When I noticed Nigel on I’m A Celeb, I believed: It’s my son’s bottom!

We know his girlfriend thinks it is ‘nice’. ‘If you’ve got obtained it, flaunt it!’ an unabashed 44-year-old Lauré Ferrari informed the Mail yesterday.

But I can not assist however surprise, as I quiet down on Barbara Farage’s cream leather-based couch in her neat Orpington residence, whether or not she was fairly as relaxed to see her son Nigel’s backside on her tv display screen when he took a bathe within the I’m A Celebrity jungle final week?

‘When I first noticed it, I did suppose: ‘Good God, it is my oldest son’s bottom!’,’ Barbara tells me. ‘That was a bit a lot . . . he is a former politician in any case.’

Her eyes widen with shock, after which, all too quickly, her face dissolves right into a distinctively Faragian grin.

For as soon as the preliminary shock of the sight of her son’s posterior had pale, Barbara — a flawlessly coiffed blonde in her late 80s — admits she was truly quite impressed together with his physique.

Barbara Farage — a flawlessly coiffed blonde in her late 80s — admits she was truly quite impressed along with her son Nigel’s physique

Barbara has settled down every night at 9pm with some trepidation to see what punishments shall be inflicted on her son on ITV’s I’m a Celebrity

Farage making an attempt to unlock padlocks throughout a trial on I’m a Celebrity

ROLLERCOASTER SON: An 18-month-old Nigel Farage on the seashore

‘I believed how slim he was — however then he does eat properly, he does not snack or have truffles. And, keep in mind, Nigel shall be 60 subsequent April and contemplating the life he has led, with the concern he is at all times had, I believed he appeared fairly good.’

Every evening at 9pm, Barbara, mom of one of many nation’s most controversial characters, has settled down with some trepidation to look at ITV’s I’m A Celebrity, to see what punishments shall be inflicted on her son.

It’s proving to be a rollercoaster experience, even for this most resolute of matriarchs. Indeed, this week noticed Nigel shout for mercy throughout a terrifying trial by which he was submerged in a tank of freezing water containing enormous snakes — a lot to Barbara’s concern.

‘Obviously he struggled with [that trial]. I feel it reveals that he’s human,’ she says. ‘He could not stand the chilly water, he was by no means a powerful swimmer. It was an excessive amount of for him.’

One trial Barbara confesses to having quite loved, nevertheless, was Nigel’s ingesting problem with former boxer Tony Bellew. The pair needed to down six pints of concoctions, together with blended animal penises, one thing infamous bon viveur Nigel achieved with aplomb.

‘Well, he coped with that,’ says Barbara, chuckling. ‘He [must have convinced himself] . . . that is ale!’

Meeting the convivial Barbara is, at occasions, quite unnerving. She has the identical snort as her well-known son, and a facsimile of his grin lights up her face as we chat over tea and a plate of digestive biscuits.

Photographs of Nigel and her household adorn her research — she has three different youngsters, 13 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. Clearly, she is extremely happy with her eldest boy and his achievements.

He, in flip, adores her. A person by no means afraid to tackle enemies forcefully in public, behind closed doorways, Nigel is, says Barbara, a doting son.

‘He at all times remembers my birthday,’ she says. ‘He brings me roses, and at Christmas he buys enormous lilac ones. He is an efficient, attentive son and has by no means raised his voice to me in his life.’

It’s honest to say, although, that Nigel has a quite chequered previous in terms of relationships with different ladies.

Twice married, first to Grainne Hayes with whom he has two sons, Sam and Tom, after which to German Kirsten Mehr, mom of his daughters Victoria and Isabelle, he has at occasions been dogged by accusations of infidelity. He is at present in a relationship with the a lot youthful Lauré Ferrari.

Yet there may be one lady to whom he has remained resolutely loyal, and who is aware of him finest — his devoted mum.

Indeed, the longer we speak, the extra it turns into clear the place his intelligence — and deeply rebellious streak — comes from.

For whereas we all know Farage to be a canny politician with the widespread contact, a person who blends a love of World War I historical past with the works of Charles Darwin, his mom can also be a deeply cerebral, unbiased lady.

She retains herself occupied by giving talks to the Woman’s Institute on native and pure historical past subjects, together with Charles Darwin (the Victorian naturalist is a hero of the Farage household). She drives herself to her talks, and reads voraciously at residence.

Barbara additionally shares the identical look-at-me nature as her showman son. Her platinum blonde hair carries a chunky streak of pink — added, she says, by her hairdresser to perk her up after a stroke, and is now a fixture of her look.

