Within a few days, it had already had major brands pull their advertising, while a segment on former showbiz journalist Dan Wootton’s show sparked hundreds of Ofcom complaints – not to mention all those embarrassing pranks from viewers live on air.
The divisive news station has now been dealt a further blow, with viewing figures for GB News plummeting since it began airing earlier this month.
After its launch, GB News’ overnight viewing figures were reported to be at around 164,000, which the station delighted in announcing put it above rivals BBC News and Sky News on its first night.
However, in the space of two weeks, Metro has reported these numbers have dropped to less than a quarter of GB News’ launch night ratings.
According to the news outlet, an episode of GB News’ daytime show the Great British Breakfast last week only managed a peak of 32,000 people.
And the figures for Andrew Neil’s primetime current affairs show on Thursday night were lower still, with a reported peak of 31,000.
Thursday’s show saw Neil – who also serves as GB News’ chairman – announcing he’d be taking a break from the station, less than two weeks after its launch.
The former BBC star told viewers: “Before I take this break, let me say this. Yes, we had a bit of a rocky start with the launch of GB News. We’re a start-up, they’re always a bit rocky these start-ups.
“But we are up and running as you can see, we get better every day and there’s clearly an appetite for what we’re doing.
“In two short weeks, we’ve already built a loyal audience which has beaten all of our expectations. It’s often bigger than the other news channels and it’s growing. That’s the real story about GB News to date and you won’t often read that in the papers.”