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HomeCulture WarsGaunt the Goader is a blight on GB News

Gaunt the Goader is a blight on GB News

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LAUNCHED in June 2021, GB News has now assembled what on the whole is an impressive roster of presenters and regular contributors. One unpardonable error, however, has been the TV channel’s provision of a regular platform for the odious Jon Gaunt. 

Sacked by talkSPORT in 2008 after subjecting an interviewee to playground insults, Gaunt subsequently tried and failed to stand as a UKIP European Parliament member and also had a stint as official spokesman for the nascent EU Referendum Campaign. Vague recollections of him from that period are of a belligerent blusterer more likely to discourage support than to attract it. 

A decade on, Gaunt – seldom was a man more inappropriately named – has become even more boorish and bumptious, as was evident from big-boned Jon’s appearance last Saturday evening on Neil Oliver Live

For the past seven months the host’s opening monologues, which espouse freedom and rail against repressive restrictions home and abroad, have been a weekly highlight.  

Last Saturday’s inspirational incantation lasted nine minutes and concluded: ‘What has been done these last two years by those we had been encouraged to trust will be hard to forgive and impossible to forget.’ 

Because of his enmity towards the unvaccinated and enthusiasm for mandatory jabs, a few days earlier Gaunt had featured on Twitter in a rogues’ gallery of media figures.  

In response to Oliver’s oration, Gaunt complained that this depiction of him on social media had been ‘incitement to violence’ and ludicrously warned the host that he also was ‘skating very close to it’. 

Following which, Gaunt aimed his bile at the ‘absolutely pathetic’ NHS staff who earlier that day had been protesting against the imminent vaccine mandate.  

Medics who have been diligently on duty during the past two years, but whom the Government now deems expendable, were smeared by Gaunt as ‘crackpots’ and goaded: ‘All of those nurses today … are a disgrace. Get off the street, roll up your sleeve and get vaccinated. If not, be redeployed or sacked.’ 

He shared the studio sofa with comedienne Abi Roberts – no shrinking violet and who, because of previous encounters with Gaunt, evidently came prepared for mouth-to-mouth combat.  

After Gaunt had restated his support for injecting children – presumably to reduce the risk to obese middle-aged men – Roberts justifiably labelled him ‘an appeaser (of) a morally bankrupt totalitarian disaster happening worldwide’. 

Like a non-league hard man hypocritically seeking protection from the referee, Gaunt demanded that the host ‘control her’. He then derided Roberts as a ‘big-mouthed, foul yob who is ill-informed’. For those who can bear to view it, the unseemly spat runs from 13:00 to 22:00. 

Did GB News purposely pair them for combustibility? Possibly. Yet almost every appearance on the channel by Gaunt degenerates into a tiresome rumpus. For example, during December he riled even the impeccably polite Calvin Robinson: ‘Jon, you may bully everyone else who comes on the show, but you will not bully me.’ 

In another example from earlier this month, co-host Patrick Christys is seen head in hands as the exasperated presenters give up trying to frame the question and instead wearily allow the overbearing ogre to bluster on.  

For opponent Dominique Samuels, her first experience of the ghastly Gaunt was an unwelcome surprise. 

Although the bellicose bully spouts what is a minority view on GB News, there are other regular pundits who also have argued for increased restrictions, Covid passes and vaccine mandates. However, no one else – not even Benjamin Butterworth – does so in the contemptible manner of Jon Gaunt.  

For instance, here in early January Alan Miller, co-founder of Open For All, is respectfully opposed by Labour councillor and businessman Kevin Craig, who (from 18:00) argues: ‘The unvaccinated are stopping us moving forward … it’s for the greater good of the country, the NHS and people dying of this, that health workers do get vaccinated.’ 

Craig’s comments were highly contentious, yet the discussion remained civil and informative. Whereas, had it been Gaunt on the panel expressing similar sentiments, the browbeating blowhard would quickly have turned the programme into a facsimile of The Jeremy Kyle Show

Following his latest objectionable performance, gruesome Gaunt used Twitter to again heap ordure on the protesting medics: ‘We’ve tolerated them for too long,’ he whined. 

I am similarly impatient. For how much longer must viewers of GB News tolerate the panto-villain performances of this obnoxious oaf? 

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Gary Oliver
Gary Oliver
Gary Oliver is an accountant who lives in East Lothian.

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