Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage to host primetime show on GB News
Former UKIP leader, Nigel Farage, has revealed he is to present a new prime time show on GB News.
He made the announcement on Twitter on 17 July, after teasing that he would be making a ‘career change,’ earlier in the day.
The news came during a week of controversy for Andrew Neil’s new channel, after another presenter was axed for taking the knee live on air.
This is what Farage has said of his new role, what he will present on GB news and how people have responded to his announcement.
‘Will not be taking the knee’
Farage first mentioned his announcement on his Twitter in the early morning of yesterday (17 June), when he posted to his 1.7m followers: “At 5pm today I will be making an announcement about a big career change. Watch this space.”
Over 5,400 people commented on the tweet, with one commenting “Wait, chasing immigrants with nets on beaches during lockdown is a career now?“
Another chimed in: “getting your HGV licence”, while some where less than impressed, making remarks regarding fascism, racism and right-wing politics.
His 5pm announcement was that he will be joining Andrew Neil’s news channel, GB news, with his own shows at a peak viewing time.
He wrote: “Watch my brand new evening show on GB News from 7pm Monday-Thursday.
“ You won’t want to miss it. Spread the word.”
GB News’s official Twitter also shared the news.
He then shared a video in which he said he “has done a fair bit of broadcasting” since leaving politics, stepping down as Brexit party leader earlier this year.
“On youtube I’ve had millions of views on my video, talking about stories that everyone else wants to ignore.”
He captioned the video “I will not be taking the knee on this show,” as well as signposting followers to the ‘Farage’ GB News show.
Who is Nigel Farage?
Farage is a former politician, representing the South of England in the European Parliament from 1999 to 2016.
He led the UK Independence Party (UKIP) from 2006 until 2009, and again from 2010 to 2016.
Farage led UKIP in the 2009 European elections, achieving the second-highest share of the UK popular vote, beaten only by the Conservatives.
In 2009, he briefly stepped away from leading the party so he could contest then Speaker of the House John Bercow’s seat. He came third in the 2010 General Election for the Buckingham seat.
Farage is considered one of the most influential figures in achieving the Brexit referendum and ultimately, in achieving a majority in favour of leaving the EU. He was named “Briton of the Year" by The Times in 2014.
Upon stepping down as UKIP leader in 2016, he remained an MEP and member of the party.
In 2018, he left the party and launched the Brexit party. He remained with the party until 2021.
Aside from British politics, he has also commentated on the US presidential campaign for Fox News, a channel which widely supported Republican candidate Donald Trump.
He is widely thought to have right-wing views with regards to immigartion, environment and gun control. He has made remarks such as supporting Muslim immigrants who integrate to British society, but is against those who are "coming here to take us over".
He has also said he is in favour of legalising handguns and opposed wind turbines as using them is covering "Britain in ugly disgusting ghastly windmills".
What reaction has his appointment had?
The news has been met with conflicting comments, with some fans on Twitter posting that he will “balance out” the presenters’ views.
However, The Times and The Guardian reported he had been drafted in to save the channel’s falling viewer ratings.
The viewings took a dive following a presenter taking the knee - an act in solidarity with anti-racism campaigning and associated with the Black Live Matter campaign - live on air.
GB news presenter Guto Harri took the knee while discussing the racism faced by England players after their Euro 2020 defeat.
The news channel said the decision of Mr Harri was “an unacceptable breach of our standards”.
On Thursday night, GB News tweeted: “GB News stands four-square against racism in all its forms. We do not have a company line on taking the knee.
“Some of our guests have been in favour, some against. All are anti-racist. We have editorial standards that all GB News journalists uphold.”
The channel subsequently commented: “On Tuesday a contributing presenter took the knee live on-air and this was an unacceptable breach of our standards … We let both sides of the argument down by oversimplifying a very complex issue.”