I won’t be walking on eggshells now I’m at anti-woke GB News: Veteran newsreader Alastair Stewart vows to ignore ‘no-go areas’ in new presenting job after 40 years at ITV
- The 69-year-old promised to deliver free speech and honest debate at GB News
- GB News aims to be an antidote to ‘woke’ agendas driving other broadcasters
- New right wing organisation is so despised by the left that the location is secret
Veteran newsreader Alastair Stewart has blasted the ‘political correctness brigade’ and vowed to ignore ‘no-go areas’ in his new presenting job after 40 years at ITV.
In an exclusive interview with The Mail on Sunday to mark his new role on ‘anti-woke’ channel GB News, the 69-year-old promised to deliver free speech and honest debate to its target audience of ‘ordinary people’.
Founded by former BBC presenter Andrew Neil, GB News aims to be the antidote to the ‘woke’ agendas driving other broadcasters – and Stewart is definitely on board.
‘Political correctness is not something to be adhered to,’ he said. ‘It is to be respected and broken through. I have a real thing about political correctness. It makes political discourse like walking on eggshells. You’re having a really good conversation with people, but it’s a public conversation, and people pick and choose their words so it’s not sexist, it’s not misogynist or this, that or the other.’
News industry heavyweights including Simon McCoy (l) and Alastair Stewart (r) will join the brand new channel
The website for GB news features it’s log and a brief message stating only that ‘GB News is coming soon’
The legendary broadcaster added: ‘So long as you respect everybody, you can talk openly and freely. That’s what we will be doing at GB News. What the BBC and ITN choose to do is a matter for them. They will do what they wish to do, but there will be no no-go areas for us.’
The creation of GB News has triggered such outrage on the Left that channel bosses are trying to keep the location of its headquarters a secret for as long as possible amid fears it could be targeted by militants.
‘It will start with eggs, and then who knows,’ said one source at the channel. ‘There are lots of people who think GB News is Fox News.’
The American news channel is frequently criticised for its controversial Right-wing views. Stewart dismissed such claims as unfounded and pointed to the diversity of opinion and backgrounds among GB News’s presenters, who include former Labour MP Gloria De Piero, BBC broadcaster Simon McCoy and ex-Sky journalist Colin Brazier.
Stewart said he was ‘thrilled’ to be fronting ‘Alastair And Friends’ on the start-up channel. His new job comes 16 months after his shock departure from ITV News after a distinguished career. He left after a social media spat in which he sent a Shakespeare quote including the phrase ‘angry ape’ to a black Twitter user.
Despite the television industry’s relentless drive for diversity, Stewart insisted that he never felt threatened by those seeking to remove anyone ‘white, male, pale and stale’ from high-profile jobs.
He said: ‘As a white man, I have never felt at risk, never at all. But I think women felt more vulnerable about being eased out when they reached a certain age because audience research suggested they were more comfortable with an older man than an older woman.
Founded by former BBC presenter Andrew Neil (pictured), GB News aims to be the antidote to the ‘woke’ agendas driving other broadcasters
‘I think that’s absolutely bloody outrageous. I am an absolute and total meritocrat.’
Despite social media jibes to the contrary, Stewart said GB News was ‘heaving with diversity’. He said that out of the 19 presenters, nine were women, three of whom were black. ‘And there was no box ticking,’ he added.
Stewart said he was ‘emotional’ at the prospect of starting his new job but always knew he would work again after his departure from ITV.
Meanwhile, Mercy Muroki, the Kenyan-born journalist who will team up with Colin Brazier for her first-ever broadcast job, said that mainstream news channels make people feel like they are being ‘sneered at’.
She said: ‘People say that other channels are woke. I’m not convinced the world knows what that word even means any more. We want people to be able to say what they think and give people some grace if they don’t say something as they meant to.’
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