And viewers had a mixed reaction
Michelle Dewberry will be competing with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and UEFA Euro 2020 as she debuts her new show on GB News tonight.
The former Apprentice winner will host Dewbs & Co at 6pm on the new Freeview channel, just as Mr Johnson is due to hold a press conference to update the nation on the “last push” to defeat the spread of the latest variant of Covid-19 and the likely delay in fully lifting restrictions.
Football fans may well already be avidly glued to the opening Group E fixture, Poland versus Slovakia, on ITV, when Michelle kicks off her prime time two-hour slot.
Last night’s GB News launch show hosted by Andrew Neil came in for criticism from some, for “grainy pictures” and “out of sync” dialogue, but others were urging the dubious to give Dewbs a chance, after she discussed with Andrew the stories and voices she was keen to air on her programme.
TJ Waldron tweeted: “Michelle Dewberry defo going to be the most popular host on GB News.”
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Brixham Belle said: “Am looking forward to watching Michelle Dewberry this evening” while Simon Proctor said: “Liking Michelle Dewberry #gbnews.”
Jack Belton said: “I’m not a fan of Wooten (former Sun journalist Dan Wootton) or Talk Radio but I’m looking forward to Michelle Dewberry’s and (comedian) Andrew Doyle’s shows and will check out others I’m not really aware of.”
MR2 said simply: “Michelle Dewberry is great.”
BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones said after last night’s opener with Andrew and guest Michelle: “Some good people working on @GBNews so I wish them luck but can there be a worse time to launch than the warmest evening of the year when everyone normal is watching football?”
Louis Barfe questioned the naming of Michelle’s show, tweeting: “Nobody has ever called Michelle Dewberry ‘Dewbs’. Her nickname is Michelle Dangleberry.”
Madiha tweeted: “Andrew Neil saying #GBNews won’t be about identity politics only for Michelle Dewberry to spend an hour banging on about her humble working-class background, how relatable she is, how she doesn’t have a university degree and how she’s a new mum etc. You couldn’t make it up.”
Vanda Greenwood said of last night’s launch: “The first ten minutes have been awful, grainy pictures and voices out of sync, now that awful woman Michelle Dewberry is on (also out of sync), I’ve seen enough, it’s terrible.”
Michelle herself tweeted that she was feeling “a healthy mix of nerves and excitement” ahead of her show launch tonight and that kind messages of support she had received were all “massively appreciated”.
After the channel launch last night, she tweeted: “Never, ever been as nervous on TV as I was just then.
“Everything I do, I do in honour of my sister and I know she will be looking down, watching us and super proud. History in the making. Thanks to everyone for your support. Much appreciated. Onwards and upwards #gbnews.”
She is a well-known name in Hull but now former Apprentice star Michelle Dewberry is set to become a more familiar face on the national stage when the current affairs and news channel GB News launches this weekend.
She is one of the faces of the soon-to-be-launched channel, and has been tweeting about the launch, this Sunday, for several weeks, setting out her intentions to cover the stories that ‘matter’ to viewers.
Michelle may seem to have it all, with a new baby and wealthy partner, former Crystal Palace Football Club owner Simon Jordan, however, she has not sought to hide an extraordinarily difficult childhood, which means that her ‘privileged’ label couldn’t be more wrong.
Born in Hull on a council estate on Boothferry Road, she shared a three-bed terraced house with her five brothers and sisters, and says money was tight.
She spent her entire childhood on the ‘at risk’ register and admitted she had a violent father.
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After leaving school at 16 with two GCSEs, she claimed she spent lot of time hanging around estates with her then-boyfriend who was “in and out of prison”.
But the defining moment of her young life came when her sister tragically died at the age of 19, after falling from a tower block. Michelle was just 16 at the time.
It was a turning point in her life.
In a previous interview she said: “I was devastated.
“I felt that she’d been robbed of having a life, so I decided I was going to make mine extraordinary.
“I wanted a life that was good enough for her and me.”
It led to an apprenticeship with St John Ambulance, which in turn took her to employment with KCOM where she excelled in IT, and she was head-hunted by Tiscali, an internet service provider, where she was promoted to project manager.
She started her own business at 24 – which she gave up to join the BBC hit show The Apprentice, which she won and landed herself a job with Sir Alan Sugar.
But it was not to last long. She quit after four months and has never really explained the reasons behind it.
However, since then she’s written a book, stood in local elections, as well as presented on TV.
Her inspirational yet troubled background it sure to help her when tackling a range of issues for GB News.
Feisty and opinionated, she’s not afraid to put people right when they question her sincerity or motives, often through her Twitter account, where she has over 100,000 followers.
She said in the past: “I worked my backside off, to try and become successful.
“I spent most of my adult years with depression and serious suicide ideation. After years of therapy and medication, I am now finally happy. That to me has become my definition of success – my hard-won true internal happiness.”
“Other than that, I’ve been through more challenges, adversity and upset that I hope most of you will ever come close to. And to those who call me privileged – you’re right. I am privileged to be alive, and given how many times I almost chose not to be, I will never take that for granted.”
