GB News bosses say Scotland is “hungry” for a different type of news channel.

But with just days to go until the high-profile launch, experts are questioning whether Scots will tune in and what those who do will find.

When the start-up goes live next Sunday, it’ll do so with a roster that includes some of the biggest names in UK broadcasting. Andrew Neil, Simon McCoy, Alastair Stewart, Kirsty Gallacher and more promise to shake-up the news with an opinion and discussion-heavy format in the vein of America’s Fox News and MSNBC.

On-air talent will also include ex-Boris Johnson media chief Guto Harri and historian Neil Oliver, who says he’s “infused with intense feelings of love for the British archipelago” and will “celebrate Britain”, but “not necessarily in a triumphalist way”.

Those hosting their own shows, have, according to Neil – who’ll fill 6500 hours of airtime with his own primetime programme – “a bit of edge, a bit of attitude, a bit of personality”, and it's promised that the output will be “much more broadly reflective of what the country actually is” by looking outwith London.

But Professor John Cook, of Glasgow Caledonian University’s Department of Media and Journalism, is sceptical about what they’ll offer Scottish viewers and fears GB News could begin a swing to a US-style polarisation of the broadcast media.

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Research shows that while 65% of Republicans say they most trust conservative-leaning Fox News to keep them informed, 67% of Democrats say the more liberal CNN’s their most reliable source.

There’s little overlap between the groups and opinion-based output by right-wing media outlets has been linked to the riot at the US Capitol building by Trump supporters who didn't accept his election loss.

In the UK, GB News will have to adhere to the same Ofcom codes as every other news broadcaster, such as the BBC, ITV and Sky, but it’s unclear how it’s going to meet the impartiality rules.

“The way GB News is pitching itself is that it’s going to represent parts of the country they say haven’t been represented very well in news programmes,” Cook tells the Sunday National.

“With the presence of Neil Oliver and Andrew Neil, that representation is going to be from a pretty much unionist perspective. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing depends on which side of the camp you belong to.”

If it’s clever, GB News will generate clickbait, Cook suggests, with fiery exchanges between guests and presenters putting it into the headlines a la Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain.

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The “latest shouting match” could be easy hits for newspaper websites, he says – which is part of his concerns about an overall shift in consumption of and attitudes towards TV news.

“It’ll be a threat to the BBC, but the BBC won’t change its model,” Cook goes on, “But Sky News is ripe for that. They get relatively small ratings as it is. If they see GB News making a success of what they are going to do, they’ll want to change and adapt.”

According to TV audience measurement outfit BARB, Sky News reached almost half of the audience share that BBC News did last month.

Tom Collins, a senior teaching fellow in Communications, Media and Culture at the University of Stirling, says the market is “quite crowded”, with alternatives like RT [Russia Today], Al Jazeera and even the BBC Scotland channel competing for viewers.

“It’s very difficult even if you have got the whole weight and might of the BBC behind you to be able to make much of an impression,” he says of the Glasgow-based channel, which launched in 2019.

Of GB News’ claims of a pan-UK focus, Collins, the former editor of the Irish News, is unconvinced. “I don’t see Scotland reflected back very strongly, I don’t see the different regions of England, I have no sense of the Welsh and the title automatically excludes Northern Ireland, which is not part of Great Britain, even though they have a presence there and they have a reporter there,” he says.

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“If you look at the people they are bringing in, they are basically middle-aged, middle class, largely white. Are they a reflection of what ordinary people are saying and thinking? I don’t think so.

“I don’t buy this sense that they are the voice of the little person. GB News seems to be taking a tilt at the BBC or Sky when it says that, but it doesn’t look any less elitist than the BBC or Sky looks.

“If you look at Andrew Neil and Neil Oliver, neither are seen to be much in tune with the transit of Scottish politics and the direction of things here, so how does it actually find its place within an increasingly divided Great Britain when it’s very much within the broad unionist framework?

“ I’m not sure if that’s where Britain is at the moment. They are coming from a Britain first perspective, from a broad Brexit context, but how do they speak to a Britain that is very divided?”

Ex-BBC newsreader John Nicolson MP, was a frequent guest on Neil’s old BBC show This Week. Neil’s described him as a “friend” on Twitter.

“I’m reluctant to do anything other than welcome new media, as a journalist,” he says. “In the media landscape we have it’s so dominated by the political right. When I look at GB News, it seems to be another view from the right.”

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GB News dismisses all of this. “We want to listen to all views and perspectives,” a spokesperson says on Scotland’s constitutional question.

“We believe there are more than two sides to every argument and that viewers are intelligent enough to understand that most complex issues have many nuances and shades of grey.

“We’ve identified an audience throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that is hungry for another choice, and another voice, in news and debate.”