When I first saw a Cameo of former politician Nigel Farage appear on my TikTok For You Page, I was a bit bewildered.

He was making references to Among Us – a popular online game of deduction – which, to be honest, I doubted he’d ever even heard of, let alone played.  

As more videos appeared of Farage making bizarre references to ‘Imposters’ and ‘Big Chungus’ (which, if you didn’t know, is a meme related to a fat picture of Bugs Bunny), I must admit I felt slightly sorry for him – he clearly had no clue what he was reading out.

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That’s until I discovered just how much he was making to record each clip. And then I started seeing videos where Farage had been requested to say words that sound very similar to racial slurs, and other offensive material. 

If you don’t know what Cameo is, it offers personal messages from stars such as Lily Allen (£187.50), Carole Baskin (£224.25) and even Caitlyn Jenner (£1,875).  

It’s usually used to deliver superfans some birthday cheer, or to wish them luck for an exam or wedding, and despite his insistence in March this year that he’s retired from politics for good, Farage (or ‘Mr Brexit’ as he refers to himself) seems to have made a rather unconventional return to the limelight – by charging fans £75 for personalised videos on the app.  

These videos have then been reuploaded and shared on TikTok, Instagram and Twitter, often with tens of thousands of views. 

There are, of course, many genuine videos from the politician on the platform, including one where he sends his best wishes for a couple’s wedding (and refers to the coronavirus restrictions as ‘nonsense’), and a bizarre video where he declares his love for quiche, ‘even if it has got a European name’.

But what has captured the attention of the internet is not these genuine requests, but joke ones, many of which seem to have come from the online gaming community and are looking to ‘dupe’ Farage into making references from games such as Among Us.  

Perhaps these people are genuine fans of the politician, but many of the comments (‘I can’t believe he said that’, for example) seem to suggest that the people buying the videos believe that they are tricking Farage into making them. 

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The pranks have become so popular that on Wednesday the name ‘Hugh Janus’ (if by any chance you didn’t immediately get it, try saying it out loud) was trending on Twitter after a Cameo of Farage wishing him a happy birthday emerged. 

Once again, many news outlets reported this video as if Farage had been ‘tricked’ into saying the name, and others described him as having gone ‘full Alan Partridge.’  

I must admit, when I first saw the video – despite the joke being stolen straight from the mouth of Bart Simpson – it did make me laugh. But knowing how much the 20 second clip would have cost, I’d put money on the fact that Nigel Farage is also laughing, in this case all the way to the bank. 

In fact, looking at the number of reviews for Farage’s videos, of which there are 230 to date, it seems he’s made over £17,000 from Cameos alone, minus the 25% which the company takes. This is not to mention the videos where a review hasn’t been left. 

Of course, if you genuinely want some well-wishes from Nigel Farage and you’re willing to pay £75 for the privilege, then by all means go for it – but what frustrates me is that people think Farage is being ‘duped’ into making them, when in reality I don’t think he cares at all what he says, as long as the videos are being paid for. 

In Farage’s bio on his Cameo profile, he admits that he ‘couldn’t care less’ if people think he’s controversial. In fact, being controversial is arguably what he is best known for, and he’s angered many people in the process, including last summer when he compared Black Lives Matter protestors to the Taliban. 

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Even in his introduction video on the website, he advertises his Cameos as an opportunity to surprise any ‘Meghan Markle supporting, woke-warrior re-moan-ers’ who might be watching. So why do people think that he’s going to be fussed by making a few video game references, or a Brexit-themed cover of Cardi B’s WAP, particularly when he’s being paid so much money to do so? 

What’s far more alarming about Farage’s Cameos, however, is that some of them contain content which is highly offensive, often disguised as names similar to the ‘Hugh Janus’ joke above. 

The worst video I’ve seen mentions swastikas (or something which sounds very similar to that), gives a shout out to a man called Mo Lestor, and even says to give a ‘Brexit Boot’ to someone whose name sounds very similar to a racist slur used against Pakistani people. 

Another contains two names, which when put together sound very similar to the N-word. And in another, Farage tells viewers to ‘get your bacon ready’ in response to an attack by ISIS. Seeing these, it was clear to me that the joke had gone far too far. 

Farage might be looking to be controversial, but surely these kinds of messages are too much, even for him. Either he’s totally oblivious to the innuendos he is being told to say, or he really will say anything for money. 

Either way, surely both Farage and Cameo themselves have a responsibility to ensure that such offensive language remains off the platform. 

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Whether you support Nigel Farage or not, I’m sure you’ll agree that some of the things he’s been told to say on Cameo are completely unacceptable. And if you’re looking to make fun of him, perhaps think of a way to do so that doesn’t also put £75 straight into his pocket. 

And finally, if you’re still looking for a birthday video from Cameo? I’d suggest going for one from Tuna, described by This Morning as ‘the world’s ugliest dog’ and available at exactly half the price of Mr Farage. 

Metro.co.uk reached out to Nigel Farage’s reps for comment and will update this piece should they respond.

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