Gb news

The real reason Ofcom has gone after GB News

I don’t envy the people who run Ofcom. On the one hand, they’re under enormous political pressure to sanction GB News, which, in the eyes of its establishment critics, is a contaminated river of far-right propaganda that’s polluting the ‘delicate and important broadcast ecology of this country’ (Adam Boulton). But on the other, they want to preserve their status as the keepers of the ring and cannot be seen to be holding GB News to a higher standard than other broadcasters. That makes their lives complicated because, in reality, the channel’s politics are far closer to the Telegraph than they are to Fox News, and it’s no more partisan than

‘Comedy is much more important than I thought’: John Cleese on the press, his new talk show and the power of Fawlty Towers

John Cleese enjoys tough questions. He’s currently touring America with An Evening with the Late John Cleese, and a substantial part of the show is thrown open to the audience. He tells me that when someone asks a particularly rude question – such as ‘Why can’t you stay married?’ – it simply adds to the fun. Another one of his favourites is ‘What’s the worst film you ever made?’ I ask him the same question. ‘Well, there are a lot of contenders,’ John says. Apparently his ‘sabre-toothed daughter’ Camilla might have the answer, because she often introduces him to the stage as ‘the star of The Pink Panther 2’. When

The political cunning of Elizabeth II: BBC1’s The Longest Reign – The Queen and Her People reviewed

In all the tributes to Her late Majesty’s constancy, dignity, wisdom and devotion to duty, not enough has been said about her political cunning. But BBC1’s The Longest Reign: The Queen and Her People made a compelling case that Elizabeth II knew just how to tilt the balance. When she toured the new towns of the 1950s (see image), waving at the crowds with their little Union Flags and taking tea with the young families on the just-built housing estates, she was giving her wordless blessing to the welfare state. When she wanted to bolster the No side in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, her intervention – commenting to a

GB News shakes up its stars

The winds of change are blowing through Paddington, with news reaching Steerpike of something of a bloodbath over at GB News. The self-proclaimed ‘People’s Channel’ is currently undergoing a shake-up in its personnel and programming, with staff being told today of changes to take effect from the beginning of next week. All individual shows between midday to 4 p.m are to be effectively scrapped and replaced. Stars Gloria De Piero, the former MP, and economics journalist Liam Halligan will therefore no longer work on their current shows: instead they will both expand on their work on other features. De Piero also gets to co-host a new weekday show, titled simply:

From Neil to Nigel: the descent of GB News

I can’t claim to know any behind-the-scenes rivalries or boardroom brouhaha motivating Andrew Neil’s departure from GB News but I am glad to see him go. Neil is out at the still ill-defined channel which can’t decide whether it’s a populist classical-liberal network, standing up to authoritarian cancel culture, or a British version of Fox News. It excels at neither. Given wobbly ratings, staff departures and one instance of very off-brand knee-taking, it’s not entirely surprising that Neil has finally had his fill and walked away. He was not only chairman but the underwriter of the promise — issued in his opening monologue — that the channel would dissent from

GB News will succeed – even if it fails

Help! If I’m too kind to GB News, my bosses at LBC will be cross as the channel nicked their top producer, not to mention the entire format (talk radio, televised). And if I am too unkind, the chairman of this magazine and galactico of GB News Mr Andrew Neil won’t have me at Speccie parties ever again. I have now been watching for around a week in order to give the station time to settle, but I did tune in for the launch. I roped in Dorothy Byrne as an expert witness. Why? One, she was head of news and current affairs at Channel Four for decades and, two,

The questions hanging over GB News

GB News is the most interesting experiment in British television news since Sky in 1989. The brainchild of Andrew Neil (who is also chairman of The Spectator), the channel is pinning its hopes on there being an audience for something different. The thinking goes that the mainstream broadcasters reflect the progressive pieties of London rather than the values of the rest of the country. Critics have characterised the channel as ‘right-wing’, though Neil and his team have been careful not to embrace the label. Of course, GB News isn’t the first broadcaster to cover the news with a particular slant — Channel 4 News has been doing so for a

Tom Slater

GB News and the fight against the outrage mob

Cancel culture is a reflection of our society’s cowardice. The more institutions bow to the demands of an intolerant fringe, the more powerful these unrepresentative bores become. The GB News boycott is a perfect example of this. A handful of tweeters, ginned up by the censorious hate group Stop Funding Hate, tweeted their dismay at companies advertising on the new anti-woke channel, and these firms actually listened to them. Kopparberg, IKEA, Specsavers, Octopus Energy, Grolsch, Moneysupermarket, Vodafone, Bosch and more responded like a rabbit in the headlights and pulled their ads before bothering to think of the consequences. That several of them have since tried to walk it back, following

Rishi Sunak and the coming Tory battle over climate change

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, isn’t normally given to waffle, which makes his maiden appearance on GB News all the more remarkable. Asked by Andrew Neil who – government or homeowner – would have to pay the estimated £10,000 per household cost of replacing domestic gas boilers with heat pumps to help reach the target of net zero emissions by 2050 Sunak replied:  ‘So when you say the alternative is the household or the government, the government’s money is the people’s money. And that’s my point when I say ultimately we all pay. The government does have any separate money of its own’ As a general point of political philosophy, it

