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GB News fails: Typos, sound issues, pranks and more beset the new broadcaster

The hashtag #GBNewsFails has been a common feature online in the first week from the new conservative broadcaster.

Sound issues and pranks have become a regular occurrence on the new GB News channel. Image: GB News

It hasn’t been a great first week for GB News. The TV channel launched by former BBC grandee Andrew Neil has been plagued with gaffes, typos, pranks and technical glitches that have caught the eye of viewers for all the wrong reasons. 

GB News broadcast for the first time on the evening of Sunday June 13 before quickly becoming a social media spectacle following a spree of errors and blunders in its opening days beaming into homes across Britain. 

The hashtag #gbnewsfails continues to trend on social media days after the channels official launch, with a number of production creases yet to be ironed out by the broadcaster. 

Viewer engagement also proven to be a sticking point for the channel, with a number of those texting into the channel sporting names which may well have been pranks. 

Text messages from members of the public such as Mike Hunt and Mike Oxlong, were included in live shows this week, following promises by prominent GB News figures to give a voice “to those who feel sidelined or silenced”. 

https://twitter.com/GBNewsFails/status/1405176003794714625?s=20

Those tuning in also spotted issues sound quality, with journalist Neil Oliver suffering a microphone fault on the opening night and other technical hitches hampering producers’ efforts throughout the week.

Audio issues needn’t stop viewers from getting their fill from GB News though – production staff at the channel kindly ensured that anyone struggling to hear would be able to access their content. 

Ignoring the traditional option of subtitling, viewers of GB News were offered the chance to read the presenter’s autocue reflected on a clear screen behind them. 

https://twitter.com/GBNewsFails/status/1405589724400689152?s=20

Following a launch programme with the channel’s chairman, Andrew Neil, it did not take long for the right-leaning channel to garner some complaints, with a programme on its opening night sparking hundreds of regulator complaints. 

More than 370 people wrote to Ofcom following an anti-lockdown monologue from presenter Dan Wooton, while a number of big brands – furniture giant IKEA among them – have already pulled their advertising. 

Complaints from shocked viewers may not be the only problem facing the UK’s newest broadcaster, with serious production challenges overshadowing its opening week.

Spelling has also proved to be a thorn in the side of GB News bosses, with high-profile names such as Dragon’s Den member Theo Paphitis forced to correct captions on the screen, while production staff also faced backlash after a caption promoting a discussion of the “miner’s penison”. 

Efforts by GB News to “expose” the behaviour of Britain’s media class have also shown mixed results, with the only significant uncovering revealed so far being an inadvertent showing of a guest’s rear end. 

As a result of the consistent mistakes made on the channel, a dedicated Twitter account, @GBNewsFails, was created and has already amassed more than 63,000 followers and 95 online donations.

Following their opening few days GB News said it has made a number of improvements to its set and hopes that viewers “notice the difference”, promising to “improve as we go”.

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