It’s a worry when you’re relying on Ant and Dec to give good counsel. On a livestream interview, the hosts of I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! were asked about the possibility of seeing Rishi Sunak as a future campmate in the jungle.

“I think,” Declan Donnelly said, “we do a year without any politicians.”

Anthony McPartlin could not have been more simpatico. “Agreed, agreed, agreed,” he replied.

The context to this is, of course, Nigel Farage being a player on the show this year. Right-wing, anti-immigration Nigel Farage. I was trying to find some quotes of Farage’s to demonstrate the calibre of the man but I’m struggling to find any that illustrate my point and are still fit for print.

He did, during a 2014 European Union debate, suggest women are paid less than men because they are “worth less” but who am I to argue?

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How about him suggesting getting rid of people who live in Chigwell with a “peasant hunt”. I just won’t repeat some of his language.

But there he is on ITV enjoying a £1.5 million appearance fee. It seems a long time since the more innocent days of Ruth Davidson on Celebrity Great British Bake Off. Or, indeed, any of the list of more benign politics-to-celebrity crossovers.

Ann Widdecombe or Ed Balls dancing, say, or Kezia Dugdale in the jungle. Penny Mordaunt splatting into the water in Splash!

Less said the better about George Galloway and his fondness for cream. The cat, to painfully extend that scene in Big Brother into a metaphor, is out of the bag - politicians, like ‘em or loathe ‘em, want to use reality TV for their own ends.

Should we let them?

The arguments are all there: politicians are human too and shouldn’t we allow them to show their human sides?

Isn’t a great way to engage people in politics who might not be otherwise interested in the genre?

That’s certainly the argument Matt Hancock made when he went into the jungle last year on tax payers’ time. He wanted to raise awareness of, crumbs, what was it again? I’ll Google it later.

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Hancock’s success on I’m A Celebrity last year - he ate kangaroo testicles and came third - shows one of two things: the Great British public are idiots easily swayed by a redemption story or the Great British public are actually nicer than they might be given credit for and don’t want to see a man down for long.

Without the benefit of specific polling I don’t want to commit to backing either one of those but the upshot is this: going on reality telly is a way for politicians to campaign on a guaranteed millions-strong platform - and make money off it.

Farage is already well around his redemption arc. His fellow I’m a Celeb’s Frankie Dettori gave an exit interview after being voted off the show in which he described the former politician as “a character larger than life.”

“He’s a good lad and always good fun,” Dettori added. He is a lad, the Italian jockey adds, who knows his stuff.

Of course he appears to know his stuff. There is no credible opponent in the jungle to set his gas on a peep. He can say what he likes, in a jovial manner and while munching camel penis, and who’s going to do anything about it.

The prime minister has just a day ago said he would not rule out Farage rejoining the Conservative Party’s “broad church”, the same broad church Farage left in 1992 when the Maastricht Treaty was signed. Mr Farage seems not a fan of broad churches or big tents or whatever analogy of encompassment you might plump for.

But here he is, on mainstream TV being welcomed back to mainstream politics.

Every decent reality show needs its Nasty Nick-style evil character for depth and dramatic tension.

That’s presumably the role Hancock and Farage are invited to play. But a basic narrative arc requires character development - in any TV show worth its salt the bad guy grows more loveable as the audience sees his or her flaws and motivations.

For a disgraced or disliked politician, that motivation can only be redemption, money and votes.

It would be boldly fallacious to argue that politicians should only take part in reality TV if they’re already well liked or seen as relatively benign.

If we must have them then the rules of political balance should be applied as well to light entertainment as to current affairs programming.

Otherwise the viewers are taken for mugs, complicit in restyling bad guys as good lads and to hell - or the ballot box - with the consequences.