Nigel Farage to join GB News as channel continues to suffer low viewing figures

·3-min read
Nigel Farage (PA)
Nigel Farage (PA)

Nigel Farage has confirmed he is joining GB News as viewing figures for the channel continue to decline.

Mr Farage, who retired from frontline politics earlier this year, made the announcement on Saturday on Twitter.

It came after Mr Farage teased on Twitter that he would soon reveal a “big career change.” Several Twitter users correctly guessed he was about to announce his plan to join the start-up channel.

Mr Farage said on social media: “I will not be taking the knee on this show” in reference to star Guto Harri doing so live on air last week.

“Since politics I have done a fair bit of broadcasting and broadcasting matters, it really, really does,’ Mr Farage said.

“It gets people to look at issues, think about issues in different ways and can be very influential.”

Mr Farage, the former leader of the Brexit Party, said he had broadcasting experience working with LBC, suggesting he had “some degree of success” in the media world.

“On YouTube I’ve had millions of people watching my videos and often I’ve covered stories that everybody else wants to ignore,” he added.

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Mr Farage’s self-titled show will begin on Monday July 19. It will air from 7pm until 8pm from Monday to Thursday.

The former MEP was among the first guests to appear on the fledgling broadcaster, featuring on Dan Wootton’s show during launch night.

It comes amid reports the channel’s director of news and programmes, John McAndrew, has stepped down and Harri has been taken off air.

The announcement comes after GB News chair Andrew Neil broke his silence to say the channel is “finding its feet” but has a “great future” ahead of it amid claims the channel has few viewers.

The journalist and broadcaster made the comment amid reports the channel’s director of news and programmes, John McAndrew, has stepped down and a presenter, Guto Harri, has been taken off air.

Neil has been absent from the channel after announcing a break two weeks into GB News’ launch.

On Friday, he tweeted: “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.”

Presenter Harri has been taken off air after the channel said he breached its “standards” by taking the knee on air in support of England’s footballers, according to The Guardian.

On Thursday, GB News apologised after Harri made the gesture while discussing the racial abuse suffered by members of the national side following their loss to Italy in the Euro 2020 final.

A statement from GB News on Twitter said: “GB News stands four square against racism in all its forms. 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.”

Alaistair Stewart has also stepped back from the channel due to injury (GB News)
Alaistair Stewart has also stepped back from the channel due to injury (GB News)

On Friday, presenter Alastair Stewart also announced he is taking a break from his GB News show after breaking his hip.

The former ITV presenter, 69, anchors a programme called Alastair Stewart And Friends on the new channel, featuring conversation and analysis of current affairs.

Stewart said on Twitter he would be stepping back from the show after being knocked over by a horse.

He wrote: “I won’t be hosting #AlastairStewartAndFriends on @GBNEWS this weekend due to……. a broken hip! I fear it’ll be a while but I’ll be back!!!

“Thanks for kindness & support to all at @GBNEWS, the brilliant Anita @AnitaLandLtd & my extraordinary family…”

In a second post he disclosed how he was hurt, writing: “I was leading in one of the horses & she bolted, knocking me over – rather forcefully!”

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