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DUP’s Foster joins Farage on GB News for ‘civilised chat’

Career change for former First Minister sees her step into a new media role at the channel

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A screen grab of Arlene Foster talking to Nigel Farage on GB News yesterday

A screen grab of Arlene Foster talking to Nigel Farage on GB News yesterday

Darren McCaffrey

Darren McCaffrey

/

A screen grab of Arlene Foster talking to Nigel Farage on GB News yesterday

Former First Minister Arlene Foster is to join GB News as a contributor.

She will participate in the Political Correction show fronted by Ukip founder Nigel Farage.

It marks the first move of her career outside the DUP after being ousted in May following six years as leader.

Speaking on the show yesterday, Mrs Foster said it would be an “opportunity” to bring Northern Ireland into the mainstream of UK politics.

It is not clear how often she intends to appear on the channel.

“It is very exciting to be here. First of all I see it as an opportunity to have a space for civilised discussion in a meaningful way,” she said.

"Very often political programmes are very sort of short and snappy and there is not an opportunity to develop stories, so that is one of the reasons.

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"Of course, the second reason is to bring Northern Ireland very much into the mainstream of UK politics and it is something I feel very passionate about and something I thought as a student a very long time ago.

"That is the opportunity here in GB News and I am very much looking forward to it.”

GB News was launched in June by veteran Andrew Neil with a pledge to broadcast original news, opinion and debate.

However, it has been dogged by technical difficulties and criticised as amateurish.

Earlier this month it attracted zero viewers during some of its broadcasts, according to official television audience figures, after a boycott prompted by one of its presenters taking the knee in solidarity with the England football team.

Yesterday former UTV reporter Conchur Dowds announced he was leaving the channel.

He posted: “Today is my last day with GB News. I want to express my gratitude to those who offered me the opportunity but I’ve decided it just wasn’t right for me.

“Wishing the team the best of luck going ahead but also looking forward to wherever the next chapter takes me.”

Another local journalist, Darren McCaffrey, is among the presenting line-up on the its morning flagship programme, The Great British Breakfast.

McCaffrey is the station's political editor and contributes to other programming.

In May, following Mrs Foster’s removal as DUP leader, it was reported she received a series of book offers from major publishers wishing to commission her autobiography.

She was also tipped to go into public speaking, with her political pulling-power leaving some experts estimating she could command figures of up to £30,000 on the circuit


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