One can only imagine that Nigel Farage is not quite having the start to 2017 that he must have been expecting.
Following the referendum result, his cameo in Donald Trump’s election campaign, talk of a possible role as ambassador or intermediary to the US and then the announcement of his new role as a pundit on Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News, Mr Farage must have felt like he was flying high in the full, warming rays of the sun.
Instead, it seems his woes – embarrassing ones at that – are piling up.
A couple of weeks ago, in Washington with a ‘golden ticket’ personal invitation to attend Trump’s inauguration as a VIP snug in his breast pocket, Farage was proudly looking forward to his place on the platform and to basking in Trump’s reflected glow at the expensive ‘after party’ he had arranged in the new President’s honour across a whole floor of a plush hotel.
Then, at the last minute, Trump or his team rescinded his invitation so that he was relegated to smoking a fag on a street corner while the VIPs enjoyed warm hospitality elsewhere – and then Trump failed to turn up at the party, leaving Farage to sing his praises in his absence to save face.
The SKWAWKBOX understands that Mr Farage will not be going to the US to perform his punditry role conveniently while enjoying Fox’s hospitality, because his application for a work permit has been refused. This means that he will have to be filmed in a UK – or, ironically, an EU – location and beamed to the US instead.
US regulations allow work permits to be issued to foreigners for television purposes, but applicants have to meet certain qualifying criteria. There are a couple of categories under which Mr Farage might have hoped to qualify – category ‘O’ for television or ‘P-3’ for artists or entertainers. Here are the criteria:
It would appear that the US Immigration Service is not overly keen to facilitate Mr Farage’s television career and considers that he is a man of no particular ability or merit, nor represents anything worthwhile culturally. Considering even Piers Morgan got one, that’s quite a come-down.
If only the BBC had been as perceptive, the UK might not be in the quandary in which it now finds itself.
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