Veteran newsreader Simon McCoy QUITS GB News as another presenter follows Andrew Neil out the door – as Eammon Holmes joins the ‘start-up’ channel’s breakfast team
- Mr McCoy left BBC News after almost 18 years to join GB News in March
- He has been presenting The Great British Breakfast alongside Kirsty Gallacher
- However, the channel confirmed his departure today, making him the second high-profile departure after chairman Andrew Neil left earlier this year
- Eammon Holmes joins the channel and will host a programme in the new year
- Alongside wife Ruth, Eamonn has been a regular fixture on ITV’s This Morning
Veteran newsreader Simon McCoy has quit GB News as Eammon Holmes joins the ‘start-up’ channel’s breakfast team.
McCoy becomes the second high-profile figure to quit the free-to-air news channel that has had a stuttering start after ex-BBC political broadcaster Andrew Neil stepped down as the chairman and host of a prime-time show earlier this year.
The 60-year-old left BBC News after almost 18 years to join GB News in March, where he has been presenting The Great British Breakfast alongside Kirsty Gallacher.
Simon McCoy (left) left BBC News after almost 18 years to join GB News in March, where he has been presenting The Great British Breakfast alongside Kirsty Gallacher (right)
However, GB News confirmed on Friday to The Metro that McCoy has left the channel for ‘personal reasons,’ with a representative of the journalist also confirming his exit to the newspaper.
‘Simon is an outstanding broadcaster and we’re sorry to see him go,’ GB News CEO Angelos Frangopoulos said in a statement. ‘We remain open to ways we can work with him in future.’
Mr McCoy is yet to comment on his departure from the channel.
The anchor man’s reactions and funny asides have gone viral on Twitter many times.
McCoy hit the headlines in the new year on the BBC when he told viewers there would be a package of the ‘highlights of 2020’, only for nothing to appear on screen, with the news anchor then saying: ‘Exactly, it’s farewell 2020.’
He also accidentally began a news report with a refill pack of A4 printer paper in his hands, instead of the usual iPad.
Earlier this year, the 60-year-old veteran hit back after social media users poked fun at the fact his show had received zero viewers during a week in July.
Responding to someone to Twitter who asked him whether he would quit the channel ‘before it closes,’ he denied that he would leave.
‘No. Have been here before. At a new news channel,’ he responded at the time.
‘All the same jokes back then – cheaper to send the videos round to viewers by bike etc etc .. the channel was Sky News. Things take time. We will get there. #GBNews.’
McCoy becomes the second high-profile figure to quit the free-to-air news channel that has had a stuttering start after ex-BBC political broadcaster Andrew Neil (pictured on the channel) stepped down as the chairman and host of a prime-time show earlier this year
Meanwhile, it was announced by GB News that veteran TV presenter and journalist, Eammon Holmes (pictured right), 62, will host a programme in the new year, leaving ITV
McCoy took viewers by surprise when he announced his departure from BBC News.
Before working at the broadcaster, he worked at Fleet Street news agency Thames News, before leaving there to join the newly-founded Sky News, around the time it was launched in 1989.
McCoy will be replaced on the breakfast show by veteran ITV presenter Eamonn Holmes in the new year, it was announced by GB News.
Holmes will be joined on the show by Isabel Webster after breakfast host Kirsty Gallacher confirmed last week that she will be stepping back after discovering a tumour in her ear.
Webster and Holmes, who hosted Sky News’ Sunrise together for a few years, will present a new three-and-a-half hour breakfast show on GB News starting in the new year.
Mr Holmes celebrated joining the channel, saying: ‘I’ve spent my career on broadcasting firsts and start-ups and GB News is one of the most exciting yet. It’s just the kind of shake-up the industry needs.
‘I’ve admired GB News from the beginning for its clever mix of punchy debate but delivered with warmth and even some fun.
‘To me the greatest honour in journalism is to give a voice and respect to the unheard, and that’s exactly what GB News is all about.’
He also tweeted: ‘Here is the news… I’m joining GB News from the New Year. Hope you are coming with me and wish me well. In the meantime compliments of the season to you and thanks for your support folks.’
Alongside wife Ruth Langsford, Eamonn has been a regular fixture on This Morning for 15 years.
Alongside wife Ruth Langsford (both pictured in 2007), Eamonn has been a regular fixture on This Morning for 15 years
He tweeted: ‘Here is the news… I’m joining GB News from the New Year. Hope you are coming with me and wish me well. In the meantime compliments of the season to you and thanks for your support folks’
In November last year, ITV confirmed Eamonn and Ruth would be exiting the Friday show, with Dermot O’Leary and Alison Hammond taking their place.
They have continued to host the daytime programme during the holidays.
Prior to This Morning, Holmes presented GMTV and has also worked across radio, with slots on stations including Radio 5 Live, Magic, BBC Radio 2, and talkRadio.
When GB News launched earlier this year, Eamonn said he hoped the channel got a ‘decent chance’.
He previously tweeted: ‘We need a shake-up on the news front. I have huge respect for TV news but this is a reminder news is not just Westminster or a constant woke agenda.’
It was revealed on November 30 that Ruth and Eamonn, who fill in for Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield on Fridays, had been cut from their weekly slot to be replaced with Alison and Dermot.
