GB News: Andrew Neil announces break from news channel just two weeks after it launched
Mr Neil, who splits his time between France and the UK, told viewers of his show on Thursday night that he would be taking “a few weeks” off, but would be “back before the summer is out and when you least expect”.
In Mr Neil’s absence, his nightly show will be covered by former Sky News reporter Colin Brazier
Mr Brazier is one of a number of high-profile signings made by GB News in the run up to its launch, including former Sky Sports presenter Kirsty Gallacher, ex-BBC presenter Simon McCoy and former ITV presenter Alastair Stewart.
But the channel has been beset with technical issues since it began broadcasting from its studio in Paddington, West London on June 13.
Viewers have complained of lighting and sound problems, as well as a number of on-screen gaffes made by presenters.
But as he announced his temporary departure, Mr Neil bullishly defended the channel’s “rocky start”.
“Before I take this break, let me say this,” the 72-year-old said, “Yes, we had a bit of a rocky start with the launch of GB News.
“We’re a start-up, they’re always a bit rocky these start-ups.
“But we are up and running as you can see, we get better every day and there’s clearly an appetite for what we’re doing.”
He added: “In two short weeks, we’ve already built a loyal audience which has beaten all of our expectations.
“It’s often bigger than the other news channels and it’s growing.
“That’s the real story about GB News to date and you won’t often read that in the papers.
“So on behalf of GB News, I say to all of our viewers, thank you. We won’t let you down and you ain’t seen nothing yet.”
Mr Neil’s hiatus is unlikely to slow down plans for GB News’ expansion.
The network, which already broadcasts seven days a week across the UK and Ireland - as well as globally on digital platforms - announced its intention to launch a national radio service as early as next month.
If successful, the move would see GB News partner with telecommunications company Arqiva.
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