It was launched to be "a fresh approach to news in Britain" - the home of "original news, opinion and debate”, which would shake the established media order and rival the great old BBC. 

Andrew Neil was to be its face; a veteran newsman whose gravitas has never been in doubt (even if his politics might be a little right-wing for some tastes). 

Tens of millions of pounds were put up to back the operation unfolding behind Neil’s gnarly brows, and there seemed to be little standing in the way of GB News becoming a force on the TV landscape.  

Britain’s ‘Fox News’ was set up to give a voice to the voiceless, to speak for and to the angry masses across Britian it claimed were being ignored by the woke, wishy-washy London literati   

But this week the channel was once again in the dock after its guest opined that ‘no-one would want to shag’ a woman journalist because she’d said something he found disagreeable, while the programme’s host chuckled along. 

Now both have been suspended and face the sack at the time of writing, and a third presenter has been taking off the air after giving the disgraced duo his fullmost support.  

The channel has faced a string of investigations by broadcasting regulator Ofcom, Neil has departed after “becoming a minority of one” arguing for proper news values, and today its biggest face is Nigel Farage. 

From Fox News to What the Fox news – What exactly is going on? 

The Herald: Laurence Fox had a busy week

Lets recap, shall we? Because the events, and those involved, really do deserve to speak for themselves. 

It all began on Monday, when journalist Ava Evans was taking part in a discussion on the Politics Live on calls from Tory MP Nick Fletcher to create a ‘Minister for Men’ to help those with poor mental health. .  

Ms Evans said that, not unreasonably, mental health issues are widespread, especially among children, and that such a post could be divisive.  

She said: “I think this feeds into the culture war a little bit, this minister for men argument. In my mind, I think there should be a minister for mental health, which would be all-encompassing.   

“It’s a crisis that’s endemic throughout the country - not specific to men. And I think, you know, a lot of ministers kind of bandy this about, to sort of, I’m sorry but make an enemy out of women.” 

READ MORE:  Ava Evans says comments made her feel 'physically sick'

Fairly unremarkable stuff. But not when it got to GB News presenter Dan Wootton and his guest Laurence Fox a former actor turned alt-right commentator and bad take for hire, billed as ‘The Smirking Face of Disdain’.- 

He delivered the following verdict on Ms Evans utterances. Mocking the journalist for her “spoon-fed” feminism, he said: “Show me a single self-respecting man that would like to climb into bed with that woman ever, ever, who wasn’t an incel?  

“We need powerful, strong amazing women who make great points for themselves. We don’t need these sort of feminist 4.0. They’re pathetic and embarrassing. Who’d want to shag that?” 

Unperturbed by this blast of Fox news, Host Wootton  by way of balance, offered up the view that “she’s a very beautiful woman”.  

Reminder – this wasn’t ‘locker room’ chat (though you’d likely walk out if it was) but prime time TV on a national news channel.   

And of course it led to both being suspended, and a raft of apologies, some of them even sincere.  

The Herald: Ava Evans has said that her social media messages are filled with threatsAva Evans 

For a supposedly factual channel, GB News has been suddenly turned into a drama, with a bit of farce thrown in.  

A groveling apology from Wootton was somewhat undermined by his outspoken guest leaking a screenshot of their private text conversation after the fateful interview, where they both continue laughing at his comments. 

Fox said he felt Wootton had thrown him “under the bus” with his follow-up statement after the show where he apologised “unreservedly” for a “very unfortunate lapse in judgment”. 


And this is one Fox who will not be brought to bay. Discussing his surely imminent sacking yesterday, he said: “GB News have opened themselves up for complete destruction, as far as I can tell, because they branded themselves as the home of free speech. 

He added that he feels the channel is “actually the home of cancel culture, and they’re probably more at risk of cancel culture than any other channel”. 

For a channel set up as a free-wheeling bastion of plain speaking, where no-one would be censored and all opinions could be aired, GB News is now frantically fire-fighting accusations it has become the very monster it was set up to slay. 

This revolution is definitely not going to be televised, however, as presenters continue to drop.  

The Herald: Calvin Robinson

Wootton’s colleague Calvin Robinson also choose this particular hill of manure to die on.  

He said Wootton had brought him and others onboard, before rounding on “the careerist ambitious ones who are currently gunning for his job.” 

This shadowy group’s sins are legion, Robinson reported - likely for the last time in association with the channel: “These people are worse than the woke mob, because these vultures are giving the mob ammunition and essentially escalating the channel’s demise.”

READ MORE:  Yousaf and Fox in war of words over female journalist attack

He added that GB News will be on “borrowed time” if it does not stand by Wootton. 

Robinson said: “Standing up for Dan is standing up for the very idea of GB News. If he falls, we all fall.” 

Later on, he announced he too had been taken off-air.  

But where does this reckoning leave the Channel? While the storm is blowing it can be hard to see the bigger picture, but GB News has survived similar gusts in the past. 

Mocked openly at ‘Gbeebies’ when it launched with a shonky opening night in June 2021, viewers were initially hard to come by. 

The British public seemed to have no taste for American-styled, slanted news, and viewer figures were low.  

Indeed, at one point they reportedly disappeared, when it’s anti-cancel culture viewers apparently boycotted the channel after presenter Guto Harri took a knee on-air in solidarity with the England football team. 

This anti-racism gesture saw Harri suspended by the free speech champions, and he subsequently left the channel. 

The Herald: Nigel FarageNigel Farage, the new 'face' of GB News

Andrew Neil lasted only few weeks as the face of GB news, before departing over a ‘difference of opinion’ about how the news should be covered.  

He said at the time: “I thought it wasn’t for me, I had wanted a different route – it doesn’t mean that I’m right or they’re wrong but it certainly was a difference. 

“The differences were such that the direction they were going in was not the direction that I had outlined, it was not the direction I had envisaged for the channel. 

Censure by Ofcom has come at a regular pace – with complaints including breaching impartiality rules by having Tory MPs interview a Tory Chancellor, while an edition of the Mark Steyn programme aired on 21 April 2022 was found to have materially misled official data about COVID-19.[78]  

Steyn later said his show been cancelled, and that the channel had made an offer which he 'had to refuse' because it would have ended his 'right to free speech on air'. Sounds familiar.  

Yet despite these setbacks, the audience has grown. Nigel Farage’s first show draw in 100,000 viewers and even protests about the former UKIP leader taking a boat into the channel on a subsequent programme to search for ailing migrants did little to dent his appeal.    

Earlier this year it was revealed that GB News was pulling in 2.8 million viewers a month – way behind the BBC and SKY, but ahead of  talkTV on 1.4million. 

And those numbers hid a fact which will have delighted the Dubai-based backers of the ‘alternative news’ outlet. At certain times of the day more people were watching GB News than any of its rivals.  

So the latest row over commentators' comments, and departing presenters is nothing new to a channel still very much in its infancy, and apparently growing.  

It could be that Laurence Fox’s faux pax, far from damaging GB News popularity, is merely another milestone in its rise up the rankings.  

After all, there’s no such thing as bad publicity.