In November last year, ITV confirmed Eamonn and Ruth would be exiting the Friday show, with Dermot O’Leary and Alison Hammond taking their place
Eamonn (pictured in 1998) previously fronted ITV’s breakfast show GMTV, hosting its first ever broadcast in 1993. He appeared alongside Kate Garraway and Lorraine Kelly
‘She’s unlikely to remain’: Ruth Langsford faces huge conundrum as Eamonn Holmes quits This Morning
Ruth Langsford will likely be weighing up her options after her husband Eamonn made the decision to quit This Morning after 15 years.
Ruth, 61, has presented the show alongside her husband, also 61, since 2007, but first appeared as a guest presenter in 2000. According to The Mirror, she is ‘unlikely to remain on the show without Eamonn’.
However, after breaking the news of Eamonn’s departure, the paper added that Ruth ‘is expected to continue as a regular on Loose Women’.
Ruth has been a Loose Women panellist on-and-off since 1999 and started her career at regional station Television South West in the early nineties.
This Morning and Loose Women aside, Ruth’s most recent presenting gig was Lose a Stone in Four Weeks for Summer, which she hosted alongside GP Amir Khan last year.
Outside of her impressive television career, Ruth has her own fashion line with QVC and often appears on the shopping channel to promote her collections.
At the time, Eamonn and Ruth both sent out an identical statement which read: ‘It’s a changing of the guard on Fridays from January. We hope you make Alison and Dermot as welcome as you’ve made us over the years.
‘Have a Ball you two!… It’s not Goodbye from us, it’s simply Au Revoir until the next half term.’
Eamonn, born in Belfast in 1959, is the latest signing to fledgling channel GB News.
He shares children Declan, 32, Rebecca, 30, Niall, 28, with his ex-wife Gabrielle and son Jack, 19, with current wife Ruth.
This year, the journalist also became a grandfather for the first time after his son Declan welcomed a baby girl with his wife Jenny.
He said at the time: ‘My son Declan and his wife Jenny are the happy couple. Jenny gave birth to Emelia, who is 7lbs 6oz.’
He previously fronted ITV’s breakfast show GMTV, hosting its first ever broadcast in 1993. He appeared alongside fellow ITV stalwarts Kate Garraway and Lorraine Kelly.
But he left the long-running show in 2005, stating it had become too celebrity focused and no longer covered important news.
The presenter then moved to Sky’s Sunrise which he hosted with Charlotte Hawkins, who also later defected to ITV. The star also returned to the channel in 2006 with Ruth as This Morning’s Friday presenters.
Ruth had previously been a guest presenter on the show since 1999.
Eamonn’s latest departure comes just months after he was forced to apologise for saying it ‘suited the state narrative’ to dismiss bizarre theories that link 5G and the coronavirus.
A day after making the comments on This Morning, he clarified on air that ‘there is no connection between the present national health emergency and 5G and to suggest otherwise would be wrong and indeed it could be possibly dangerous’.
Eamonn is pictured receiving an honorary doctorate at Queens University in Belfast for services to broadcasting alongside Ruth in 2006
Eamonn shares children Declan, 32, Rebecca, 30, Niall, 28, with his ex-wife Gabrielle and son Jack, 19, with current wife Ruth (both pictured after announcing they are expecting a child)
Ruth Langsford will likely be weighing up her options after her husband Eamonn made the decision to quit This Morning after 15 years (pictured on This Morning in 2013)
Eamonn will be joining on-air talent including former Sky anchor Colin Brazier, ITV News journalist Alastair Stewart, BBC journalist Simon McCoy and former Labour MP Gloria De Piero.
In November, broadcaster Stephen Dixon announced he was also joining the channel after nearly 22 years with Sky.
Eamonn’s move represents a major coup for GB News – the free-to-air news channel that had a stuttering start after ex-BBC political broadcaster Andrew Neil stepped down as the chairman and host of a prime-time show.
The 72-year-old had been absent from the channel since announcing a break two weeks into its launch and later said he ‘came close to a breakdown’ after suffering from stress due to the station’s technical problems.
Eamonn Holmes: Veteran presenter who had to apologise over 5G rant
TV presenter Eamonn Holmes has previously been criticised by viewers over past controversies.
In January 2019, he came under fire alongside wife Ruth Langsford for interrogating child star Mark Lester over his friendship with Michael Jackson.
Speaking in the wake of a documentary on the musician, the actor discussed the subject of the sperm donation he gave to Michael, who died in 2009.
While chatting about the scenario, Eamonn grilled Mark over his claims that he is the biological father to Michael’s daughter Paris while Ruth asked Mark if the late singer was ‘infertile’ – leading to a furious reaction on social media.
In April last year, he admitted there is ‘no evidence’ of a link connecting coronavirus and 5G after his rant on This Morning.
He said ‘there is no connection between the present national health emergency and 5G and to suggest otherwise would be wrong and indeed it could be possibly dangerous.’
It came after the presenter said it ‘suited the state narrative’ to dismiss bizarre theories that link 5G and the coronavirus.
At the time, Ofcom said it was dealing with complaints made against Mr Holmes after the regulator received 419 complaints regarding his comments.
And in December last year, Eamonn was slammed for making an ‘irresponsible’ joke about sharing medication on This Morning.
During a discussion on out of date medication on the show’s medical segment, the host said he had previously used his wife’s medication before she insisted her husband was ‘joking’ and ‘not to listen to him’.
The comments prompted the show’s GP Dr Philippa Kaye to urge viewers ‘never to share medication’ and to make sure you take your entire course of antibiotics.
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