There’s something about all the booze, guffawing and missing testicle chat that makes Steph And Dom Meet Nigel Farage superbly vote-winning.
The Ukip leader, fresh from his battering at the hands of Russell Brand on Question Time last week, comes up trumps in his latest primetime TV appearance.
Fuelled by pints, pink champagne and red wine, Farage once again boosts his anti-establishment credentials by doing something no other political party leader would dare to: getting pissed on television.
There are a few awkward moments – getting beer sprayed on his trousers, sitting too close to Steph – but this sort of thing is inevitable when all those involved have consumed far too much alcohol than they really ought to have done.
Nigel Farage is a man who wants to turn the clock back to a nostalgic version of Britain where we were all rich.
The reality of that mythical lost England is somehow kept alive at the Salutation in Kent, the establishment run by Steph and Dom.
She tinkers with the bedsheets and supervises the staff’s cooking while he takes his mate off to the pub.
Nigel and Dom make jokes about Hitler like it’s 1939. When Steph calls up Dom to ask where they’ve gone, Nigel finds it hysterical. He plays Muttley to Dom’s Dick Dastardly, hissing away.
It’s childish. It’s not even pretending to be statesmanlike. And it is going to go down very well with viewers.
As with all alcoholic binge sessions there are some profound moments, too. We all end up getting to know each other a little better.
Nigel complains about the ‘media intrusion’ suffered by his family. Dom, keenly aware of the irony, turns the fact that there’s a camera pointing in their faces into a joke.
Nigel pauses agonisingly when asked whether his obsession with politics contributed to the demise of his first marriage. He fudges the answer, like a true politician, before saying he has ‘regrets’ about not seeing more of his children.
Nigel also talks about his genitalia. That’s right. He is open about his testicular cancer and its effect on his life. For anyone who didn’t know that about him, it’s going to come as a bit of a shocker.
This is very entertaining television, but it is also very revealing. It shows Farage at home with people like him: posh and upper middle-class.
So Steph and Dom are as surprised as the rest of us when he claims what he really lacks is any money.
‘I don’t think I know anybody in politics as poor as we are,’ he says. ‘We live in a small semi-detached house in the country, and we can barely afford to live there.’
This point might be more convincing if he doesn’t admit immediately afterwards that he has, in part, had enough cash to splash out on private schools to educate his children.
Maybe he only knows really rich people, reinforcing Brand’s criticism that he is nothing more than a City businessman pretending to be a politician.
That was an error. But it is the only real mis-step in half an hour of television which otherwise makes him look likeable enough.
He is clearly a posh boy, but we all knew that. What marks him out from the other party leaders is summed up by this programme.
‘Don’t take me on,’ Nigel says to Dom in a macho moment of drinking competition.
The same advice applies to Dave, Ed and Nick too.
But if voters decide they want to back Nigel over the rest on the back of this programme alone, they’re making a big mistake.
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg might be less telegenic but they represent the mainstream.
Ukip is for those who want to blame immigrants for anything and everything – even the traffic on the M4, as Farage did last week. They are a party of ignorance.
Not that the producers of this programme probably care much. They just wanted to make a good television show – and they’ve succeeded in that 100%.
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