mr Farage predicted that fellow politicians will “be mostly against it”, adding: “But most people in politics are disconnected from the country and the real world.”
He admitted that a reputation revamp in the Australian jungle would be a “gamble” but said that he would like to combat some negative accusations he has faced in the past.
He said: “Given millions hate me, I do expect people will vote for me to do trials!
“My crime was to stand against an establishment view and I was for many years the lone voice saying Europe wasn’t where we should be, so I have been a little bit demonised. I am hoping those who hate me might hate me a little bit less afterwards. But it’s a gamble.
“And the idea that somehow the things I represent – mean-spirited, small-minded, nasty, the ‘little Englander’ – all those accusations that have been flung at me over the years just aren’t true. If we can dispel some of those misconceptions, then that will be a good thing too.”
The first episode of the new series will also see Ms Spears take part in the iconic skydive as a dramatic entry to camp life.
She will be joined by TV presenter Marvin Humes and Hollyoaks star Nick Pickard in the stunt.
The new series starts on Sunday at 9pm on ITV1 and ITVX.