He’s the cigarette-smoking, pint-swilling politician who’s shaken up Westminster’s corridors of power with polarising views and a maverick style.
In 1993 he set up a party of what David Cameron called “fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists” with one principal goal: to get Britain out of the EU.
Nigel Farage could never be accused of swinging for Europe. Until now.
In the greatest reverse-ferret since Frank Maloney ditched the slacks, the Kent-born Eurosceptic has come out all guns blazing for his European chums as the star of this Paddy Power’s Ryder Cup political broadcast.
Yes, we thought Team Europe needed a suitable attention-seeker to drum up more home support. Jose Mourinho was sadly unavailable but Mr Farage (50) answered the call.
Farage told the Paddy Power Blog: “The Americans are bottlers. They bottled it last time and they’ll do it again. Zach Johnson will spend more time in the sand than David Hasselhoff, and the fans will need their hardhats when Keegan Bradley steps up to the tee.”
“Just as it was in Medinah, the spirit of Seve will be with Team Europe. He was like Churchill – but thin, good looking and Spanish.”
Stirring words indeed. However, filmed at the quite lovely Westerham Golf Club in Kent, the Paddy Power Blog cannot report that everything on this shoot went to plan.
STAR IN STRIPES: Nige, as nobody called him, was confident in his immaculate pink trousers and delivered his lines with the skill of a Corrie star, but delivered a scowl more usually associated with an unwelcome bum waft on sighting our crew man’s cheap boxers (below)
Our mole revealed: “Nigel was late you see as he had spent the whole morning on the radio gloating that Scotland voted ‘no’ to independence. But after a little make-up and some cereal bars we hit the course.”
It’s a minor point but Nigel’s pink trousers meant that, from a distance, it looked like he was walking around the golf course naked from the waist down. Just a thought we wanted to share.
“We were told Nigel played with a handicap of three,” continued our man on the scene. “He confirmed this was the case but that was 25 years ago. Time can be cruel to one’s golf technique so it was a stroke of luck we also had a pro on hand to do the sexy stuff… like show how to hit the ball.”
THAT’S JUST PANTS: With a waist-band height to rival Simon Cowell, Mr Farage gives it a good bloody lash
At Paddy Power we insist on only working with A-listers. But, if the UK General Election goes awry next year for his party, a role in Corrie might be on the cards for Farage.
Our mole confirmed: “Whatever you think of the man, he is an acting talent. Nigel’s ability to remember his lines and then deliver them with incredible comic timing was astonishing.”
That ability to nail everything in one take was rewarded by pints of bitter back at the clubhouse.
Speaking on the 2014 Ryder Cup, Farage said: “Having won five of the last six tournaments and with Team Europe on home soil, the Yanks face an uphill struggle. He may not be the best-dressed man in Europe but I back Ian Poulter, Mr Ryder Cup himself, to shine again.”
We can’t change your policies, Nigel, but we’ll drink to that. Hic.
THERE TIL THE BITTER END: With a purse of his lips, the political chief mulls over robbing our producer’s pint