GB News ready for lift off

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The British TV news landscape is in for a shake up with the launch of GB News this evening (Sunday).

The new channel will be available to watch in HD on Sky channel 515 and Virgin Media’s channel 626, as well as also showing on Freeview and YouView channel 236, Freesat channel 216 and online.

The network, chaired by veteran broadcaster and former BBC political interviewer, Andrew Neil, has announced a raft of high profile signings, including former Sky Sports presenter Kirsty Gallacher, ex-BBC presenter Simon McCoy, former MEP Alexandra Phillips and former ITV presenter Alastair Stewart.

The channel will launch at 8pm this evening with a special programme called Welcome To GB News and broadcast seven days a week across the UK and Ireland. It will also be available globally on GB News digital platforms.

Former Daily Politics presenter Neil will lead the evening line-up with a prime-time news and interview programme.

Other high profile signings include businesswoman and former Apprentice winner, Michelle Dewberry, broadcaster and author, Neil Oliver, known for programmes including Coast and A History Of Ancient Britain, and Andrew Doyle, who will host a show called Free Speech Nation.

GB News has also recruited a team of regional reporters to help serve its mission of involving “non-metropolitan voices in the national conversation.”

Stewart, who will anchor Alastair Stewart And Friends, featuring conversation and analysis of current affairs said:

“Here we are in 2021, we’re still just coming out of Brexit and looking to what Great Britain, the United Kingdom, will be like post-Brexit.

“You’ve got things like the Northern Ireland protocol causing problems down in Cornwall, and the fisheries and so on and so forth. But also, hopefully whether it’s June 21 or a couple of weeks later, we are coming out of the worst of the coronavirus.

“And the timing is perfect, because what I really want to do as well is interview, report on, and explore with people who’ve got brilliant ideas for what the country will look like in the next 10, 15, 20 years.

“And that will be young entrepreneurs, it’ll be people with good ideas over education and training. It will be people setting up new businesses, it’ll be the next generation of politicians who are going to be secretaries of state in ten years’ time, etc etc etc.

“So I genuinely think we’re in a kind of tipping point in modern history. GB News sweeps onto the scene, not just reporting on it all, but exploring what the future might look like as well, which is quite unusual for a news programme but one that I think will give us added voom.”

Former Sky News executive editor, John McAndrew, is the director of news and programming and ex-Sky News Australia chief executive, Angelos Frangopoulos, has been appointed chief executive officer.

The channel is backed by US broadcasting giant Discovery Inc, as well as Dubai-based investment group Legatum and one of the UK’s most prominent hedge fund managers, Sir Paul Marshall.

GB News will be available to watch from 8pm tonight in HD on Sky channel 515 and Virgin Media’s channel 626, as well as also showing on Freeview and YouView channel 236, Freesat channel 216 and online.

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