Andrew Neil breaks silence on 'fraught and fractious' GB News launch 11 months ago

Andrew Neil breaks silence on 'fraught and fractious' GB News launch

It's as the channel has recorded rock-bottom viewing figures in recent days.

GB News founder Andrew Neil has defended his fledgling news channel, insisting that it has a "great future." However he admitted that the channel had experienced a difficult start.


The opening days of the channel were plagued with gaffs and technical issues, but in recent days the channel has become embroiled in controversy and chaos.

It's after presenter Guto Harri took the knee live on air, upsetting many viewers and resulting in him being being pulled from his presenting duties.

GB News said that Harri had breached the channel's standards by performing the gesture and apologised for letting "both sides of the argument down by oversimplifying a very complex issue."


After Harri's act, viewers decided to boycott the channel, the result of this being that on Wednesday the channel recorded zero viewers.

Neil has now commented on the channel's struggles, admitting that its launch had been "fraught and fractious" but insisting that this was always the case for start-ups.


The channel's founder, who stepped away from his role less than two weeks after the GB News launch, wrote on Twitter: "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."

Along with the super low viewing figures, there are reports of problems behind the scenes at the channel as well.


On Thursday, the Guardian reported that the channel's director of news and programmes, John McAndrew, had left the company. Sources suggested he had come under pressure to lessen the focus on local reporting and free debate in favour of more culture war topics, so chose to resign.