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Scot bows out

Neil quits BBC to launch rival 24-hour news channel

Andrew Neil

Andrew Neil: ‘heavy heart

Broadcaster Andrew Neil is leaving the BBC after 25 years to join a new 24-hour news channel.

GB News aims to start broadcasting early next year as a rival to BBC and Sky.

The 71-year-old Scot, who becomes chairman of the new channel, said: “We’ve seen a huge gap in the market for a new form of television news … GB News is the most exciting thing to happen in British television news for more than 20 years.

“We will champion robust, balanced debate and a range of perspectives on the issues that affect everyone in the UK, not just those living in the London area.”

The station is backed by broadcaster Discovery and hopes to create at least 120 positions, including more than 100 jobs for journalists across the UK.

Its style is expected to be similar to the opinion-led programmes on Fox News, offering a right wing perspective.

Over the course of his BBC career the former editor of The Sunday Times presented Daily Politics and its successor Politics Live and said he was leaving the corporation with a “heavy heart”.

However, He fell out with the management after they refused to recommission his short-lived interview programme. He had already seen his contributions to Politics Live reduced and his late-night show This Week cancelled.

He tweeted: “I leave with no animosity or desire to settle scores. I look back on my 25 years doing live political programmes for the BBC with affection.”

His final appearance for the BBC will be in November when he will take part in the corporation’s coverage of the US presidential election.

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