Her Twitter profile lists her firstly as ‘mum’ and secondly as ‘Hull girl’ with everything else listed afterwards, including business coach, author, speaker, election candidate 2017-2019, politics debater and finally, presenter.
She has described in the past how people wrote her off because of her Northern accent, dismissing her as a “Northern numpty”.
“I just used to laugh and think: ‘More fool you, you’re underestimating me and you’re going to get bitten by it because you can’t see me coming’.”
Indeed, she is unafraid to defend herself against trolls.
When a group calling themselves Stop Funding Hate, who are against the introduction of GB News tweeted recently, she immediately hit back with: “Attempting to dictate what other folk can watch, while bullying brands/advertisers and attempting to cancel any views which differ from your own, is kinda hateful.
“Maybe you need to reconsider what you guys call yourselves. Bully boys is a more accurate name.”
For the past few days she’s been posting polls on Twitter, canvassing public opinion on everything from whether parents will allow their children to have the Covid vaccine, to whether people care about Boris Johnson’s nuptials.
In her personal life, she has recently continued to face the same adversity that she endured as a child.
In July last year, her son was born nine weeks early and she went spent weeks by his incubator at Hull Royal Infirmary’s Neo-Natal ward.
Then in May this year she was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, which she said is linked to the traumatic end to her pregnancy and the early labour she went through with her son.
Despite her ‘starry’ status she remains as down to earth as ever, and recently tweeted how she’d had a family weekend away caravanning in Cleethorpes.
In 2007 she penned her autobiography ‘Anything is Possible’ which charts her extraordinary rags to riches tale.
Now, with the start of a new career this weekend, it seems the headline of Michelle’s book has never been more accurate, or more poignant.
Ms Dewberry will be joining the new television channel GB News. The businesswoman and broadcaster will anchor a programme five nights a week connecting with communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Born and bred in Hull, Ms Dewberry is a strong advocate of addressing the north-south divide and an outspoken champion of non-metropolitan communities.
Since leaving school at 16, she has founded several start-ups, advised multiple businesses and worked on numerous projects to support the unemployed back to work.
Ms Dewberry stood as a candidate in Hull in two general elections, first as an Independent in 2017 and later for the Brexit Party in 2019 when she secured nearly 18 percent of the vote.
Commenting on joining GB News, she said: “We are aiming to create something different and yes, opinion will feature in that. We will discuss the news, not just report it.”
As anticipation for the channel grows, unearthed reports shed light on Ms Dewberry’s personal opinions.
In 2019, the Apprentice star clashed with author Afua Hirsch on whether Margaret Thatcher should have been honoured with a statue in her hometown.
Ms Hirsch claimed the former Prime Minister helped to “create neoliberalism”, while Ms Dewberry contended that she helped females believe they can “achieve anything”.
During a debate on Sky News’ The Pledge, Guardian columnist Ms Hirsch argued: “She did more harm to equality than any other leader in my lifetime.
“She created the destruction of banking reforms that helped create the credit crisis. She helped create neoliberalism that has made us unequal.
“There are so many of our current problems that began with her.”
Ms Dewberry fired back: “I really do believe I can achieve anything that I want.
“I don’t believe my gender holds me back.
“You might call me deluded but I don’t believe that.”
Ms Hirsch interjected: “I don’t call you deluded.”
The Apprentice star continued: “I feel like I can do anything and one of those reasons that I have that belief is because of people like Margaret Thatcher.
“The daughter of a greengrocer or whatever he was. She rose up in a significantly male-dominated field to become the very, very top of her industry and field and I respect that.
“She may have made some ridiculous decisions, you know, she did many things that I disagree with.
“But I massively respect the achievement that she made and in this environment where we’re constantly telling little girls ‘you’re going to be discriminated against’.
“We must be showing them areas where they won’t be.”
The heated comments followed a brand new statue of Margaret Thatcher being approved in her hometown of Grantham in Lincolnshire.
The statue is due to be erected later this year, but a date is yet to be fixed.
The council agreed to put it on a 10ft (3m) high plinth to prevent vandalism, making the entire structure more than 20ft (6m) high overall.
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In a report addressed to the committee IN 2019, police said it would not “object” to the statue in the town, but warned of the possible consequences.
The police said: “The divisive nature of Baroness Thatcher due to her political career and policy legacy and the potential for this to result in vandalism has been raised as a concern.
“A threat assessment has been carried out by Lincolnshire Police who consider there is a possibility any public statue of Baroness Thatcher could be a target for politically motivated vandals.”
However, Councillor Matthew Lee, leader of South Kesteven District Council, said Mrs Thatcher deserved the memorial regardless of people’s politics because of her impact on British life.
Mr Lee said: “Margaret Thatcher was an important political figure, both nationally and internationally, and deserves to be recognised in her hometown.
“Whatever your views, the statue will undoubtedly attract more visitors to the town which can only be good news for Grantham’s local economy, bringing benefits and opportunities for residents and local businesses.”