Her manicured nails are artfully coated in a neat striped Shellac design, whereas her vivid purple gown is paying homage to Coronation Street’s Bet Lynch.

Nigel himself has described his mom as ‘exceptionally glamorous’ — a lot in order that, in her late 60s and early 70s, she carried out a full ‘Calendar Girls’ homage, by stripping off and posing for fund-raising calendars, her dignity preserved by flowers and different objects. Once, pink roses had been painted over a lot of her physique. It was all for trigger, although — these calendars raised £42,000 for charity.

A rebellious non-conformist, with passionate opinions, a love of consideration, and an acute mind: mom is, then, quite like son.

Still, although, for all their similarities, Barbara admits life with Nigel is nothing wanting tumultuous.

‘He wins finest information presenter on a Tuesday after which will get de-banked on a Thursday. He lifts our spirits on a Tuesday after which dampens them on a Thursday. It is a rollercoaster being his mom,’ she admits.

His public profile has rewarded him with countless threats and vitriol, notably from the Left after Brexit. Racism is usually an accusation thrown at her son, one thing Barbara admits has been tough to deal with.

Farage’s public profile has rewarded him with countless threats and vitriol, notably from the Left after Brexit. Mother Barbara admits that it has been tough to deal with accusations of racism levelled at her son

Farage with fellow I’m a Celebrity contestant Nick Pollard

Farage endures spiders crawling on his physique in the course of the In Too Deep bushtucker trial

Pictured: Nigel Farage aged 7 on a rocking horse in a backyard

Farage’s biographer, Michael Crick, recounts how at his first faculty, the boy would defend his mom in opposition to those that teased him for having divorced dad and mom

The matter has raised its head once more within the jungle together with his campmate Nella Rose — the 26-year-old-YouTube star of Congolese descent — accusing him of being ‘anti-immigrant’, claiming that ‘you need us all gone’. Asked about Nella Rose, Barbara shoots straight again: ‘Well, she needs publicity for herself . . . she needs publicity for her chat present.’

Asked if she thinks Nella is baiting him, Barbara nods: ‘I feel she has been put in there to do it.

‘I beloved the best way Nigel mentioned to her, ‘I consider I’ve upset you, can we speak it via?’ which I believed was good. He apologised, though she was method out of line.’

‘She obtained on to immigration with Nigel and I feel she was gunning for that, simply to upset him. She was urgent his buttons to see his response.’

Barbara is used to folks ‘gunning’ for her son. ‘They at all times say he’s racist,’ says Barbara, trying saddened.

‘He is not, however he has to battle in opposition to that. Within his occasion, he has folks throughout the board and he has many alternative buddies.’

Does she fear? ‘I do when he’s too outspoken. I feel typically he’s stepping close to the mark, however he appears to shrug it off.’

It has, although, at all times been the best way. Even as a baby, Barbara describes Nigel as a ‘advanced character’, earlier than including: ‘But he has made our lives attention-grabbing.’

To some extent, it has lengthy been her and Nigel in opposition to the world. When he was aged simply 4, Barbara’s husband and Nigel’s father, Guy, walked out on the household. A stockbroker, Guy was each a workaholic and, for a time, overly reliant on alcohol. After he went, Barbara was left as a single mom.

Farage’s biographer, Michael Crick, recounts how at his first faculty, Greenhayes in West Wickham, Kent, the boy would defend his mom in opposition to those that teased him for having divorced dad and mom. Nigel, says Crick, ‘fought again, telling schoolmates that divorce was fairly regular, if not obligatory, amongst ‘intelligent’ and ‘high folks’. The expertise most likely nurtured a tricky resilience.’

Today, Barbara will say solely: ‘It was a tragic time in our lives however we needed to recover from it and we got here out the opposite finish.’

She by no means mentioned the divorce with any of her youngsters — even Nigel, as a result of he was merely ‘too younger’.

As a small boy, Nigel would ‘by no means sit nonetheless’, says Barbara. Constantly within the backyard, aged 11, he took up birdwatching — ‘not feminine birdwatching’, she rapidly clarifies — whereas biking, cricket and soccer had been additionally favourites.

‘He would come residence and research the books to seek out out what the birds had been. He was not one to take a seat in entrance of the telly,’ she says.

Even as a baby, she says, Nigel would insist on dressing well and had ‘excessive requirements’ on how he performed himself.

This continued, she insists, in his time at Dulwich College in South-East London, the £25,000-a-year non-public faculty the place he was a excessive achiever, in response to his mom, though she remembers him struggling at maths.

