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Andrew Neil breaks silence and defends GB News amid ratings plummet ‘Been a fraught start

Andrew Neil announces break from GB News

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Andrew Neil has broken his silence and defended GB News following their disastrous viewing figures. The presenter is currently on holiday but took to Twitter with a short comment arguing how start-up companies can be “fraught and fractious” but says the news channel is “finding its feet”. The broadcast journalist also told everyone to “watch this space”. 

Barb released official viewing figures this week [via the Guardian] and two GB News broadcasts failed to attract measurable audience figures. 

On Wednesday afternoon, the Business Editor for the show, Liam Halligan and former Labour MP Gloria De Piero hosted their regular afternoon time slot. 

But, between 1pm and 1.30pm, the pair’s show failed to bring in the ratings. 

GB News’ rivals – BBC News and Sky News – in the same slot, raked in 62,000 and 50,000, respectively.

Elsewhere for GB News, the ratings plummeted towards zero on the same day for Simon McCoy and Alex Phillips’ show.

To add to this, Guto Harri, has reportedly been “taken off air” according to the Guardian following a backlash to him for taking the knee live on air earlier this week. 

GB News took to Twitter last night and said: “We do not have a company line on taking the knee. Some of our guests have been in favour, some against. All are anti-racist. 

“We have editorial standards that all GB News journalists uphold.


“On Tuesday a contributing presenter took the knee live on air and this was an unacceptable breach of our standards.

“We let both sides of the argument down by oversimplifying a very complex issue. 3/3.”

And today, Alastair Stewart announced he was taking a break from hosting his weekend programme because of an injury. 

The former ITV news anchor explained he had broken a hip and needed to recover for what he fears will be a “while”. 

Following all of this, many have been wondering why Andrew has not spoken out on this and today he took to Twitter. 

The comment he posted read: “Start ups are fraught and fractious. @GBNEWS is no exception.

“But the news channel is finding its feet and has a great future. Watch this space.”  

And many flocked to reply to his tweet. 

One said: “I hope GB News survives. No harm is ever done by multiple views being aired on TV. I don’t agree with taking the knee, but don’t think you should have sacked someone for doing it.” 


“Cant believe how swiftly GB News was set up! They have done incredibly well in month one considering all the new relationships between co-presenters. It’s been a delight to completely switch off BBC! Go GB News! It can only get better! Well done @afneil would love to join you!” Another said. 

Someone else wrote: “Brazier doing brill at 8, dan wootten i enjoy at night too. Its still early and these things always start rough round the edges but you have the left gunning for you like crazy for it to fail. Im sticking with it.” 

I think it’s a breath of fresh air, and shows the other channels as the stuffy tedium they are. Keep it up!” A fan added. 

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