Are you not entertained yet? That’s the purpose, right? Only entertainment matters today. Ratings, clicks, Twitter controversy. Being serious is over, it’s for losers.

I’ve worked in TV, I know - to my moral cost - how it operates, how its executives think. Television is bereft of morality. Your attention is all that counts. If seeking your attention means spewing intellectual sewage over Britain, well that’s just collateral damage. It doesn’t even matter if execs turn monsters into superstars. Exhibit one: Jimmy Savile and the BBC.

Rupert Murdoch and tech tycoons aren’t the sole drivers of the decline of Britain’s media. There’s as much poison leeched into society by television executives as there is by the worst tabloid excesses or Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg.

Read more: Nigel Farage poses a threat to democracy

So why’s anyone surprised that Nigel Farage is on screen each night in the kangaroo-testicle-munching, giraffe-anus-gobbling reality show I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here? Across all channels - maybe BBC4 excepted - if they could get away with it, producers would screen live executions 24-7 as long as it got them that second home in the Cotswolds. They’d probably set up phone lines to make money from punters ringing in to vote on how the victim dies.

I’m not here, though, to launch a character assassination of Nigel Farage. We’re all adults, we’ve all made up our minds about him. Most either love him or loathe him. It’s no surprise I’m in the latter camp. But rehearsing the toll he’s taken on British life isn’t the point of this column. It’s a free country. You bought your telly, I’m not going to presume to tell you what to watch.

What does concern me, though, is the way television isn’t just allowing itself to be co-opted by politics - often politics of the most divisive kind - but how television is actively collaborating in that game for cash.

If you’re of a certain vintage, you may, like me, recall when Question Time wasn’t a carnival for shysters to parlay their way into public life through the administrations of amoral producers, but rather an intelligent debate show. It was still fiery and popular - but not populist. It wasn’t there to rev us to fury. Today, Question Time seeks out society’s wounds, and rather than discuss them seriously, digs its fingers into the flesh deepening the pain.

What’s more insidious, though, than gladiatorial entertainment masquerading as political discussion, is the outright politicisation of light entertainment itself. Boris Johnson cynically used Have I Got News For You to "fun-wash" himself for public life. After he perfected his schtick as "the dippy posh journalist you’d like to have a pint with", he eased his backside into Parliament. Anyone who thinks the Have I Got News For You team didn’t realise what was going on needs their brain scanned as there’s a blockage in the cerebellum.

Sometimes, clearly, TV provides politicians with a fitting shaming. Surely, that’s the only role politicians should have in entertainment? We watch comedy shows and reality shows to escape these damned people, so if they must appear, then appear as Aunt Sallys for ritual humiliation.

Read more: Big Brother reveals important truths about celebrity

The ridiculous George Galloway fulfilled that role perfectly on Big Brother. Farage’s humiliation on I’m A Celebrity will be rather substandard, unfortunately, as it’s claimed his health conditions exempt him from a whole host of tasks. That rather defeats the purpose. If you’re going to play the game, then play it fully, not with half a foot in the ring. So, we’ll probably watch Farage eat buffalo scrotum, but not dangle by his armpits over a ravine. He’s not just loathsome, therefore, but awful telly.

Apologies, I promised I wouldn’t attack him, but keep to the issue in hand. It’s difficult though, so forgive me. You can see how easy it is for the foolish and the serious to blend when discussing these matters. That’s what’s happening to our culture. Politics has become foolish because it’s now hybridised with entertainment.

Back to the matter in hand: Farage sees the possibilities showbusiness offers politicians. He knows these possibilities collide perfectly with his ambitions. He isn’t Ed Balls or Matt Hancock - political losers truffling for cash, narcissists desperate for attention. Sure, £1.5 million matters to Farage. It’ll certainly keep Coutts bank happy, but it’s power not money which lies behind Farage’s game.

In this debased political-entertainment system, his appearance with Ant and Dec, our latter-day Morecambe and Wise - forgive me Eric and Ernie - fits with his goal of one day running Britain.

The Herald: Donald Trump rose to power on the back of The ApprenticeDonald Trump rose to power on the back of The Apprentice (Image: PA)

Farage is Donald Trump’s greatest fan-boy. Trump used The Apprentice as the horse to ride to power. Farage has paddled in TV’s shallow-end for a while now, with his GB News show. His project could be called ‘How to make a populist popular’.

In May, Farage dropped heavy hints that he’s planning a political comeback. He said Brexit had “failed under the Tories”, and predicted there’d be “another insurgency” in British politics. If he stood it would be on a “much more revolutionary agenda than just Brexit”.

Read more:  From SNP to Tories politicians are the danger

 Then in October, with nobody yet aware ITV execs were dangling riches before him, Farage said he might re-join the Tories if it became a “real” right-wing party. I struggle to imagine what a "real" right-wing party is if Farage finds the current iteration of Conservatism too left, but there you go.

Farage was king of the Tory Party conference, dancing with Priti Patel, leaving Risible Rishi in the corner. He’s explicitly said he believes the Tories will “lose the next election”, and that will lead to “the most enormous battle for ideas”.

On that he’s right: the Tories will lose. Suella Braverman is positioning herself as the new leader, taking the party to the hard - perhaps "far" - right post-defeat. A charmless, humourless, charisma-free zone, Braverman wouldn’t last long. Farage could easily rejoin under Braverman, proclaiming the Tories now align with his weltanschuung, and bide his time to cuckoo-like kick her out of the nest, making the party his own.

Ta-da! Farage, fun-washed by the Jungle, becomes leader. Keir Starmer, another charisma-free creature in the age of entertainment, might only last one term. Then it’s "Meet Britain’s celebrity PM Nigel".