British broadcast news has gone badly wrong

I’ve worked for some media thoroughbreds — including the Financial Times, ITN and CNN — so I know the sense of assurance that comes from wearing the badge of a long-established journalistic brand. But nothing — nothing — beats the buzz I now feel as a presenter on GB News. It’s the thrill of being part of a start-up, especially one so many want to fail. We GB News types are disruptive and entrepreneurial. We think that British broadcast news has gone badly wrong. It has become smug, stale and monocultural. We want to do something about that. Amid the advertising boycotts, inevitable technical glitches and even more inevitable catty

Rod Liddle

A breath of fresh airwaves

A couple of decades back the Radio Society asked me to moderate a debate for its summer festival. ‘Between who?’ I asked them and was delighted when they replied: ‘It’s entirely up to you.’ I chose the charismatic hook-handed Muslim cleric Sheikh Abu Hamza al-Masri and the then leader of the British National party, Nick Griffin. They were quite big news at the time — but were not really allowed on the airwaves, still less television. Hamza wasn’t allowed on because ‘mainstream’ Muslim organisations objected and we always did what we were told by them. Griffin wasn’t allowed on because he was a ‘fascist’. In fairness, he got an occasional

Stephen Daisley

Why Rishi Sunak should keep the Universal Credit uplift

Chancellor Rishi Sunak agreed to sit down with Andrew Neil on GB News last night for what turned out to be a fairly brutal grilling. The Chancellor floundered under interrogation on the pensions triple-lock, the cost of climate-friendly policies and the Tories’ big-government instincts. However, one of the more uncomfortable moments came when Neil pressed him on the future of the £20 weekly Universal Credit uplift. The benefit supplement, which also applies to the basic element in Working Tax Credit, was introduced at the start of the pandemic because the government acknowledged that the coming recession would inflict particular hardship on those already on the lowest incomes. Announcing the 12-month

Rishi Sunak: I’m a fiscal Conservative (unlike Boris)

When Rishi Sunak told Andrew Neil this evening that he had his eyes on the future, he was ostensibly talking about the nation’s finances. But it was difficult not to conclude from his interview on GB News that he wasn’t also keeping at least one eye on his own future, too. A particularly striking exchange came when Neil asked him what kind of Conservative he is: Andrew Neil: ‘Beyond the pandemic are you a One Nation conservative, are you a big Government Conservative like the Prime Minister or are you a small government, fiscal Conservative?’ Rishi Sunak: ‘Of course I’m a fiscal Conservative, Andrew, because as we talked about it’s

The strange boycott of GB News

GB News, the UK’s first new news channel in decades, launched on Sunday night with a monologue from the estimable Andrew Neil, setting out the channel’s philosophy.  ‘We will puncture the pomposity of our elites and politics, business, media and academia and expose their growing promotion of cancel culture for the threat to free speech and democracy that it is’, he said. Just 48 hours later and GB News’s detractors have already proven him right.  Anyone who has bothered to watch GB News’s output in its first couple of days would not have detected anything resembling ‘hate’ Stop Funding Hate, a pearl-clutching campaign group that seeks to deprive news outlets

Can GB News live up to the hype?

British TV viewers have never had so many channels to watch, yet they’ve also never had so little choice. The Brexit referendum exposed this lack of political diversity all too clearly. As a panellist on Radio 4’s The Moral Maze for 20 years, I suppose I was something of a BBC luvvie. No doubt I was still seen as a bit of a maverick by some, but I was accepted on the media scene. However, when I casually mentioned back in 2016 that I was going to vote Leave, things changed.  ‘But you’re an intelligent, well-educated person, Claire’, said one senior producer. From that moment on, in studios and green rooms, I was

10 iconic films about news rooms

This month sees the debut of GB News, the new free-to-air 24 hour news channel, a competitor to the big fish BBC and Sky. The most recent broadcaster to enter the arena was ITV in 2000, whose underfunded ITV News Channel lasted five short years, shutting up shop on 23rd December 2005, when Alistair Stewart (who will be presenting a weekday show on GB News) provided a final adieu to viewers. We’ll see if GB news can fare better. The mystique of the TV newsroom has long been a staple in both television and film, with the accuracy of many depictions often criticised by insiders.Cinema has embraced the world of

Simon McCoy’s warning shot to the Beeb

It was just a fortnight ago that the BBC’s grumpiest new presenter Simon McCoy announced he was off to join GB News after 17 years at the Beeb. It has not taken long for the onetime viral iPad star to fire his first salvo at the Corporation’s editorial choices, taking aim on Friday to criticise Auntie for running blackout tributes to the late Duke of Edinburgh. McCoy, who is renowned for his apathetic reportage on a generation of royal births, took to Twitter to complain about the saturation coverage, prompting a stand off with current BBC presenter Martine Croxall. Several commenters took issue with the news anchor’s apparent willingness to take a pop at

Watch: Simon McCoy’s greatest BBC hits

BBC’s grumpiest news presenter Simon McCoy today announced he’s leaving the corporation, the latest big name hire poached by start up channel GB News. McCoy, 59, leaves after 17 years at the Beeb, signing off this afternoon’s News at One with the words: ‘From me, it’s good afternoon – and goodbye.’ Mr S thought it only right to gather a round up of highlights from McCoy’s recent career, presenting to you below six of the best and starting with how he greeted Boris Johnson’s Talk Radio interview in July 2019 during the Tory leadership race: It came weeks after he was forced to read off an autocue for a segment about a dog-show