Nigel Farage makes his I’m A Celebrity debut tonight (Picture: James Gourley/Shutterstock)
Nigel Farage is lucky to be alive following an almost fatal plane crash 13 years ago.
Ahead of the show’s launch, stories from Farage’s past have resurfaced, including the plane crash from which he had a ‘miraculous escape’.
At the time, the MEP was standing in the General Election for Buckingham, but an election stunt went terrifyingly wrong.
As a result, he had to be pulled from the crushed cockpit of a plane that was displaying a banner with the slogan, ‘Vote for your country – Vote UKIP.’
The former UKIP leader’s casting has been controversial, and that’s an understatement (Picture: ITV/Shutterstock)
Farage was bloodied and bewildered as he emerged from the wreckage, along with the injured pilot Justin Adams.
Following the disaster, a spokesperson for Farage, Duncan Barkes, said: ‘We’ve both had a miraculous escape. We are both very lucky to be alive.’
Farage was treated at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, where he remained for a few days.
‘He’s got two broken ribs, a small chip to his spine, and damage to his sternum,’ his spokesperson also said at the time.
Farage’s wife Kirsten – whom he married in 1999 – was at his bedside.
‘Of course, he’s shaken up, but he is mostly feeling incredibly lucky to get out of the plane,’ added Barkes.
‘As soon as he came out he wanted a cigarette. You wouldn’t expect anything else really.’
Farage was involved in a plane crash in 2010 (Picture: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
He suffered several injuries and had to stay in hospital for a few days (Picture: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
Speaking of cigarettes, Farage is known as a heavy smoker and it’s believed he’s has already had some other preferential treatment ahead of his I’m A Celeb stint after his team raised concerns about the programme’s ban.
Keen to keep Farage sweet, producers have reportedly had discussions about changing this rule for him.
Speaking on the Paper Cuts podcast, political journalist Ava Evans spilled the beans, explaining that Farage is a ‘heavy smoker’.
When asked by host Miranda Sawyer if they might ‘let him smoke at the back’, Evans said she believed that was currently being ‘negotiated’.
Farage is reportedly being paid a whopping £1.5million for his time in the jungle, making him the highest-paid star ever to take part.
Many aren’t happy, though, with pressure mounting for hosts Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly to address the backlash, especially following Matt Hancock’s signing last series.
Farage is exempt from certain Bushtucker Trials due to his past injuries (Picture: ITV)
While Farage will likely be targeted with votes by the public who want revenge, viewers aren’t best pleased knowing he’s exempt from certain challenges.
Explaining the specifics of his medical exemption from certain tasks, Farage told The Sun: ‘Well, anything involving weightlifting, I’d be out because I’ve obviously had some quite serious physical injuries and neck reconstructions and goodness knows what else.’
The physical injuries he referred to were a result of his plane accident.
‘So they are fully aware that I’m a little bit damaged when it comes to bodily structure. But having said that, I can still do most things.’
‘I doubt that any of the trials are actually going to kill me, although I don’t think they’ll all be a bag of fun,’ he added to the publication.
The new series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! kicks off tonight at 9pm on ITV1 and ITVX.
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