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Hull’s Michelle Dewberry accused labour of viewing Brexit supporters as racists and xenophobes during a heated Question Time.
Michelle Dewberry appeared on the programme as she warms up for her new gig at GB News which will also involve plenty of debate.
The former Apprentice star, who became a mum last year, landed the role as one of the main anchors.
Michelle won The Apprentice in 2006 and stood as an independent pro-Brexit candidate and for The Brexit Party in her home city of Hull in 2017 and 2019 respectively.
Hosted by Fiona Bruce, Michelle was joined on the panel by Conservative MP and Justice Secretary Robert Buckland, Lisa Nandy, of Labour, SNP’s Kate Forbes and journalist Paul Mason.
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Topics discussed included Labour’s performance in the local elections a week ago and the chances of another referendum for Scotland.
On the question of ‘what is the point of the Labour Party?’ Michelle and Labour MP Lisa Nandy clashed in a bitter debate.
Michelle said: “The Labour Party are in the midst of an identity crisis
“The party feels more concerned about identity politics rather than representing the traditional working classes.”
But Ms Nandy fired a dig at Michelle’s failed bids to become a Hull MP.
She said: “I have been elected to represent the people of Wigan four times, how often have you been elected?”
Michelle said: “I have not been elected once. But if it was not for people like me who were in the Brexit Party there would be way fewer Labour MPs now
“I want you to decide who it is you represent and not get into bizarre ID politics.
“You see the Brexiteers as racist xenophobes.”
But there was not a lot of love for Michelle On Twitter.
James Pearce said: “Well done Lisa Nandy, absolutely shutting Michelle Dewberry down. Why does the BBC even have Dewberry on? She’s a pundit from a rival news channel!”
VimalG added: “Dimbleby would have just laughed at Michelle Dewberry. She brings nothing to the table for a rational debate.”
Brian Lawton was also unimpressed with the Hull television personality.
He said: “Has Michelle Dewberry not realised that Brexit has happened? Her side won – she needs to get over it.”
She also questioned why Labour placed a remainer in the Hartlepool elections when the people had voted 70 per cent in favour of leaving the EU.
Meanwhile, journalist Paul Mason also had a dig at Michelle saying: “You tried to divide the people of Hull on racist grounds.”
She will appear five nights a week on GB News, which is predicted to be the biggest television channel to launch since Sky News, although there is no date yet for its launch.
The programme will be chaired by well-known political television presenter Andrew Neil, and is expected to be the UK’s equivalent of Fox News.
Michelle joins a line-up including former BBC News presenter Simon McCoy, former Sky News anchor Colin Brazier and executive editor of the Sun newspaper Dan Wootton.
GB News will reach 96 per cent of UK households through all major UK platforms including Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, YouView and Freesat.
Michelle Dewberry has shared her frustration about trolls getting away with what they say online.
The former apprentice star, who grew up in Hull, vented on Twitter and said social media giants should make people identify who are they are whilst using online accounts.
It comes after the social media platform has been exploding in tweets about football, following some Premier League clubs deciding to join a so-called Super League.
GB News anchor Michelle responded to a tweet where someone had told her husband, businessman and former owner of Crystal Palace Football Club Simon Jordan: “I hope your loved ones die.”
The anonymous person was responding to a tweet Simon had written saying: “This is how players view things.
“Pay us 90% of all money generated so football is almost bankrup.”
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He continued: “Require billionaires to fund the game Ignore a pandemic has taken billions and inflicted losses like never seen before but don’t ask us to pay more games – unbelievable.”
The nameless Twitter account, with handle @FrankbyXmas, replied and said: “I hope your loved ones die in a terrible but preventable accident you piece of s***.”
Michelle, 41, then joined in the chain of comments and said: “Tweets like this (& worse) are the reason that social media sites should not allow true anonymity.
“If you want to spout stuff like this (purely because someone has a different opinion to you) then indeed you are able to, but you should be held accountable for it.”
A number of Michelle’s fans and followers agreed with her comments.
One follower said: “Those sort don’t last long. He’ll soon be reported.”
Another added: “Can you see these social media companies caring as the abusers only start new accounts up.
“There’s no tracking. We need governments to join to pressure the social media companies.”
Whilst a third added: “I never get why people want to say horrible things to someone, seems to be getting worse.”
Former London MEP, Lance Forman, said: “Totally agree Michelle. All those people who say you need anonymity for whistleblowing etc simply need to find another way.
“If you want to say something publicly on social media, people should know who you are.”
Michelle just landed a gig with GB News, where she will appear five nights a week.
The brand new channel is set to be the biggest news TV channel to launch in the UK since Sky News 30 years ago.
The new channel will be chaired by well-known political television presenter Andrew Neil but there are concerns it will adopt the same approach of Fox News with right-wing leanings.
Michelle said: “I’m proud of my northern heritage and passionate about representing the voices of the working class. I want to stop people being left behind.”
Director of news and programmes at GB News John McAndrew believes Michelle will be a real asset. He said: “Her plain-talking, no-nonsense approach, coupled with her fairness and openness to different views is exactly what our service aims to achieve.”