They’ve only been in camp for a matter of days, but I’m A Celebrity stars Fred Sirieix and Nigel Farage are already showing signs of an alpha male struggle.
Body language expert Judi James has claimed that First Dates star Fred, 51, and former politician Nigel, 59, are fighting to “assert their power” in the jungle.
The so-called feud may not come as a surprise, as trouble between the pair was brewing before they even landed in Australia.
I’m A Celebrity: Fred vs Nigel
Speaking with Paddy Power Games following Sunday night’s episode (November 19), Judi explained: “Fred versus Farage was a powerful alpha stand-off that was performed silently via the two men’s body language signals.
“It looked like an open declaration of a war that might not get to the stage of verbal fights, although their gestures of intent were emphatic.”
She added: “In one scene of the camp settling in for their first night, we saw Fred standing at one end of the group, who were mainly seated to become a symbolic audience, while Farage stood at the other end. Both men performed acts of social arrogance in what looked like a bid to assert their individual power.”
What does their body language mean?
Commenting on Fred’s body language, Judi noted that he purposely showed “arrogance”. Meanwhile, she said Nigel was keen to signal a “declaration of power” back.
“Fred stood in his dominant position talking to the others,” she said. “As he spoke and they watched, he very deliberately picked his teeth with what looked like a large toothpick. Tooth-picking in public is usually done subtly, often with a hand over the mouth to avoid disgusting displays of flying food particles. But Fred used it as part of his performance, which showed arrogance. In turn it registers as a lack of fear of his campmates.”
Judi continued: “At the other end, Nigel stood directly opposite, which can imply a challenge or opposition. He also performed a ritual of social arrogance when he pit-bared in front of the group, placing both hands behind his head and splaying his elbows to bare his armpits fully.
“This might have been some sort of a back-stretch. But as a signal to the group and to Fred, it looked like a declaration of power. Animals that feel afraid will make themselves smaller and protect the most sensitive body parts with barrier gestures.
“Baring the armpits like this looked like a return message to Fred to say Nigel was not intimidated. And it looked like a challenge in front of the rest of the group.”
Fred and Nigel’s feud history
Ahead of the ITV series, comments previously made by Fred on social media re-surfaced online. The spat started back in 2017 when Fred called Nigel a “coward” on Twitter. He wrote: “Farage is a coward who likes money, attention. And the sound of his own voice far too much. Not a selfless idealistic revolutionary.”
Then, in 2018, he tweeted again, saying he had told a taxi driver to turn off the radio after hearing Nigel’s voice.
Meanwhile, elsewhere on the show, Judi has also noted that Fred could be faking his fears.
She said: “The biggest fear-faker last night seemed to be Fred. His ‘I’m scared of everything’ looked incongruent thanks to his strong eye contact to camera and his relaxed, asymmetric grin. He said the line with a hand gesture of evaluation as though measuring and working out the best lines to help him be the star of the show.
“In the helicopter his fear responses looked like pure panto. Screaming at just being in a helicopter he had his mouth fully open while his arms were rigid. He looked up as he screamed though, and his legs were splayed.
“Real fear tends to prompt diminishing signals and an eye focus on the object of your fear. Like Marvin clinging onto the helicopter like a scrunched-up limpet while gazing silently at the open door. Or Danielle keeping her eyes pinned on the tall building while she let out her screams.”
I’m A Celeb continues tonight on ITV1 and ITVX at 9pm.
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