Angry Andrew Neil says he was close to a breakdown on disaster GB News and had to quit

Andrew Neil quizzed on GB News departure by Fiona Bruce

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Andrew Neil was made chairman of GB News, a free-to-air television news channel, which launched back in June. The 72-year-old broadcaster stepped down from his role after just eight shows following a string of technical faults, which left him stressed.

In a new interview, he candidly said he was close to having a breakdown and believes “it would’ve killed me to carry on”.

Following weeks of speculation about whether he’d return to the show, Andrew confirmed he had resigned last week.

The presenter was appointed as chairman and lead presenter as part of a £4m contract, but Andrew nsisted no amount of money would’ve kept him there.

“It was a big decision but I frankly couldn’t care if it was £40m,” he told the Mail Online.

“This would have killed me if I’d carried on.”

The broadcaster said he barely slept in the lead up to shows, due to stress over technical issues.

The launch show, for example, was met with problems such as the camera and sound being out of sync.

“It just went from bad to worse,” he added.

He went on to say that the team spent a whole day preparing the programme, only for it to go wrong one minute before air time.

Andrew recalled: “I sat down, earpiece in, microphone on, only to be told by the director we had no external communications, so I had no guests.

“I was in despair. Unlike other shows, where there are two anchors, so they can talk rubbish to each other, I was on my own.”

Following a string of issues, the presenter said he was ready to leave after the first week.

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After a brief exit from the show raised eyebrows, Andrew returned as he didn’t want to leave his colleagues in the lurch.

The presenter said he had raised issues with the board and told them GB News wasn’t ready to launch in June.

“We’re launching a boat that’s only half-built. We’ll build the rest when it’s floating.

“I’m not a shipbuilder, but it seems to me if you launch a boat that’s only half-built it will sink,” he said before the first episode aired.

He went on to claim that the board didn’t listen to him and always sided with chief executive Angelos Frangopoulos.

“I was in a minority of one. I felt like the Lone Ranger on so many things without even Tonto to keep me company,” he continued.

The broadcaster added he was “angry” about the situation, describing it as “the worst eight months of my career”.

He went on to credit his wife Susan, who he married in 2015, for supporting him.

A spokesman for GB News said of Andrew’s comments: “The launch date of GB News was set to accommodate Andrew’s own travel plans. Indeed, contrary to management’s wishes, it was Andrew who insisted the launch date be announced, failing which he refused to travel to London for it.

“The terms of his departure were properly negotiated and documented, with Andrew taking legal advice throughout.

“The fact that he has chosen to ignore these terms and make his departure unnecessarily contentious and public is a decision he will have to live with.”

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