Nigel Farage calls BBC presenter ‘boring’ in heated election interview

Nigel Farage got into a fierce debate during a BBC interview after he announced he would stand in the general election for Reform UK.

Watch: Nigel Farage calls BBC presenter ‘very boring’ in feisty TV interview

Nigel Farage called a BBC presenter "very boring" during a heated debate in a live TV interview after he announced he would be standing in the general election.

Farage hit out at BBC News host Ben Thompson after he brought up the former Ukip leader's past unsuccessful efforts to become an MP and asked why voters should "trust" him.

It is just one of a series of recent clashes between Farage and BBC journalists, some of which have come since he announced he was once again running to be an MP.

Farage has stood seven previous times between 1994 and 2015 – in five general elections and two by-elections – and failed to get elected.

On Monday, he made a dramatic U-turn and announced he would stand as a Reform UK candidate in the election 4 July, having previously said he had not intended on putting his hat in the ring.

As well as trying to win the Clacton seat in Essex, he will also take over the leadership of Reform, which is aiming to take voters away from prime minister Rishi Sunak and his Conservative Party.

BBC News presenter Ben Thompson, left, was called 'very boring' by new Reform UK leader Nigel Farage, right. (BBC)
BBC News presenter Ben Thompson, left, was called 'very boring' by new Reform UK leader Nigel Farage, right. (BBC)

During the TV interview on BBC News on Monday evening, Thompson alluded to Farage's seven failed attempts to become an MP.

Farage replied: "You don't get it, you people. You really don't get it, do you?

"Ukop was a campaign group who decided that by standing in elections it was a better way of getting our message out than being a pressure group. We weren't there to win seats – that was an impossibility – we were there to push a cause."

Thompson tried again, telling Farage: "You were a candidate to be an MP on a ballot paper."

At this, Farage became agitated and responded: "Okay mate, how many times have you stood? What do you know about it? How many times have you stood?

"I'll tell you what, ask something intelligent and we'll carry on with the conversation, shall we."

Farage then told the BBC presenter: "I think you're very, very boring and I think your viewers will find you very boring and you ought to do rather better as the state broadcaster, in my view."

On Tuesday morning, Farage also got into a spat with Mishal Husain, presenter of BBC Radio 4's Today programme. Farage claimed on the programme: "I could take you to streets in Oldham right now where no-one speaks English."

He was challenged on this by Husain, who pointed out that they could speak two languages, and asked Farage if his own children spoke another language, but he refused to comment.

Last month, the BBC was forced to apologise to Farage after BBC News presenter Geeta Guru-Murthy said he had used "customary inflammatory language" when discussing European migration at a Reform press conference. She later apologised for using language "which didn't meet the BBC"s editorial standards on impartiality".

Farage has previously called for the BBC to be defunded and is a presenter on its rival broadcaster GB News. Farage will launch his general election campaign at lunchtime on Tuesday.

June 4, 2024, London, England, United Kingdom: Leader of Reform UK Party NIGEL FARAGE is seen in Westminster ahead of morning broadcast round. (Credit Image: © Tayfun Salci/ZUMA Press Wire) EDITORIAL USAGE ONLY! Not for Commercial USAGE!
Reform UK leader Nigel Farage in Westminster on Tuesday. (PA)

On Tuesday, Farage told ITV's Good Morning Britain programme his goal was to take over the Conservative Party.

He said: “You can speculate as to what’ll happen in three or four years’ time, all I will tell you is if Reform succeed in the way that I think they can, then a chunk of the Conservative Party will join us.

“I don’t want to join the Conservative Party, I think the better thing to do would be to take it over.”

Meanwhile, Sunak and Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer are preparing for their first televised debate of the campaign on Tuesday evening, which will be broadcast at 9pm on ITV.

The most recent polling by YouGov suggests the Tories are on course for a heavy election defeat and could be reduced to just 140 seats against Labour's 422.