Piers Morgan to Headline News UK's Copycat Rival to RT and GB News Next Year
16:39 GMT 16.09.2021 (Updated: 17:01 GMT 16.09.2021)
© REUTERS / TOBY MELVILLEFILE PHOTO: Piers Morgan walks near his house in London
© REUTERS / TOBY MELVILLE
Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation launched Sky as the UK's first satellite TV network in 1989, but sold up to US telecoms giant Comcast in the 2010s after its bid to gain majority control was blocked by the British government.
Outspoken broadcaster Piers Morgan will be the star turn in News UK's bid to break back into the TV market — with a new low-budget copycat of Russian TV channel RT.
A second statement hours later confirmed speculation that Morgan would present a flagship programme on the new channel, also to be broadcast on Fox News in the US and Sky News Australia.
He said he was "thrilled" to return to the corporation, where he began his journalistic career at The Sun in 1988, praising Murdoch as "a constant and fearless champion of free speech".
“I want my global show to be a fearless forum for lively debate and agenda-setting interviews, and a place that celebrates the right of everyone to have an opinion, and for those opinions to be vigorously examined and challenged", Morgan added.
Morgan will also write two weekly columns online for the New York Post and The Sun, and present a series of true crime documentaries. In addition, News Corp's publishing house HarperCollins will release a follow-up to his best-selling book Wake Up.
TalkTV will feature "proper hourly news bulletins, sports and entertainment shows as well as current affairs, debate, opinion and documentaries" — similar to RT's format or new conservative-leaning current affairs channel GB News.
“We are committed to providing choice for television and streaming viewers and bringing the best of our journalism to the screen", said Brooks. “Taking advantage of modern technology, we can produce high quality shows at low cost”.
Brooks is the controversial former editor of red-top tabloids The Sun and the now-defunct News of the World, who was accused by her ex-husband and Eastenders actor Ross Kemp of domestic violence.
The News of the World was shut down and replaced by The Sun on Sunday in the wake of a scandal of journalists paying corrupt police officers to help them hack into the mobile phone accounts of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, victims of the 2005 London public transport bombings, and others.
News Corp launched Sky as the UK's first satellite TV network in 1989, but sold its UK operation to US telecoms giant Comcast in the 2010s after its bid to gain majority control was blocked by the British government.
2 September, 13:52 GMT
Morgan, a former editor of The Sun's rival the Daily Mirror, was sacked from ITV's Good Morning Britain in March, following a deluge of complaints about his on-air criticism of Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, and her husband Prince Harry and their sensationalist claims in a TV interview with Oprah Winfrey.
TV watchdog Ofcom cleared Morgan of wrongdoing early this month after its probe into the more than 57,000 complaints, including one from Markle herself.
Earlier on Thursday, Morgan, revelling in bagging the Best News Presenter trophy at the Television and Radio Industries Club awards, dropped heavy hints that he had a new job lined up.
He also cryptically referred to his former GMB co-host Susanna Reid as his "ex-wifey".