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Andrew Neil is understood to be delaying his return to GB News following a break of more than two months – with reports even suggesting the veteran broadcaster is set to leave the channel he was instrumental in launching.
On Friday, former Sky News presenter Colin Brazier said he would once again be in the presenting chair of Neil’s show on Monday.
All the reports point to the journalist’s frustration with the channel’s shambolic launch and clashes with executives.
Breaking: Andrew Neil will not return to GB News on Monday as expected, amid growing speculation about strained relations between him and the channel’s top team https://t.co/2vNKSUMP2X
— The Times (@thetimes) September 3, 2021
🔴 Andrew Neil is expected to quit GB News amid a bitter rift with its senior management and board https://t.co/6v8uwt5TFm
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) September 3, 2021
Andrew Neil will not make expected return to GB News next week https://t.co/ariZeiApY0
— Guardian news (@guardiannews) September 3, 2021
Neil, who is the channel’s chair, has largely been absent from the station after announcing a break two weeks into GB News’ launch, and has hosted just eight of the 52 episodes of the show that bears his name.
He appeared, via video link, on Nigel Farage’s programme in August 20 to discuss the crisis in Afghanistan.
The speculation lit up Media Twitter on Friday evening.
Andrew Neil’s 2 week holiday from GB News enters its 3rd month.
— Nick🇬🇧🇪🇺 (@nicktolhurst) September 3, 2021
the thing about andrew neil is that he's a Ferocious Interviewer™ not because of himself, but because of an incredible amount of research and preparation from a big team at the BBC. he clearly didn't get that support at GB News, and it's weird that he thought he would
— Luke Bailey (@imbadatlife) September 3, 2021
Feel a sliver of sympathy for Andrew Neil – insofar as I was also a kid who dreamed of hosting a refined cheese and wine night for close friends when his parents were away, only to end up overseeing a gigantic cider and fingering orgy for the entire Sixth Form when word got out.
— Kit Lovelace (@kitlovelace) September 3, 2021
All very well for Neil, who I'm sure will fail into some other prestigious job, pretty galling for the young producers and staffers who took jobs. https://t.co/92mUHTKN6N
— Shona Ghosh (@shonaghosh) September 3, 2021
GB News was positioned as a rival to the news and current affairs offerings of BBC and Sky.
Neil said the channel would not be “another echo chamber for the metropolitan mindset that already dominates so much of the media”.
However, GB News has faced accusations it will be broadcasting US-style partisan news shows in the UK – criticism that has grown since Farage has become one of the channel’s big attractions.
In July, Neil said the channel was “finding its feet” but had a “great future” amid reports the channel’s director of news and programmes, John McAndrew.
He tweeted at the time: “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.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.