The much-hyped GB News finally launched on Sunday night, positioned as a rival to the news and current affairs offerings from the likes of the BBC and Sky.
GB News chairman and presenter Andrew Neil hosted the launch with a promise to “expose the growing promotion of cancel culture” and give a voice “to those who feel sidelined or silenced”.
Because Nigel Farage needs to be given a platform, apparently...
Dan Wootton's first guests: Nigel Farage, Alan Sugar, Alison Pearson.
Way to give voice to the voiceless! A brave new world.
— Ross McCafferty (@RossMcCaff) June 13, 2021
As does Dan Wootton by all accounts...
Andrew Neil’s opening monologue on GB News was about how the channel wouldn’t push false narratives.
Anyway an hour later there’s an uninterrupted, unchallenged to-camera monologue by host Dan Wootton on GB News about how lockdowns don’t work. This is definitely new territory.
— Jim Waterson (@jimwaterson) June 13, 2021
Dan Wootton has just spent five minutes on #GBNews broadcasting conspiracy theories about coronavirus being a “scare story”.
I’m old enough to remember an hour ago, when Andrew Neil promised that his new network wouldn’t spread baseless fake news
— Sam Bright (@WritesBright) June 13, 2021
“We are proud to be British,” Andrew told viewers. “The clue is in the name.”
With all the pressure of launching patriotic tv news channel #GBNews let's hope Andrew Neil doesn't wear himself out commuting backwards and forwards from his home in France
— Will Thorpe (@withorpe) June 13, 2021
“We are proud to be British” says #GBNews founder Andrew Neil.
Every single one of GB News’ major shareholders is based outside Great Britain
— Sam Bright (@WritesBright) June 13, 2021
But never mind that, why the hell was everything so dark?
Bold choice to film it on a Nokia 3310 https://t.co/DafsQxnQvo
— Alan White (@aljwhite) June 13, 2021
Is it just me ? @GBNEWS picture quality and/or lighting not right.
Words good / lighting not so .
— Eamonn Holmes (@EamonnHolmes) June 13, 2021
And it wasn’t just the lighting, either...
— Nigel Murphy (@njmurphy1) June 14, 2021
— Middleton 1878 💙 (@Middleton2010) June 14, 2021
The channel famously hasn’t spent a penny on advertising...
Woah, #GBNews is budget. Like, really budget. It looks like an amateur student production. What have they pissed all their money on?
— Owen Jones 🌹 (@OwenJones84) June 13, 2021
Why does GBeebies look like it was filmed on a 2004 camcorder #GBNews
— Emily Hobson (@emilyehobson) June 14, 2021
Why is #GBNews a mess? The design/audio/video are so substandard I'm quite shocked. Its so not on par with CNN/Sky News/BBC. Granted its Day 1 but its technical issues are amateur hr
Don't get me started on content-Covid conspiracies, attacks on #MeghanAndHarry etc This is News?
— Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu (@SholaMos1) June 13, 2021
As for those sets, they looked kinda familiar...
— David Perrett (@raouldufy) June 14, 2021
— James McManus (@JamesMcManus1) June 13, 2021
— Oli (@olihtweet) June 14, 2021
— Aye, Shugmeister kin boogie. (@weeshooey) June 14, 2021
If someone told me #GBNews was a deleted scene from Black Mirror I'd probably believe them.
— Dan Gasser (@DanGasser) June 13, 2021
Despite the hiccups, there was plenty of backslapping going on within the GB News team...
As fantastic, late-night message to the entire @GBNEWS gang from our CEO.
It is private but he won't mind me sharing two of his words because they sum up how I feel about this extraordinary adventure:
"proud" and "team".
— Alastair Stewart (@AlStewartOBE) June 14, 2021
We're going to cover politics differently at #GBNews.
Here's what I had to say tonight about giving a rounded, realist view of Westminster - while avoiding groupthink or grandstanding. And of course not forgetting there is more to politics in this country than a village in SW1! pic.twitter.com/cbfjO2cHMF
— Tom Harwood (@tomhfh) June 13, 2021
SO many kind messages re our launch tonight. I can’t reply to them all, but please know that I thank you so much, it’s massively appreciated. ❤️❤️
My show launches tomorrow. Can’t wait! A healthy mix of nerves & excitement. 🤞#GBNews
— Michelle Dewberry (@MichelleDewbs) June 13, 2021
And messages of support from the usual suspects famous fans...
Good luck to my old mucker @afneil and to @frangopoulos & the whole team on the launch of @GBNEWS tonight.
Great to see a new TV news network on the airwaves & already making waves. pic.twitter.com/SusJXcK2Gj
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) June 13, 2021
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) June 13, 2021
— Anthea Turner (@AntheaTurner1) June 13, 2021
But love it or hate it, launch night was a success, beating both BBC News and Sky News in the ratings...
BARB Data 1900-2300
#1 @GBNews 164.4k 1.1 share
#2 BBC News 133k 0.9 share
#3 Sky News 57k 0.4 share
— GB News (@GBNEWS) June 14, 2021
GB News is available to watch now on Sky channel 515, Virgin Media channel 626, Freeview and YouView channel 236, Freesat channel 216, as well as online.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.