To say that news station GB News is off to a shaky start would be something of an understatement.
Since its launch on Sunday evening, the news channel has faced various technical blunders, brands pulling their advertising after just a few days and embarrassment after more than one of its presenters fell for one of the oldest prank calls in the book.
The former showbiz journalist began his show on Sunday evening with a monologue about the rumoured delay to England’s easing of lockdown restrictions.
As reported by The Independent, Ofcom has received 373 complaints after Wootton said: “It’s increasingly clear now that there is a move among some public health officials and politicians to create an ultra-cautious biosecurity state, copying the likes of China.”
He also referred to medical officials as “doomsday scientists”, who he claimed had become “addicted to power” over the course of the pandemic.
Wootton also suggested that members of the public who supported lockdowns had been “terrified” into doing so, by what he branded the government’s “scare tactics”.
As is standard procedure, Ofcom will assess these complaints before deciding whether to take the matter further.
During GB News’ launch night, 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”.
While its first night on the air beat rivals BBC News and Sky News in the ratings, it received a rather muted response on social media due to its production values.