GB News, Andrew Neil’s new channel, has been pranked by callers using fake comedy names.
A number of presenters including former BBC news reader Simon McCoy and ex-Apprentice contestant Michelle Dewbury were caught out by people texting in posing as “Mike Hunt” and “Mike Oxlong”.
Many of the clips were also posted to social media with one user commenting: “Ok I know I said I wouldn’t tweet about it but I can’t stop laughing.”
Another added: “They got done by Mike Oxlong. Incredible.”
Ok I know I said I wouldn’t tweet about it but I can’t stop laughing pic.twitter.com/tV1PLJW52v
— Hannah Jane Parkinson (@ladyhaja) June 15, 2021
They got done by a Mike Oxlong. Incredible pic.twitter.com/oLXD15cFQa
— Alan White (@aljwhite) June 15, 2021
The prank eventually led to McCoy appealing to viewers to stop and urged them to “grow up”.
This reaction to being tricked into reading out Hugh Janus is so much funnier than them merely reading out Hugh Januspic.twitter.com/Jnl2brUel2
— James Felton (@JimMFelton) June 16, 2021
He added: “I’m just going to say something because if you’ve seen the papers, if you’ve seen Twitter, some people think it’s really funny to send in texts and messages on the basis that if we read them out we’ve been had.
“We’re a new company, we’re a new broadcaster, there are systems that we’re putting in place that would stop idiots like you getting through. They’re getting through at the minute but… please? We’ve got other things to worry about.”
The news channel was launched earlier this week with the aim of fighting cancel culture and reflecting voices not heard in the media.
But it has faced criticism from campaigners such as the group Stop Funding Hate, who say its launch brings highly partisan Fox News-style programming to the UK, reports BBC News.