Andrew Neil ‘may never go back to GB News amid clash with CEO’ after ratings success of Nigel Farage’s show
- Andrew Neil revealed he was taking a break less than two weeks after it went live
- There is speculation that he may quit the Right-leaning channel altogether
- A source at GB News said staff ‘genuinely have no idea’ if Neil will quit or not
There were fears last night that Andrew Neil might never return to GB News – amid suggestions he is considering quitting the channel just months after it launched.
In a move which raised eyebrows, the former BBC political interviewer had already revealed he was taking a break less than two weeks after the service went live in June.
But there is speculation he may quit the Right-leaning channel altogether, with reports he has fallen out with its chief executive Angelos Frangopoulos.
Neil, who is chairman and one of the leading presenters on the channel, originally said he was ‘taking a break’ to ‘replenish my batteries after the rigours of the launch’.
There were fears last night that Andrew Neil might never return to GB News – amid suggestions he is considering quitting the channel just months after it launched
However, employees at GB News – launched as an alternative to Left-leaning broadcasters like the BBC – admit there is growing uncertainty at the channel over whether he will return.
A source at GB News said staff ‘genuinely have no idea’ if Neil will quit or not but said there had been a ‘massive personality clash’ between him and the chief executive. They believed this was driven significantly by Neil’s concerns about the ‘premature’ launch and early technical issues.
But a GB News spokesman said: ‘We look forward to Andrew Neil’s return from holiday in September to host his 8pm show.’
He added: ‘We are enormously proud of our progress in only eight weeks. As a start-up, we continue to move at lightning speed, learning, refining and growing constantly.’
Nigel Farage was recently introduced to the schedules for four nights a week, which has proved to be a ratings success – getting just over 100,000 viewers on Tuesday
GB News has gone through a tumultuous period since it launched, with serious technical issues in the early weeks, along with companies pulling advertising as a result of pressure from Left-wing activists and plummeting viewing figures after an impressive start.
Another of those who are said to have had serious concerns about the decision to launch when it did, on June 13, was its director of news and programmes, John McAndrew, who recently quit.
His departure emerged after viewers responded angrily when presenter Guto Harri took the knee live on air in solidarity with British footballers who had been targeted by racists.
There are claims that Mr Frangopoulos is keen to reposition the channel as more of a British Fox News-type service, with more stridently opinionated content.
Nigel Farage was recently introduced to the schedules for four nights a week, which has proved to be a ratings success – getting just over 100,000 viewers on Tuesday.
This was said to be far ahead of Sky News’ ratings at the same time.