Nigel Farage has said he was hoaxed into ending a paid-for birthday greeting with the saying “up the RA”.
e said he always rejected unsuitable messages but one can occasionally slip through the net.
Mr Farage used the republican slogan in a paid-for birthday greeting sent to an Irish man by the leading Brexiteer.
Using the video-sharing website Cameo, a friend had paid for Farage to post a clip wishing the Irishman a happy birthday.
In the 25-second recording, Farage said: “This message is for Brian, Brexiteer, and I hope you have a great birthday.
“This comes from your good friend…. Now, it’s a bit early in the day so all I’ve got actually is coffee but I hope you enjoy a few pints with the lads tonight. Up the ‘RA!”
Mr Farage said: “I do a large number of Cameo messages and always reject those that are unsuitable, but the odd one can slip through the net. It did not occur to me that this particular request was a hoax and any suggestion to the contrary is absurd.”
The GB News presenter’s press officer said Mr Farage “probably didn’t know” the meaning behind the phrase “Up the ‘RA” when he shouted it in the video.
The Cameo site and app allows fans to pay for personalised video messages, with more than 30,000 celebrities available to choose from on the platform.
As of October 2021, a personal message for an individual from Nigel Farage costs €90.30 including the service fee, or €1,290 if booking him for a marketing campaign or big business event.
When asked if Mr Farage knew the implications of the expression, his Press aide Daniel Jukes said: “I imagine he probably didn’t, otherwise he wouldn’t have said something like that, would he?”
The Waterford man, who now lives in the UK, posted the video onto his Facebook page, writing: “Quite possibly the best birthday present I’ve ever gotten.” The post attracted many comments from people wondering if the clip was real and sharing disbelief that Farage had actually uttered the slogan.
The clip has since been reshared across various social media sites, including Twitter, where it was posted by a user with an accompanying statement suggesting Farage is “not getting an invite” to TUV leader Jim Allister’s Christmas party.
It has been viewed on Twitter more than 60,000 times, with one user stating: “The IRA would probably say ‘Up Farage!’, because he’s done more harm to the UK than they managed.”
Another wrote: “Never knew Farage was an Irish republican” and many commented on the bizarreness of the clip in general.
On the blogging site Reddit, a user with the screen name ‘figelnarage’ wrote: “Of course big Nige knows what “up the ‘RA” means. “He was married to an Irish woman and was an MEP for 20 years. Come on guys and girls. He’s doing these videos for the money and he has the last laugh.”
Another wrote: “I tried to see it from a few sides and thought, would I laugh if he’d have said ‘Up the UVF’? And, yes. Yes I would.”
“He sold something like 14 tickets to his recent attempted tour in the US,” said a different blogger, in response to a separate comment that said Farage “must be desperate for money”.
The first date of the ‘America’s Comeback Tour feat. Nigel Farage’ tour this year was in fact reported to have attracted only 21 attendees, six of whom were members of his own team.
Former UKIP leader Farage, who led Reform UK (the renamed Brexit Party) from 2019 to 2021, now hosts his own self-named evening show on GB News from Monday to Thursday.
Earlier this year, when he stepped down from politics and joined Cameo, the Guardian reported that a personalised clip from the 57-year-old costs less than Lewis MacLeod, an actor who will deliver your message as Boris Johnson, but 75p more than the ex-Donald Trump aide Sebastian Gorka.