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Neil’s GB News suffers sharp drop in viewers

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First day figures beat the BBC and Sky

Andrew Neil’s television channel GB News has struggled to hold on to its initial audience, with viewing figures falling sharply.

The channel attracted 336,000 viewers when it debuted on 13 June, higher even than BBC News 24 and Sky News.

Latest figures show 32,000 tuned in on Thursday, with Mr Neil’s own flagship show attracting 31,000, according to the London Economic website.

Welsh language S4C shows such as Pobol y Cwm attracted higher numbers.

A fall would have been expected in line with any new launch which attracts a significant number of “curiosity” viewers.

However, the new channel was plagued with production issues some critics said should have been ironed out before launch.

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Andrew Neil, chairman, launched an on-air criticism of big businesses such as Ikea,  Octopus Energy and Nivea after they withdrew advertising amid claims from the Stop Funding Hate campaign group. In light of his comments some said they would review their policies.

Last week Mr Neil, a former Sunday Times editor and publisher of The Scotsman, announced that he would be taking a break from presenting duties on the channel.

He told viewers on Thursday that he would “be back before the summer is out, and popping up when you least expect it.”



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