Neil expected to skip return to GB News
Andrew Neil was expected back in the studio on Monday
Broadcaster Andrew Neil is not expected to return to GB News on 6 September amid claims that a deep rift between him and the fledgling channel’s management is growing more divisive.
Mr Neil, 72, who is chairman of the channel, shocked his colleagues and viewers when he announced less than two weeks into its troubled launch that he would be taking a break for a few weeks, but would be back “before the summer is out”.
His planned return to present his usual show looked in doubt when former Sky anchor Colin Brazier said on Twitter that he would once again be in the presenting chair of his colleague’s show.
While Mr Neil’s absence may be seen as a blow to the channel, reports suggest ratings have grown and that it has even beaten Sky News on occasions
GB News has today announced that Edinburgh-born political journalist Isabel Oakeshott – who began her career at the East Lothian Courier and went to work for the Daily Mail and the Sunday Times – will be a key part of a relaunch later this month.
But it is former UKIP and Brexit party leader Nigel Farage who is helping turn around the channel’s fortunes, with more than 100,000 tuning in to watch one of his first shows.
The latest developments come as Mr Neil is said to be no longer in contact with CEO Angelos Frangopoulos who is believed to be pushing for the channel to be more of a Fox News-type service, with more opinionated right-wing content.
Mr Neil intervened over the suspension of presenter Guto Harri after he took the knee live on air. Mr Harri left the channel and was followed by the resignation of senior executive John McAndrew.
These setbacks followed a poor start for the channel which suffered technical problems such as poorly lit sets and crackling microphones.
Mr Neil publicly brushed them aside as typical of the problems of a start-up, but he was privately set to be furious.