It has been confirmed that presenter Simon McCoy is joining Andrew Neil's channel GB News after almost 18 years at the BBC.

The presenter, whose reactions and dry witticisms have gone viral on Twitter on a number of occasions, earlier confirmed he was leaving the BBC as colleagues wished him well.

Now it has been announced he will join GB News, alongside signings already announced including Dan Wootton, former executive editor at The Sun, and the former Sky broadcaster, Colin Brazier.

John McAndrew, director of news and programmes at GB News, said: “Simon’s journalistic integrity, warmth and personality is a perfect fit for what we’re doing at GB News.

“He’s a brilliant journalist with an exceptional ability to relate to people in an upbeat way so we’re keen to get him out from behind a desk and talking to people from all parts of the United Kingdom.”

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McCoy went viral at New Year when he told viewers there would be package of the “highlights of 2020”.

But when nothing appeared on screen, he said: “Exactly, it’s farewell 2020.”

He also accidentally began a news report with a refill pack of A4 printer paper in his hands, instead of the usual iPad.

He got the giggles while reporting on a man playing the piano to monkeys and, when introducing a segment on the “world dog surfing championships”, sighed and told viewers: “Just bear in mind it is August.”

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In his coverage outside St Mary’s Hospital, before Prince George’s birth, he told viewers that nothing much was happening.

Sam Taylor, head of live and breaking for BBC News, said: “Sharp, funny and a great colleague – it has been a delight to have Simon at the helm of the BBC News Channel and BBC News at One.

“We’ll miss his one-liners, pregnant pauses and commitment to breaking news in every form, and wish him the very best for the future.”