Nigel Farage on GB News: How did this man change the world?

TV review: Farage tries to rescue GB News with critiques of refugees, wokeness and the EU

Since launching five weeks ago, Andrew Neil's right-wing GB News – you'll find it out in the darkest reaches of Sky, between Al Jazeera and TRT World – has struggled to overcome rickety production values and a rising air of tragedy. But there are lots of bells and whistles and a Blitz-adjacent spirit of derring-do as Father Brexit himself, Nigel Farage, gallops to the rescue of the network in the first hour of his new four-day time slot.

And a rescue mission is exactly what “Farage” is. Amid furore over the now departed Guto Harris taking the knee last week, ratings on the network have plummeted (achieving a perfect 0.0 in certain time slots). Who ya gonna call? “Woke-busters!” Or, as Generation Brexit calls him, Nigel.

He's up for a tussle, as becomes clear in his opening address. "Why am I here? I'll tell you why – I believe in GB News and I believe in Andrew Neil. I'll tell you what, if it's good enough for Andrew Neil it's good enough for me."

Farage proceeds to take a cudgel to what he regards as the groupthink hobbling UK news. “There is almost no diversity in British broadcast media,” he says. “They take the same woke, pro-cancel culture view on virtually everything.”

What he’s doing, essentially, is re-heating the same stump speech that has sustained the Farage brand through his years advocating for Brexit – painting Britain as a place divided between elite Londoners and the rest of the nation. No guessing, which market Farage is chasing. “GB News is here very much for those people,” he says. “We’re going to be unashamedly a patriotic television station.”

And, ooh, there are gimmicks. Each evening he will share a “What the Farage?” moment – such as the suggestion that the EU flag fly at the Olympics. And there is the “GB News Pub” where Farage invites guests to join him for an India Pale Ale (the pub being a projected backdrop of a boozer).

Brexit Britain may have enjoyed the 60 minutes of talking points. Farage despairs of refugees crossing the Channel (who aren’t really “refugees”, he says, because they have iPhones and wear shiny runners). And of the perpetual ludicrousness of the EU. And, of course, of the appalling wussiness of the British government, with its plans to insist that people going to nightclubs have proof of vaccination.

For everyone else, though, Farage breaks the cardinal rule of opinion-led rolling news by being slightly dull. And also predictable. He interviews the owner of a pub chain that isn’t Wetherspoons (and who compares vaccine passports to the antics the Stasi) and then shares a pint with the head of the Conservative Party’s 1922 committee, Graham Brady.

It’s a bit like Fox News circa Bill O’Reilly. You tune in expecting to be shocked and repulsed. In truth, what Farage is dishing up is merely dull and a bit repetitive. He is speaking to his people and only his people. And they will lap it up.

Everyone else will gaze upon this sometimes jolly, often angry man and wonder how it was that, as the figurehead of Brexit, he changed the world.