Monday the 31st May Sunday the 13th June 2021 sees the much-anticipated launch of Britains’ newest news channel, Andrew Neil’s GB News. With its Union Jack based logo and a hint of the words “Great” and “Britain”, the new station promises to fill a gap not covered by Lie News, the Bolshevik Broadcasting Communists and others in the crowded, but exclusively left-wing, UK broadcast news marketplace.
From a suite of studios (or rather one outsized room) in a Paddington office block, some of the greatest names in Great British television have been assembled. Although their Breakfast lineup of Nana Akua, Kirsty Gallacher, Rebecca Hutson, Inaya Folarin Iman, Darren McCaffrey and Rosie Wright, does appear to be a representative cross-section of everybody who’s not a white English male.
Likewise, as listed by media.info website, other cast members include, Angelos Frangopoulos, Balvinder Sindu, Conchur Dowds, Hanisha Sethi, Marta Malagon and Mercy Muroki. Is this a Great British news broadcaster or a grooming gang trial in Bradford?
Away from the inclusion and diversity, some familiar names do appear when glancing down the programme listings, not least ‘Alastair Stewart and Friends’ and ‘De Piero & Haligan’.
The De Piero in question is Gloria De Piero (not her real name) who puts the G and the L into glamour, having once self-defined so many years off her real age that her topless modelling career appeared to have taken place when she was still a minor.
No stranger to the cameras, clothed and otherwise, the lush Gloria was a researcher at the BBC and a presenter on GMTV before she entered Parliament in 2010 as the Labour MP for Ashfield in Nottinghamshire. Gloria De Piero MP went on to enjoy a stellar shadow ministerial career at the mighty offices of state such as Culture, Crime Prevention, Women and Equalities, and Young People and Voter Registration.
Ms De Piero stood down from the House of Commons in 2019, being replaced by a Conservative at the December election. Gloria’s husband, James Robinson, is a PR and communications wallah, a one time publicist for nonce finder general Tom Watson and a Guardian and Observer journalist. Let’s hope Gloria wears the trousers in that relationship! (If nothing else).
The guff promoting GB News introduces Alistair James Stewart OBE as having,
“45 years experience at the sharp end of Britain’s biggest news events”
And at the narrow end of a bottle of whiskey, it could have added as Alistair was banned from driving for twenty-three months in 2003 after crashing his car into a telegraph pole whilst three times over the drink driving limit. Embarrassingly at the time, Alastair was the presenter of ‘Police Camera Action!’ an ITV show which made mirth from police video of bad driving.
Alistair’s 45-year stint behind the wheel of Britain’s biggest news events crashed into its own hedge in January 2020 when he repeated a Shakespeare quote, including the word “ape”, during a Twitter girl fight with a gentleman BAME of colour.
Public schoolboy Mr Stewart (Salesian College, Farnborough and St Augustines Abbey, Ramsgate) has been married for 43 years to the lovely Sally Anne Jung, a former Southern Television production assistant.
Another cast member is former Fatty Fawkes reporter, Tom Harwood, who has managed to squeeze past the Greggs and Spads supremo, climb over a mountain of empty gin bottles and escape from the obese Humberside College of Higher Education graduate’s fourth rate failing imitation of GP.
If Puffins are beginning to worry about GB News being the same old washed up London luvvie media-political bubble hypocrites and nepotists, help might on hand from the boardroom.
One of the new company’s directors is the interesting Mr Andrew Cole. After graduating in Geography (including Economics and Statistics) from the University of Bristol and completing an MSc in Business Administration at the University of Oxford, Mr Cole joined cracker packers United Biscuits as a brand manager at McVities.
From there, he moved into media, rising to be a director of Liberty Global (the parent company of Virgin Media) in 2013.
As a boardroom sophisticate, Andrew eschews Twitter and prefers to do his top-class trolling via business and online employment service LinkedIn. His recent observations from the top floor include,
Fundamentally the BBC is anti-British. Its news organization needs to be relegated to its fringe audience in North London and eventually closed. For the good of the country
They [the BBC] need to correct their corrupt, biased and agenda-laden culture first. The BBC is a shameful place to work.
