Andrew Neil launches BBC rival with new TV channel set to go live in just months

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The long-running BBC presenter has landed a new gig as the flagship presenter and chairman for the brand new television network GB News. The new channel is set to rival the likes of BBC and Sky, with Discovery Inc – which is behind Discovery Channel and Science Channel – announced as the main investor.

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Mr Neil will be one of a hundred journalists joining the new channel, which is set to differ from its current competitors.

It is believed the veteran journalist will be hosting four one-hour shows a week in primetime and will also chair the GB News editorial board.

GB News will be advertiser-financed and available as a Sky channel, on Freeview, Virgin and all digital platforms.

Unlike the likes of the BBC, Sky and ITV, GB News will be an “intelligent, discussion-based show coming from a more independent mindset”.

Andrew Neil launches BBC rival with new TV channel set to go live in just months

Andrew Neil lands new presenting role on BBC rival (Image: Getty)

Andrew Neil launches BBC rival with new TV channel set to go live in just months

The long-running BBC presenter moves to rival (Image: PA)

Mr Neil tweeted: “With heavy heart I announce I will be leaving the BBC.

“Despite sterling efforts by new DG to come up with other programming opportunities, it could not quite repair damage done when Andrew Neil Show cancelled early summer + Politics Live taken off air.

“But 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.

“And gratitude for brilliant colleagues at Millbank, who always made sure I went into the studio fully briefed and equipped for the fray.

READ MORE: Andrew Neil sends Scot independence fans into meltdown

Andrew Neil launches BBC rival with new TV channel set to go live in just months

Andrew Neil statement on new role (Image: Twitter/Andrew Neil)

They were/are the best of the best.

“If they can make me look good, they can make anybody look good.

“There could have been a different outcome but for reasons too dull to adumbrate, we’ll leave it there.

“I wish the BBC and the new DG well. The BBC will always be special to me.

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Andrew Neil launches BBC rival with new TV channel set to go live in just months

Andrew Neil has been a long-running BBC presenter (Image: Getty)

“As for the future, I’m delighted to announce I have accepted the post of Chairman of GB News, a new news channel to be launched early in the New Year bringing new perspectives to the news.

“I will also be presenting a new nightly prime-time show on GB News. Watch this space.”

GB News will be a 24/7 station from the get go and other management includes other former journalists.

These include Angelos Frangopoulos (ex-Sky Australia) John McAndrew (ex-Sky News) as Director of News and Programming. 

Andrew Neil launches BBC rival with new TV channel set to go live in just months

BBC statement on Andrew Neil (Image: Twitter/BBC)

With news of Mr Neil’s new show, the BBC tweeted: “We’d like to give our heartfelt thanks to Andrew for his many years of work for the BBC, during which he’s informed and entertained millions of viewers.

“From his early broadcasting days of Despatch Box in the 1990s to his recent forensic and agenda-setting political interviews, he has proved a formidable and hugely talented broadcaster.

“For years, he was at the heart of the irreverent and much-loved This Week and played a key role in the Daily and Sunday Politics, Politics Live and the BBC’s general election coverage.

“We wish Andrew every success in his new role; we’re sorry the US election coverage will be his last BBC presentation work for the foreseeable future but he will always be welcome at the BBC.”

Andrew Neil launches BBC rival with new TV channel set to go live in just months

Andrew Neil leaves BBC for new rival network (Image: Getty)

Back in July, the BBC axed The Andrew Neil Show as part of huge organisational restructure and a total of 520 jobs cuts.

The political programme had been cut during the coronavirus crisis, but was cut amid huge job loses across the BBC.

At the time, the BBC said it was talking to Mr Neil about a new BBC One interview show.

Announcing the latest cuts, the BBC said at the time: “We remain committed to Andrew Neil’s in-depth interviews (as well as the Budget, US Election and other Specials).

Andrew Neil launches BBC rival with new TV channel set to go live in just months

The BBC axed the Andrew Neil Show this year (Image: Getty)

“The Andrew Neil Show will not be returning but we’re in discussions about a new interview series on BBC One.”

Mr Neil has been one of the BBC’s top political broadcasters over the past 20 years, fronting programmes such as This Week and Daily Politics.

The Andrew Neil Show began last autumn in the week’s leading up to the general election in December, and the UK’s departure from the European Union.

The popular politics programme, included interviews with most party leaders, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson did not appear.

The broadcaster said increased financial pressure on the BBC because of the pandemic means the total number of job losses in BBC News will rise to around 520.

Source:Daily Express :: UK Feed


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