Andrew Neil hints at return to BBC branding GB News ‘biggest mistake of my career’
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Andrew Neil teased GB News for months in the build-up to its launch, which he established and even hosted its primetime show as lead anchor. Yet, after just eight shows, the presenter quit the channel back in August. Since then, there have been various rumours on where the veteran journalist could go next, but it seems Neil has his own ideas.
GB News had a rocky start since its debut earlier this year, though one of its biggest setbacks was the loss of Neil, the chairman of the broadcaster.
Initially set to be an extended break, the presenter never returned to the show, though new anchors have rushed in the fill the space such as Nigel Farage.
Neil left the channel due to reported clashes with management regarding its editorial direction and technical issues.
In the intervening three months since his departure, Neil has remained quiet on his next move.
Speaking at the Freeview Outside The Box conference, Neil admitted he wanted one more job in TV so GB News wasn’t the last thing he’d be remembered for.
Neil explained: “I would like to do something on the TV front, for the self-serving reason that I don’t want GB News to be the full stop on my broadcasting career.”
Naturally, Neil was asked where he would like to move to next, with a return to the BBC seeming like a natural step.
Neil said he had “no idea,” though it is known the presenter recently had talks with BBC Director-General Tim Davie.
This, combined with his comments at the conference, hints the journalist has not closed the door fully on his broadcasting ambitions.
Neil also avoided the topic of joining Rupert Murdoch’s recently announced talkTV.
The upcoming channel has already got Piers Morgan on board following his exit from Good Morning Britain.
This has led to much speculation Neil could be the next high-profile announcement for the channel, though the presenter has denied any association with the broadcaster so far.
Speaking on his decision to join GB News, Neil described it as the “single biggest mistake of my career”.
He added it was “haunted by the shambles of the launch,” also suggesting it didn’t have a long future, saying it would “slide into irrelevance and obscurity”.
Since Neil left the broadcaster, Farage now leads the evening show, though Neil was also critical of this.
He called the show a “Ukip tribute band,” due to Farage’s inclusion, and admitted he was dismayed with the direction the channel had taken.
The channel was also plagued with technical problems when it first launched, something Neil wasn’t pleased with.
Despite all this, Neil did admit he still felt there was space in the industry for a “centre-right” news channel.
However, he stressed it didn’t have to drift into “Fox News to the right”.
GB News airs weekdays from 6am with the Great British Breakfast.
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