New TV channel GB news is being mocked online as “GBeebies” after launching on Sunday.
Former BBC presenter Andrew Neil, who left his role last year to start GB news, introduced his new team upon launching the network. It includes Brexit Party candidate and Apprentice winner Michelle Dewberry and former Sun showbiz columnist Dan Wootton.
GB News’ opening interview featured anti-lockdown presenter Neil Oliver, but technical issues meant Oliver was inaudible and producers could be heard whispering to each other.
Fears have been aired that the channel could bring very biased coverage similar to Fox News to the UK – as their branding shows Union Jack colours and some of their segments are called ‘Wokewatch’ and ‘Free Speech Nations’.
Twitter users have labelled the channel “GBeebies”, after BBC’s children’s network CBeebies.
That GBeebies launch schedule in full:— Michael (@michael_sas) June 15, 2021
7.00 Nothing Special
8.00 In the Night Gammon
9.00 Andy’s Prehistoric Adventures (with Andrew Neil)
11.00 Newsround – discussion show.
12.00 GBeebies Bedtime Tory
(repeat forever from a Long Play VHS tape)
Jen Furby said her first thought upon seeing the nickname was “Ooh, Grandparent CBeebies, exciting!”
Another Twitter user said millenials finally have a “just be quiet and watch that for a few hours” channel for their parents.
But Alex Routledge said calling GB News after the children’s network is “really offensive to the good work being done at CBeebies”.
Saw GBeebies trending and my first thought was “ooh Grandparent Cbeebies, exciting”.— Jen Furby – Mugnate (@The_X_Stitcher) June 14, 2021
What the fuck have I become?!
Millennials finally have a “just be quiet and watch that for a few hours” channel for their parents. #GBeebies— Scribbles 🐇😑 (@RestingBunFace) June 14, 2021
Calling GB News #GBeebies is really offensive to the good work being done at CBeebies.— Alex Routledge (@AlexTheNewTyke) June 14, 2021
Newsletter writer Mic Wright said GB News journalist Tom Harwood managed to ask a Number 10 briefing question on the second day of the channel officially launching.
“Expect the Tories to give lots of backing, tacit and otherwise, to GBeebies,” he said.
Another user complained their dog was suddenly getting “very anxious” about the TV upon the GB News launch: “It is almost as if someone on a channel somewhere was constantly blowing a dog whistles.”
And there’s Tom Harwood getting a GB News question in a Number 10 briefing on day 2 of the channel being on air. Expect the Tories to give lots of backing, tacit and otherwise, to GBeebies.— Mic Wright (@brokenbottleboy) June 14, 2021
Dear OFCOM. My dog is getting suddenly very anxious about our tv. It is almost as if someone on a channel somewhere was constantly blowing a dog whistles. It only started at 8.00pm tonight. #GBeebies— 💙Vaun Earl Norman 🐰 (@VaunEarl) June 14, 2021
Some users have chipped in with corrections to the new channel’s output.
Dan O’Hagan slammed a headline appearing on screen as “Fereedom day delayed”.
“Heartening to see that GBeebies have adopted the level of spelling used by their viewers on social media,” he said.
And pro-EU radio show 16 Million Rising said the live claim that seasonal fruit pickers left the UK because of the Covid pandemic is “a lie”.
“The overwhelming majority left before the pandemic due to Brexit,” the “Breaking correction” read.
Heartening to see that GBeebies have adopted the level of spelling used by their viewers on social media. https://t.co/GBw0PikksH— Dan O’Hagan (@danohagan) June 15, 2021
BREAKING CORRECTION:@GBNEWS and @colinbrazierGBN have just claimed seasonal fruit pickers “left the UK because of Covid.”— SMR 🎧 Pro-European Radio 📻 (@16MillionRising) June 15, 2021
This is a LIE!
The overwhelmingly majority left before the pandemic due to Brexit.#GammonBoxNews #GBeebies
It comes as last week it has been revealed that Brexit caused a 90 per cent drop in foreign workers on a UK farm.
Stephen Taylor, managing director of Winterwood Farms Ltd, told the Daily Mail that the labour market has got ‘tighter and tighter’ over the last couple of years.
He said Brexit’s impact on the flow of workers to UK farms is only getting worse.
“95 per cent of all fruit and produce picked and packaged in this country is done by Eastern Europeans.
“We are right at the brink now,” Taylor added.
He added that in order for Brits to do the work instead, “they need to be mobile”. And he slammed the way in which the UK speak about EU seasonal workers: “We are taking back control, as Boris would say, but when we are taking back control, we are actually deliberately throttling our own businesses because we know the thing we haven’t got control of is labour.”