There can be no denying that right now Piers Morgan is the Marmite of British broadcasting, i.e. you either love him or hate him. Likewise, there can be no denying that right now Nigel Farage is the Marmite figure of British politics. Therefore, when Marmite interviewed Marmite as part of Piers Morgan's Life Stories series, it promised to be must see television
By Andy Lloyd @ScarfmanAndy
THE MARMITE OF BRITISH BROADCASTING INTERVIEWS THE MARMITE OF BRITISH POLITICS!
There can be no denying that right now Piers Morgan is the Marmite of British broadcasting, i.e. you either love him or hate him. Likewise, there can be no denying that right now Nigel Farage is the Marmite figure of British politics. Therefore, when Marmite interviewed Marmite as part of Piers Morgan's Life Stories series, it promised to be must see television. Was Piers going to interview Farage like say a sycophantic One Direction fan interviewing Harry Styles, or was there going to be some substance to their exchanges? I had this rather strong suspicion that we were going to get the nauseating sycophantic version!
Speaking as somebody whose politics are not even remotely aligned with Farage's and UKIP's, then I desperately wanted to hate this programme. However, to my great shock, not only did I not hate it but I also quite enjoyed it. Piers was not as crawly as I thought he might be and Farage wasn't really that irritating. I found this show funny in places, informative, as well as interesting.
What I liked about this programme was that I learned new information about Farage. For instance, I never knew he had an ex-wife called Claire, and that they met as a result of him being knocked down by a car in the street(she was his nurse in hospital). I never knew he has a current wife called Kirsten, who is German, nor that from these two marriages he has four children. Furthermore, I never knew that he once had testicular cancer. Such revelations helped create a more rounded figure of this guy who is seemingly always in the national headlines.
The most moving account was the one fact about him that I could remember, namely Farage coming so close to death via a helicopter crash in 2010. On this topic his mum Barbara Stevens said,
'How he survived I do not know...his character got him through it but he still suffers today from that plane crash.'
It was a bit 'X-Factor' sob story-ish I guess, however it was a very dramatic story that momentarily made for a very emotive watch.
Bearing in mind this is a mainstream entertainment show, I thought Piers Morgan got the balance just about right between the humour and the more serious stuff. On the humorous front, he mocked Farage about a 'kiss and tell' story by a Latvian TV reporter in 2006, which Farage vehemently denied. The most animated section of the show was when Piers aired what some people in the public eye had said about UKIP in the past. For example, Piers said that,
'In 2006 David Cameron described UKIP as a bunch of fruit cakes, loonies and closet racists.'
This led to a heated exchange between Farage and Morgan. I was impressed by how much Piers stood up to Farage because I had feared prior to watching, that Farage might have been given a much easier ride.
Nevertheless, there was one glaring omission by Piers, which he should have quizzed Farage about. In the run up to the last general election Farage courted a lot of controversy in the media by stating(as seen in The Guardian) how people who tested positive for HIV should be banned from migrating to Britain in terms of controlling the UK borders, because the N.H.S could not afford it. Around the time this story hit the headlines I can remember Piers Morgan commenting on it when he appeared on the BBC One political programme 'Question Time'. Therefore, I found it a bit strange for him not to have included this story in this episode. It was an old news item that should have been commented on even if 'Life Stories' is not a political show.
My other criticisms of the show are to do with some of the things Farage said. For example, he stated how it could be argued that UKIP is the most successful political party in history. Granted they played a role in the 'Out'(Brexit) campaign but to say this about a party who have just one current member of Parliament, well quite frankly it is ludicrous. I also nearly fell off my chair when he stated to Piers, that he would NOT like to become the UK Prime Minister one day. This is a guy who seems to be an egomaniac and as ITN's Robert Peston put it,
'He's obviously addicted to the public eye.'
All-in-all, a worthwhile watch and one that has convinced me that a Marmite sandwich, might not be quite so bad a thing after all! 3/5.