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Discovery backs UK news channel led by Andrew Neil

GB News is expected to launch in early 2021

Discovery has been revealed as the lead investor in news channel GB News, which will count Andrew Neil as its chairman.

The new 24-hour channel is described as a right-leaning channel which will aim to take on the likes of BBC, ITN and Sky News.

GB News is currently aiming to raise between $55 million and $65 million  – with Discovery said to have invested about a quarter of the capital the channel hopes to raise by launch.

Neil has announced he has left the BBC to join GB News, tweeting: “I’m delighted to announce I have accepted the post of chairman of GB News, a new news channel to be launched early in the New Year bringing new perspectives to the news. I will also be presenting a new nightly prime-time show on GB News. Watch this space.”

The Spectator, which Neil also chairs, confirmed Discovery’s involvement. It described GB News as “Not a British answer to Fox News (the analogy often reached for whenever a rival to the BBC is mentioned) but a station that might broadcast good news a bit more often, or would not be so quick to assume that everything that goes wrong is the fault of the government. One that takes a more even-handed approach to culture wars, and doesn’t see coverage of US politics an exercise in exorcism.”

The management team will include Angelos Frangopoulos (ex-Sky Australia) John McAndrew (ex-Sky News) as director of news and programming.