Yet others have mentioned Nigel was totally rumbustious whereas there. Michael Crick recounts one episode in his fourth yr when Nigel ‘and different members of his kind clubbed collectively to purchase a bottle of whisky, which they introduced into faculty and drank behind the cricket pavilion earlier than morning meeting’.

Other schoolmates keep in mind spitting competitions on the native prepare station, with factors awarded for hitting commuters, a contest Nigel frequently gained.

More significantly, others declare they recall Nigel making anti-Semitic and racist feedback. Some say he was expelled — an allegation Barbara is livid to listen to: ‘He completely didn’t get expelled. He left faculty at 18 when he’d completed his A-levels.’

Crick agrees, reporting that Nigel’s headmaster got here underneath nice stress to expel him after he’d made him a prefect — some extra Left-wing employees weren’t endeared to {the teenager}’s character and opinions.

Master David Emms informed Crick: ‘They wished to expel him. I feel it was naughtiness quite than racism. I noticed good in him and he responded to being made a prefect. I noticed appreciable potential on this chap and I used to be proved proper.’

Barbara says: ‘He loved faculty however he was a prankster, he obtained as much as all kinds. He was generally known as The Mimic as a result of he used to imitate the voices of the masters.

‘I’m positive that did not go down very properly. [But] at Dulwich College he knew each boy’s title, and on his final report his grasp wrote: ‘The school shall be a poorer place with out this younger man’s persona.’

‘He obtained informed off loads, although. He used inform me about it when he obtained residence.’

Even at Dulwich it was clear that Nigel was destined for the enterprise world — Crick information him displaying early monetary acumen whereas nonetheless at school by ‘operating a shoe-shining enterprise. ‘He paid the juniors to scrub footwear,’ says classmate Nick Owen, ‘after which skimmed a fee off the highest.’

‘Another enterprise concerned shopping for and promoting silver, at a time when the value was hovering’. Sure sufficient, after leaving Dulwich, Nigel headed not for Oxbridge, however the City, following his father’s footsteps.

One trial Barbara confesses to having quite loved, nevertheless, was Nigel’s ingesting problem with former boxer Tony Bellew

Farage within the Touchdown of Terror bushtucker trial on November 24

The politician will get coated in feathers and slime whereas amassing stars throughout one other punishing trial

He had a aim — to be a seller on the buying and selling ground by the age of 21. ‘He made it,’ Barbara tells me, with a broad smile.

Today, Nigel is sort of as well-known for his penchant for a tipple as for his politics. He admits himself that these boozy habits had been instilled in him throughout his time within the City.

With what some would possibly say is a rose-tinted view solely a mom might have, Barbara remembers that as a younger man he would typically come residence ‘a little bit worse for put on’ — however he was ‘at all times again on time and obeyed the principles’.

What does she consider his ingesting at present? ‘He does not drink as a lot as he used to,’ she says. ‘His physique cannot take it any extra. He nonetheless appeals to the working man, although, and that is factor.’

He additionally, seemingly, appeals to the youthful lady — his new love Lauré is a few 15 years his junior. Barbara totally approves.

‘She’s pretty. She’s an elegant, French girl, who is sweet for him,’ she says. ‘She loves him to bits. She pays him consideration and at all times needs to be by his aspect.

‘When Nigel went in [to the jungle] she mentioned: ‘I will not be there to assist him, will I?’ I feel that has been onerous for her.

‘She’ll survive, although. They have a pleasant relationship and that is what you need on your youngsters.

‘He has been open with me about her as a result of we’re a giant household, we chatter and we gossip.’

Not that Nigel is the one Farage with a youthful lover. Pottering round within the background — making Barbara a latte as we chatter — is David, Barbara’s boyfriend of a decade, who is a few ten years her junior.

A well-spoken chap, initially from the Newcastle space, he confesses that he was immediately enthusiastic about Barbara after they met of their native pub. When she tried to place him off by asking him if he knew how previous she was, David tells me he replied: ‘I do not care how previous you’re — you are simply pretty.’

They’ve been a pair ever since, and at present, David may be very a lot a part of the Farage clan.

And the household shall be all collectively once more for Christmas, when Barbara is trying ahead to spending the day with Nigel and the remainder of her household.

Characteristically, the festive meal is a energetic event. ‘Around the dinner desk there are attention-grabbing discussions — we do contact on politics and even Brexit,’ says Barbara.

‘Some of the youthful grandchildren have totally different views to us older ones, and that’s very attention-grabbing certainly. But Grandma is there, so all of them know the right way to behave!’