A brand new right wing news channel in the UK is scoring plenty of press, not only for its deliberate “anti woke” agenda but also for its advertiser boycotts.
The new channel is called GB News and has already garnered quite the following.
Since its launch on Sunday, it’s already beating rivals BBC and Sky News in the ratings and airs across the platforms Freeview, Freesat, Sky, YouView and Virgin Media.
One of GB News’ attention grabbers is fielding questions sent in from viewers on the topics of the day.
On Tuesday, presenters Simon McCoy and co-host Alex Philips were hosting a discussion on British children’s diets when they received a question from “Mike Oxlong”. B&T hates to have to point it out, but it’s clearly a childish prank on the expression “my cock’s long”.
All going splendidly at Andrew Neil’s joke far-right TV station. Following on from Michelle Dewberry falling for the classic “Mike Hunt” prank call, here’s former Brexit Party MEP Alexandra Phillips live on air, reading out a message from one Mike Oxlong. pic.twitter.com/UuPcrLAUxv
— Nicholas Pegg (@NicholasPegg) June 16, 2021
And the schoolboy hijinks didn’t stop there. Later in the day, host Michelle Dewberry (whose claim to fame is winning The Apprentice) was hosting a segment on kids’ toys when she received a question from a, you guessed it, “Mike Hunt”. Again, hopefully, B&T doesn’t have to explain the crudity here, but maybe ask a work colleague if you don’t get the gag.
— Ian Pinnell (@ianpinnell) June 15, 2021
It soon dawned on GB News’ bosses and its presenters that they’d been pranked live to air and the network later issued a statement telling its viewers to “grow up”.
McCoy said in a statement: “Grow up. We’re a new company, we’re a new broadcaster, there are systems that we are putting in to stop idiots that would stop idiots like you from getting through. They’re getting through at the moment but, please, we’ve got other things to worry about.”
Apparently, McCoy had also received an email from a “Hugh Janus”.
— GBNews Fails (@GBNewsFails) June 16, 2021
Worse still for GB News is that brands are already deserting the new news channel. In just a few days, corporate giants inclding IKEA, beer brand Grolsch, Nivea, cider brand Kopparberg, Open University, Octopus Energy, Specsavers, Ovo Energy and insurer LV have all pulled their advertising.
A website BoycottGBNews.org has also been set up by former BBC producer Louise Wikstrom.
Not that everyone hates it. Speaking to the UK’s Telegraph, Paul Withers, the CEO of gold dealing firm Direct Bullion, hailed GB News as a “breath of fresh air”.
Withers said: “The response we have had from the channel has been strong; we will be looking to increase our ad spend, not retract.
“Many of our customers are over 50 years old and have had enough of the same rhetoric, whether it’s about investing, political issues, Brexit or CVOID.
“I hear the same thing time and time again. GB News, while it may be upsetting some people, it’s also breathing fresh air to others,” he said.
Still, judging by the social media reaction to the network being pranked, people are loving it. Check out some of the better responses below:
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