GB News mocked after suffering most embarrassing fail yet Fri, 16 Jul 2021 11:00:00 +0100-GB News has seen its viewers plummet to zero for some shows after a boycott over one presenter taking the knee in solidarity with the England national team.
The audience fell to zero at 5pm on Wednesday, during a programme co-hosted by ex-BBC presenter Simon McCoy and former Ukip spokesperson Alex Phillips, according to official television audience figures produced by rating agency Barb.
Presenter Liam Halligan and former Labour MP Gloria De Piero’s show also attracted no measurable audience meanwhile their rivals Sky News had 50,000 and BBC News registered 62,000 for the same period.
A GB News spokesperson refused to say whether Harri was still with the station amid concerns he had been, in fact, cancelled.
The channel tweeted: “GB News stands four square against racism in all its forms. We do not have a company line on taking the knee. Some of our guests have been in favour, some against. All are anti-racist. We have editorial standards that all GB News journalists uphold.
“On Tuesday a contributing presenter took the knee live on air and this was an unacceptable breach of our standards.
“We let both sides of the argument down by oversimplifying a very complex issue.”
The tweet sparked derision with some asking whether GB News was an “elaborate performance art piece”.
Harri, who worked as an aide for Boris Johnson for his Mayor of London stint, insisted GB News was “above all about free speech”.
He tweeted: “English footballers have made it clear that when they take the knee they are making a clear statement about rejecting racism (not endorsing the narrow divisive aims of BLM). I support them.”
Mr Neil, who is believed to be staying in his main residence in the south of France, also acknowledged that the channel had experienced a “rocky start” but said GB News’ audience was growing.
“In two short weeks, we’ve already built a loyal audience which has beaten all of our expectations, it’s often bigger than the other news channels and it’s growing,” he said.
GB News viewers plummet to zero after presenter takes the knee Fri, 16 Jul 2021 11:00:00 +0100-'This would be funny if it wasn't so hideous,' one person wrote.
People are reacting to the latest embarrassing GB News blunder.
This week, the channel reportedly received a grand total of zero viewers for some of its broadcasts following a boycott due to presenter Guto Harri taking the knee in support of the England football team.
According to Barb, an official television ratings agency, the broadcasts that attracted no views were the ones presented by former Labour MP Gloria De Pier and business editor Liam Halligan, which airs for 30 minutes from 1pm on Wednesdays, and another at 5pm led by Simon McCoy and Ukip spokesperson Alex Phillips.
After the channel’s viewers criticised Harri’s decision to take the knee, the channel tweeted on Thursday (15 July): “GB News stands four square against racism in all its forms. We do not have a company line on taking the knee. Some of our guests have been in favour, some against. All are anti-racist. We have editorial standards that all GB News journalists uphold.”
However, the channel caused confusion after completely reneging on this in reply to its own tweet, calling Harri’s act “an unacceptable breach of our standards”.
They added: “We let both sides of the argument down by oversimplifying a very complex issue.”
The sentiment caused the channel to be heavily criticised on social media, with British comedian Danny Wallace writing: “Anti-racism gestures made in solidarity with an abused English national football team are an unacceptable breach of GB News standards, got it.”
Another critic added: “This would be funny if it wasn’t so hideous, and if it didn’t confirm what we knew all along… that what the GB News ilk mean by ‘free speech’ is just free license to be a bigot without consequence or call out.”
A large number of people lampooned the channel for its contradictory tweets, which journalist Scott Bryan joked gave him “whiplash”.
Another quipped: “I’m sure your viewer was outraged.”
The Independent has contacted a GB News representative for comment.
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– July 16, 2021
GB News viewers plummet to zero after presenter takes the knee