NIGEL Farage tonight joked he wants Theresa May to remain Prime Minister "as long as possible" to help him recruit Brexit Party members.
Speaking on Question Time, the former UKIP leader said May was doing a "fantastic job" in bolstering his nascent party.
3 Nigel Farage said the PM was doing a 'fantastic' job of recruiting Brexit Party members
BBC3 Remainer MP Anna Soubry of Change UK was also on the panel tonight
Farage quit as head of the party after the UK voted to leave the European Union in 2016, only returning to frontline politics with his new party in January of this year.
Asked if May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn should be worried about his newly-formed party, he responded: "As leader of the Brexit Party, I want Theresa May to stay in office as long as possible as she's doing a fantastic job of recruiting for us.
"The truth of it is, the Brexit Party has appeared, it shouldn't have even have to have appeared because we should have left on the 29th March."
Mr Farage was appearing on the prime-time show just days after slamming the BBC for not giving him enough coverage.
Hosted by Fiona Bruce, the panel included Remainer Anna Soubry, work and pensions Secretary Amber Rudd and Jonathan Reynolds, shadow economic secretary to the treasury.
The studio audience in Northampton posed questions on a WTO Brexit, the Irish border and May's withdrawal deal during a series of heated debates.
Change UK's Anna Soubry and Farage frequently clashed, with both telling the other: "You're not listening."
Their exchanges come after Soubry mocked the Brexit Party logo.
The MP for Broxtower, a former business minister for the Conservatives, also took offence when the minimalist logo for the pro Remain party logo came under fire.
Panellists also discussed whether May should resign, with Amber Rudd saying the beleaguered leader had "done the right thing" with the EU withdrawal deal and that she can "make a comeback".
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Earlier on the programme Farage received a resounding round of applause when he dismissed concerns about a No Deal Brexit.
"Monsieur Barnier has said there'll be no border put up… up the British government has said there'll be no border put up… has said unless Trump's coming here to put up a wall… " he said.
The programme also heard Amber Rudd say she would vote for the unpopular EU withdrawal deal for a fourth time – and that Westminster just needed to "hold our nerve".
The debate comes just a fortnight before the European elections on May 23, when the Brexit Party will be put to the test.
BBC3 Host Fiona Bruce interviews Amber Rudd on Question Time