TalkTV logo.png
The news building SE1.jpg
The News Building, adjacent to The Shard, London
TypeTelevision news channel
CountryUnited Kingdom
Broadcast areaUnited Kingdom
HeadquartersLondon, England, UK
Picture formatHDTV 1080i
OwnerNews UK
ParentNews UK Broadcasting Ltd
Key people
Launched25 April 2022; 12 months ago (25 April 2022)[1]
FounderRupert Murdoch
  • Channel 237

TalkTV is a British opinion-orientated[a] television channel owned and operated by News UK. It launched on 25 April 2022.

The channel features video simulcasts of TalkRadio programming in off-peak hours, but launched with three original programmes, The News Desk, Piers Morgan Uncensored, and The Talk.[2]



TalkTV marks Rupert Murdoch's return to British television news after being forced to sell Sky News to preserve its editorial independence from his companies
TalkTV marks Rupert Murdoch's return to British television news after being forced to sell Sky News to preserve its editorial independence from his companies

Australian-born American media magnate Rupert Murdoch originally entered the British television news market in 1989 with the launch of Sky News.[3] In 1996, Murdoch entered the US and Australian television news markets with Fox News and Sky News Australia.[4][5] In the 2010s, the Murdoch family began to sell a number of assets, including 21st Century Fox and Sky Plc, the companies that owned those news channels at the time.[6]

In January 2018, the Competition and Markets Authority issued a preliminary report recommending that Sky News be insulated from the remainder of Murdoch's assets, or divested, in order to preserve its editorial independence.[7] Murdoch retained control of Fox News[6] and Sky News Australia,[8] but Sky News UK was sold to Comcast, leaving Murdoch without a television news presence in the United Kingdom.[9]

Initial foundation as News UK TV

In December 2020, Ofcom granted a licence to News UK, to operate a new linear television channel under the name News UK TV.[10][11][12] By April 2021, it was thought that News UK TV would become a streaming-only service which would operate for a few hours a night.[13][14][15] Rebekah Brooks said to News UK staff that "it was not commercially viable to launch a traditional news channel on linear TV".[16]

David Rhodes, formerly of CBS News and Fox News, joined News UK with the aim of a launching their streaming video news service in 2020.[17] In an interview with the BBC Radio 4's The Media Show, Andrew Neil claimed that he was approached to join News UK's television output by Rhodes before he joined rival GB News.[18] In April 2021 it was announced that Rhodes was to leave News UK in June.[19] Scott Taunton replaced Rhodes as News UK's CEO of broadcasting.[20]

Pivot to TalkTV

By September 2021, plans for a service called News UK TV had been scrapped and talkRadio instead launched a video feed on smart/internet-connected TVs, with Mike Graham, Trisha Goddard, Julia Hartley-Brewer, Jeremy Kyle and Robert Rinder featuring as presenters on the service.[21][22] The preceding months had seen its right-wing rival, GB News, launch as a linear television channel.[23] The 'Talk' brand[b] and family of radio stations had previously been acquired by News UK in September 2016 as part of their purchase of Wireless Group.[24]

Later in September 2021, it was revealed that the "Talk" brand would be used for a linear television station launching in 2022.[25] This change of approach reportedly claimed after Murdoch was bemused by the channels on offer during the pandemic.[26] It was also announced that Piers Morgan would host a show on the channel.[27][28] TalkRadio's Twitter account was renamed to TalkTV to coincide with the launch of the television station.[29]

After gaining a comparatively large viewership on opening night, viewers declined over the following days.[30][31][32] Several serving and former MPs and MEPs are currently employed as presenters on the channel including some who recently held positions within the previous Johnson cabinet.[33] Ofcom's rules state that MPs can be presenters, but cannot be utilised as newsreaders.[34]

News UK Broadcasting, TalkTV's parent company, made a loss of £34 million in the first year after TalkTV launched.[35] In July 2022, Richard Wallace, former editor of the Daily Mirror, was hired as Head of TV.[36]


The channel broadcasts from studios within The News Building in Central London.[25] The linear channel was launched on Freesat and Freeview, as well as on Sky and Virgin Media on 25 April 2022.[37][1][38][25] It is also available on-demand.[25][39]

When announcing Piers Morgan's programme, it was stated that it would also be carried by two other Murdoch-owned outlets: Fox Nation (a streaming service in the U.S. run as a companion to Fox News) and Sky News Australia.[27] Some TalkTV programming is also simulcast on select local television channels around the UK.[40] Local TV's chairman, David Montgomery, is a former executive at Murdoch's News UK.[41]


Initial ratings were very low with some shows, especially those broadcast in the evening, recording few viewers. In July 2022, the channel has the lowest viewership compared to similar news and opinion-based news shows.[42]

By 2023 some shows, particularly Piers Morgan Uncensored, achieved higher ratings than competitors: an hour-long February interview with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had an average of 120,000 viewers, while BBC News had 70,000 viewers and Sky News and GB News had 20,000 viewers in the same hour.[43] Morgan's interviews with Donald Trump and Nadine Dorries exceeded 300,000 average viewers, while Dorries' interview with Boris Johnson had an average viewership of 50,000.[43][44]


