Andrew Neil says ‘BBC’s lack of great loyalty led to him joining GB News’

GB News chairman Andrew Neil has told how he hopes his flagship TV channel, which launches this week, will reach "underserved audiences" but won't be like American cable channel Fox News, as he told how the BBC's behaviour led to him taking up his new role.

The channel will begin broadcasting on Sunday on multiple platforms, including Freeview, Youview and Sky and Virgin media.

The former BBC political broadcaster left the channel after 25 years of service to take up his role in September – at the time saying he was leaving the post with a "heavy heart".

It came after his political TV show The Andrew Neil Show came off-air during the Covid pandemic on March 11 last year and was then cancelled as a result of budget cuts at the BBC.

He has now told he is not at war with the BBC despite its decision to pull the plug on his show – but said 'if it had shown him great loyalty he probably wouldn’t have joined the new channel'.

Andrew said to the Radio Times: "What they did was unnecessary and I left with a heavy heart. There was almost no contact with me whatsoever, which did rankle, but what’s done is done. I have not dwelt on it.

"I must be the only presenter on the BBC who has stepped down and not rushed in and given them a kicking. I’ve not done that and don’t intend to. I’ve no fight with the BBC."

The veteran Scottish broadcaster also revealed GB news had attempted to sign up former Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan, who stepped down from the show over the backlash he received over comments about Meghan Markle.

GB news is scheduled to cover several topics including politics and entertainment and is hoping to air 6500 hours of television each year.

When he stepped down from the BBC Andrew said: “We’ve seen a huge gap in the market for a new form of television news.

“GB News is the most exciting thing to happen in British television news for more than 20 years. We will champion robust, balanced debate.

“And a range of perspectives on the issues that affect everyone in the UK, not just those living in the London area."

In a post on Twitter Andrew added: “With a heavy heart, I announce I will be leaving the BBC.”

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