Nigel Farage stunned the television industry as the GB News presenter was awarded Best News Presenter at the 2023 Tric Awards.
In a room filled with executives and talent from establishment media institutions such as Sky News, ITV and BBC, Farage came out triumphant, much to their dismay.
The former UKIP and Brexit Party leader was booed by some as his victory was announced.
The GB News contingent in the room, including Stephen Dixon, Eamonn Holmes and Bev Turner, enthusiastically applauded the former politician who took up presenting duties on the People’s Channel in July 2021.
Addressing the baying audience, Farage said: “Those of you shouting, think about this. There is a large gap in the broadcast market.
“You’ve all become too much the same. And that is where GB News comes in. What we’re doing is creating a new, fresh brand in British broadcasting.
“When we overcome the awareness problem, we’re going to be a major force.”
Particularly rowdy audience members were determined to make their opinions known about the decision, with shouts of “scum,” and “load of b*****ks”.
The GB News star responded in flippant fashion, accusing industry figures of being fearful of the surge of The People’s Channel, and called for reform of the manner in how audience measurement is carried out in Britain.
Nigel Farage celebrating his victory
“You should be frightened, and you will lose your viewers”, he said.
“The way we measure what we’re watching is completely out of touch.
“Barb is broken and we need reform of this system. It’s out of date, it’s out of touch, and I feel very sorry for all of you!”
Farage’s critique of the Barb system was a moment of particular frustration for the furious crowd, with some heard shouting “rubbish” as he continued to demand reform.
Farage emerged victorious from a field of nominations which included two other GB News representatives, Eamonn Holmes and Stephen Dixon.
Making up the rest of the field was Susanna Reid and Piers Morgan.
For the first time, this year the winners in 17 categories were chosen entirely by the public.
Past awards have been voted on a 60:40 split between the industry and audiences.
The Tric Awards aim to “bring the industry together to support good causes through its annual events, corporate partners and the sponsorship opportunities”.
They were more intensely contested than ever this year with more than 130,000 voters, compared to 66,000 last year. In total, more than 1.3 million votes were cast.
GB News Chief Executive Officer Angelos Frangopoulos said: “It’s a testament to the talent of our teams that no less than three of the five finalists in this category were from GB News. Once again, this shows that whatever our rivals think, audiences love us.”
Former US President Donald Trump, who Nigel has interviewed twice for the channel, was first to congratulate him.
“Congratulations to Nigel,” he said.
“He truly is incredible with what he does and says. Everybody listens—the respect is long and deep.”