Since its launch over the weekend, a number of GB News presenters have been tricked into reading out texts from viewers with names like “Mike Hunt” and “Mike Oxlong”.
And it would appear that former BBC News anchor Simon has had enough of it.
Taking the moment to address viewers during his show on Wednesday afternoon, he began: “I’m just going to say something because if you’ve seen the papers, if you’ve seen Twitter, some people think it’s really funny to send in texts and messages on the basis that if we read them out we’ve been had.
“And you’re still doing it, and I’m watching them, and it doesn’t help anybody.”
Co-host Alex Phillips then offered: “We’re just not going to read surnames from now on.
“Well,” Simon continued. “So, to the person that’s just messaged in… grow up!
“We’re a new company, we’re a new broadcaster, there are systems that we’re putting in place that would stop idiots like you getting through. They’re getting through at the minute but… please? We’ve got other things to worry about.”
“Come on, now,” Alex agreed.
Referring to the show’s repeated technical issues, Simon then joked: “Mind you if you can hear us, that’s an improvement. All of you with serious views, we still welcome them.”
Unfortunately, this was then immediately followed by… another of the aforementioned technical issues that have blighted the channel for the past few days.
During GB News’ launch night, chairman and presenter Andrew Neil began the proceedings by setting out the station’s agenda to “puncture the pomposity of our elites in politics, business, media and academia” and “expose the growing promotion of cancel culture for the threat to free speech and democracy that it is”.
Since then, the news broadcaster has hit a few bumps in the road, with a speech from former showbiz journalist Dan Wootton about lockdown restrictions sparking hundreds of complaints to Ofcom.