Fresh off being wrapped on the knuckles by UK regulators, this morning GB News saw a pair of its presenters angrily clash over the sexual assault allegations surrounding Russell Brand.
In a video posted online by the network, Andrew Pierce and Bev Turner exchange furious words on the Britain’s Newsroom program as they expressed opinions on the allegations from a joint Channel 4 Dispatches, Times and Sunday Times investigation that presenter and actor Brand had committed several sexual offenses against four women. Brand denies the allegations. Watch the video below.
In the heated exchange, Pierce takes co-presenter Turner to task over a message sent on Saturday morning on X (see it below) supporting Brand, calling him a “hero.”
The message — released before the newspaper report and Channel 4 program but after Brand released a pre-emptive statement denying the allegations — claimed he was “being attacked” and Turner said that the Forgetting Sarah Marshall star was “welcome on my @GBNews show anytime.”
“Bev, that is shameful. You have dismissed, in one tweet, a four-year investigation by The Sunday Times, The Times and Channel 4,” says Pierce after reading out the message and noting that the allegations include the grooming of a 16-year-old girl and the rape of two women.
“Don’t you think before you say someone is a hero, you should establish whether these very serious allegations are true,” says Pierce.
Turner then claims to have spoken to “several sources” close to Brand and The Times to back up her message. “I was confident there is no smoking gun in this regard.” She adds that the accounts of the four women, who remain anonymous, were “flimsy” before launching into a tirade about how mainstream newspapers cover rape and adding: “Anybody who has been sexually assaulted, my heart goes out to them.”
“There’s not a scintilla of sympathy for these four women in this statement,” counters Pierce, who is a former Political Editor of The Times. “I’m shocked.”
Turner says that Brand’s self-produced content for his millions of social media subscribers constitutes a threat to mainstream newspapers and questions: “Why now?”
“I guarantee to you, this is going to be a huge investigation. It’s a huge story,” says Pierce, who grows visibly angrier as the debate continues. He adds he is “astonished” Turner has “leapt to [Brand’s] defense” before reading the news report or watching the documentary.
“Had you watched the Dispatches program when you put that tweet out on Saturday morning,” he probes. “No! But that doesn’t matter,” replies Turner.
Pierce then slams his notes down on the table and looks away. “All you’ve done is attack these women,” he adds. “Shame on you. Shame on you.”
Earlier today, GB News was found in breach of the UK’s impartiality rules over an episode of Saturday Morning with Esther and Phil, a show hosted by Conservative politicians Esther McVey and Phillip Davies. It was found to have not provided an “appropriately wide range of significant views on a matter of major political controversy and current public policy.”
This is the third time GB News has breached Ofcom’s rules but the first regarding the controversial move to have politicians present topical shows and interview other politicians. There are six more investigations of this ilk currently open.