After decades of anti-business propaganda, incumbents like the BBC have created a sense that business is simply bad. The young have been indoctrinated to believe this. Despite the fact that western capitalism has lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty
Piers Morgan: thank you ITV. Thank you BBC. Thank you Channel 4. As you increasingly lose touch with the majority, GB News will gain viewers. We love you all!
We do NOT want more illegals in this country
Go and live in Merkel’s Europe. We do not want you.
The key investors in an initial £60 million round of funding for the new broadcaster are American cable giants Discovery, Dubai based investment firm Legatum and Sir Paul Marshall.
The Daily Telegraph reports Sir Paul is investing his own personal funds in the venture.
Privately educated (Merchant Taylor’s) Sir Paul Roderick Clusus Marshall graduated from St John’s College, Oxford, before joining the City of London. A partner in Marshall Wallace, one of Europe’s biggest hedge funds, according to the Sunday Times Rich List, Paul is worth a cool £630 million. His father being an executive with multinational Unilever, Sir Paul enjoyed a childhood in the Philippines and South Africa along with his sister, Penny Marshall, the well known ITV news reporter.
Originally inclined towards the Liberals, Marshall stood for Parliament for the SDP Liberal Alliance in the election of 1987, finishing third in the Fulham constituency, behind the Tories and Labour, with a respectable 4,365 votes.
A fellow traveller, also on the board of Liberty Media and Discovery Channel is John Malone. Malone is thought to be the largest private landowner in the United States of America with a combined holding of over 2.2 million acres, twice the size of the state of Rhode Island. With a total wealth of $9.3 billion, Puffins will be pleased to hear, via Bloomberg’s real-time trading page, John has made $47,000,000 ……
…. since yesterday.
But what are the marketplace, cast members and investors tiptoeing into on Monday?
Broadcasters Audience Research Board statistics show the BBC News Channel ‘enjoys’ a 1.3% share of the total UK TV audience. Sky News trails at 0.7%.
The BBC are protected by the licence fee but not so SKY News. Every day SKY News advertises its own inability to sell advertising space with slots full of sick donkeys, Mohammed’s never-ending trip to the well and nine-year-old Fatima’s forthcoming marriage in a Bengal shanty town shipping container chapel of love.
In 2018, when taken over by Comcast, SKY News was said to be losing £40 million a year. Biden donating Comcast is part of the woke US Liberal media which, away from a North London clique, is unpopular in the UK. Likewise, Comcast’s impartiality is compromised by its financial exposure in China. Their Universal Studios Beijing Resort theme park alone has cost over $3 billion to construct.
In a bullish piece in the February 7th Daily Express, Andrew Neil himself announced his own nightly programme on the new channel and promised an emphasis, not upon rolling news, but upon:
Programmes led by journalists and commentators with warmth, character, knowledge, humour and yes, at times, some edge.
We will not operate on the assumption that every problem demands a government solution. Or that every solution must necessarily involve more taxpayers money.
We will even broadcast the good news, perish the thought!
This Puffin will be glued to his set on Monday and, after suffering this Preview, you may well suffer a Review on Tuesday. It would be mean spirited not to give GB News a chance, if only to watch it kill off SKY News, as it surely will.
However, a number of caveats remain.
- How long with the initial £60 million of funding last?
- What happens if a small number of wealthy investors lose interest?
- Will it be too ‘London’?
- Are GB News’ competitors the moribund BBC News channel and woeful SKY News? Or is Andrew Neil’s new project in reality pitched against the nimble, multifaceted and omnipresent internet?
- And, as right of centre, will GB News be of the libertarian right beloved by Puffins? Or of the corporate right that libertarians remain suspicious of?
next Monday two weeks Sunday, we shall find out. As Neil says himself at the end of his Express article.
“I believe that GB News will be a channel you want to watch but only you can be a judge of that.”
GB News begins broadcasting on Monday 31st May. You’ll be able to join them on Freeview and YouView channels 236, Freesat channel 216, Virgin Media, Sky and online. GB News HD will be available for viewers on Sky, Virgin Media and Freesat.
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file