LONDON: A new news channel launched on British television on Sunday evening with the aim of shaking up a media landscape that it claims has become an echo chamber for metropolitan elites.
GB News, which is positioning itself as a rival to the BBC and Sky News, denies it will be the British equivalent of Fox News.
However, the channel, which has been backed by New York-based Discovery and British investor Paul Marshall, among others, clearly wants to do things differently, offering viewers a more opinionated service than they are used to.
“We are proud to be British,” veteran broadcaster Andrew Neil said during the launch. “The clue is in the name.”
Neil, the new channel’s chairman who has previously edited the Sunday Times newspaper and was a long-standing political interviewer for the BBC, told viewers that GB News will “expose the growing promotion of cancel culture” and will give a voice “to those who feel sidelined or silenced.”
Neil, 72, launched the channel with an hour-long introduction to the presenting line-up, many of whom have been enticed away from the BBC and Sky News.
In his opening monologue, Neil said GB News would cover “the stories that matter to you and those that have been neglected” and would deliver “a huge range of voices that reflect the views and values of our United Kingdom.”
GB News, he added “will not slavishly follow the existing news agenda” and would not be “another echo chamber for the metropolitan mindset that already dominates so much of the media.”
The launch was not without technical issues, including a microphone glitch when Neil was chatting with one of the channel’s presenters, Neil Oliver.
GB News will broadcast seven days a week across the UK and Ireland and will be available globally on digital platforms.