Worse for Brillo, it wasn’t going to happen “within a matter of days”. It was going to happen right there and then. Worse still, as the Guardian pointed out, “In the end Neil was outmanoeuvred by the former Ukip leader Nigel Farage, who is now the channel’s best-known figure, along with a number of more stridently rightwing hires keen to address culture war issues”. From top dog to Mr Thirsty’s monkey in three months.
And, as the Guardian noted, things could get worse: “Many of the young behind-the-scenes staff who keep the channel on the air are believed to have become increasingly demoralised by its direction. Some joined due to Neil’s repeated promises that GB News would be a mainstream news channel with a right-leaning slant rather than a British version of Fox News. But it is continuing to lose staff as it leans into culture war topics, and several senior producers have quit in recent days”. So what now for GB News?
The Times notes that one ambition for the channel has failed: “GB News sources said that the channel had failed in an ambitious attempt to sign Piers Morgan. It is understood to have offered him a seven-figure deal, which would have been comparable to his Good Morning Britain contract”. Yes, GB News is too tacky even for Piers Morgan.
So who will ride to the rescue? “Insiders have said that other more sensationalist voices are poised to join the station.They include Ann Widdecombe and Martin Daubney, both former Brexit Party politicians, and Mahyar Tousi, a Conservative social media commentator”. Ann Widdecombe. A figure of ridicule. Martin Daubney. A dishonest wacko.
And Mahyar Tousi. You hadn’t heard of him? Tousi was a pal of the disgraced Tory activist Mark Clarke of Tory bullying infamy (see HERE and HERE). He’s been trying to make a name for himself recently pushing suitably edited video content. Whether he’s still in league with Clarke, or Clarke’s disgraced former pal André Walker, is not known.
What is more certain is that neither Tousi, nor Daubney, nor Ms Widdecombe, are going to light up the ratings for GB News this side of hell freezing over. As the Guardian has concluded, “the channel’s future may lie in the hands of its investors, who include Legatum, US media company Discovery, and Brexit-funding investment manager Sir Paul Marshall. One core issue is whether they are happy to subsidise the station’s losses for a lengthy period of time; another is whether they can find the staff willing to keep it on air”.
But, as the Times observes, “But GB News’s ratings continue to be a concern. Some shows register zero viewers and many others are in the low thousands … Only today, political commentator Tom Harwood launched his new show, The Briefing, with a chyron spelling his name as Tom Hardwood”. Do Discovery and Legatum want to be associated with that level of rank amateurism? Viewers watching a channel just to laugh at it?
Brillo’s ego got the better of him. Now he’s out to Grasse. Oh dear, how sad, never mind.
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