Town crier, councillors and more interviewed as Bognor Regis features on 'Farage at Large'

Notable figures from across Bognor Regis were interviewed by the former Brexit Party leader when his weeknight show Farage at Large came to Bognor Regis yesterday (August 04).

Airing from Monday to Thursday, from 7pm to 9pm on GB News, Nigel Farage’s show sees him discussing the ‘tough subjects of the day’, interviewing guests and broadcasting live from locations all over the UK.

Thursday night’s show featured appearances from Jane Smith, the Bognor Regis Town Crier, Heather Allen, the co-ordinator of the BID, as well as town councillors Wayne Smith and Sandra Daniells and representatives from the Bognor Rocks.

"It’s very clever they way they ask the questions. He almost gets out what he needs you to say, as it were, and keeps things moving – because obviously they’re under time pressure. But it was a good experience, (Farage) seems like a nice enough guy,” Mrs Smith, who opened the show with one of her trademark cries, said. Although Farage is famous for his controversial political opinions, much of Mrs Smith’s conversation with the former MEP, was about Bognor itself.

Town crier Jane Smith was one of several guests on Farage's show

"We talked about ‘Bugger Bognor’ because not everyone knows the history of the town, and there are feet in both camps as to whether that’s true or not. And we talked about my role as town crier, what I do day to day.

"Obviously everyone has their opinions, and (Farage) voiced his during his political career, so he’s a bit marmite for some people – you either like him or you don’t, I guess. I stay very mindful of staying neutral politically – I’m not allowed to get involved in anything like that, so I make sure to keep whatever my opinions might be to myself.”

With BID co-ordinator Heather Allen, Mr Farage discussed the town’s financial fortunes, remarking on the number of independent businesses in the town centre.

"One of the reasons, perhaps, that Bognor Regis didn’t fare as badly as other towns during the pandemic (…) is because we have a really good mix of both national chains and independents. So, in the core retail area, we have almost a 50 – 50 split,” she said.

Asked what she felt businesses would like to see from central government, she said ‘a little bit of certainty’: “What we’ve had over the last three or four years has been relentless. It’s been Covid, Ukraine, then the knock-on effect of that.”

Speaking to the town councillors, Mr Farage brought up the Rampion 2 project, a £1.3 billion plan to build an offshore windfarm some miles off the coast, stretching from Bognor Regis to Shoreham-by-Sea.

"I’m not a fan of the scheme,” Cllr Daniells said. “I think it’s not the right location for it, it’s a very busy shipping lane, it’s going to be three miles off the coast, they’re going to be 325 metres high, which is the same height as the Eiffel Tower (...) and they’re going to be a massive eyesore.”

"I’m all for green energy,” Cllr Smith added. “I think we need to evolve as a country and do what we can, but at this moment in time, I think the technology’s not there.”

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