With the appointment of Conservative MP Nadine Dorries as a presenter, Dorries was deemed to have breached the Government’s anti-corruption rules by not advising ACOBA about her role with the channel.[33]

Mike Graham received criticism in 2022 after making a false claim that Mind, a UK mental health charity, had been funding the legal fees of individuals seeking asylum in the UK; TalkTV later issued a public apology.[45]

As of February 2023 the regulator, Ofcom, has not been prompted to investigate any potential breaches of standards, however they have clarified rules on politicians presenting programmes following the influx of politicians to both TalkTV and GB News.[34] The broadcast of Piers Morgan Uncensored on 7 September 2022 received more than 100 complaints to the regulator Ofcom.[46] A broadcast of Dorries' programme on 24 March received 52 complaints to Ofcom while discussing Commons Select Committee of Privileges investigation into Boris Johnson's involvement in the partygate scandal.[47] During the broadcast she claimed that Johnson was being tried by a kangaroo court.[48]

Notable presenters

Piers Morgan's show attracts high-profile guests, such as the incumbent UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, pictured here filming a show for the channel
Piers Morgan's show attracts high-profile guests, such as the incumbent UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, pictured here filming a show for the channel

Former presenters


  1. ^ Ofcom describes TalkTV’s licence type as editorial.
  2. ^ The 'Talk' brand in the UK was first used for the 1995 launch of Talk Radio UK, later known as talkSPORT.


  1. ^ a b "TalkTV launches April 25". Advanced Television. 28 March 2022.
  2. ^ Deen, Sarah (16 September 2021). "News UK to launch new TV channel in early 2022 with 'exceptional talent'". Metro. Retrieved 16 September 2021.
  3. ^ Brown, Maggie (5 February 2009). "Sky TV's launch: 'a wing and a prayer'". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
  4. ^ "FOX News Channel announced 20 years ago". Fox News. 29 January 2016. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
  5. ^ "About Sky News". Sky News Australia. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
  6. ^ a b Horsman, Mathew (15 November 2018). "What Comcast's purchase of Sky means for the future of the pay-TV platform". Royal Television Society. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
  7. ^ Sweney, Mark (23 January 2018). "Rupert Murdoch's Sky bid is not in public interest, says regulator". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  8. ^ Battersby, Lucy (1 December 2016). "News Corp buys Sky News in Australia and New Zealand from Seven and Nine". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  9. ^ Mayhew, Freddy (25 September 2018). "Comcast stands by pledge to maintain funding for Sky News over ten years and create new editorial board with safeguards for independence". Press Gazette. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
  10. ^ "News UK TV". Ofcom. 25 February 2022.
  11. ^ Waterson, Jim (1 December 2020). "Rupert Murdoch's News UK TV channel given approval to launch". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 March 2021.
  12. ^ Sherwin, Adam (1 December 2020). "Rupert Murdoch's 'opinionated' News UK TV channel set to launch next year after Ofcom approval".
  13. ^ Cushion, Stephen (3 February 2021). "News UK TV and GB News: New channels stoke fears of more partisan journalism". The Conversation. Retrieved 16 September 2021.
  14. ^ Tobbitt, Charlotte (5 February 2021). "News UK gives first hints on TV plans". Press Gazette.
  15. ^ Waterson, Jim (27 April 2021). "Rupert Murdoch scales back plan for News UK TV channel". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  16. ^ Coster, Helen (27 April 2021). "Murdoch's News Corp abandons plans for TV news channel in Britain". Reuters. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
  17. ^ Smith, Ben (1 May 2020). "A Onetime Leader of Fox News Returns to the Murdoch Fold". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
  18. ^ "The Media Show, Andrew Neil: A 50-year media career". BBC Radio 4. 12 March 2021.
  19. ^ "Exclusive: Murdoch pulls News UK television channel". The Spectator. 27 April 2021. Retrieved 17 September 2021.
  20. ^ Tobitt, Charlotte (27 April 2021). "David Rhodes to leave News UK TV streaming project". Press Gazette. Retrieved 17 September 2021.
  21. ^ "talkRADIO releases TV show looking at extreme cancel culture". RadioToday. 13 September 2021. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
  22. ^ Mann, Colin (16 September 2021). "News UK to launch talkTV". Advanced Television. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
  23. ^ "GB News: I became a minority of one, says Andrew Neil". BBC News. 17 September 2021. Retrieved 17 September 2021.
  24. ^ Mayhew, Freddy (26 September 2016). "Rupert Murdoch's News Corp completes Wireless Group takeover". Press Gazette. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
  25. ^ a b c d "News UK to launch new channel, talkTV". News UK. Retrieved 17 September 2021.
  26. ^ Gray, Alistair; Barker, Alex (19 September 2021). "Murdoch set up TV station because he 'wanted something to watch'". Financial Times. Retrieved 18 April 2022.
  27. ^ a b "Piers Morgan to launch new show on Rupert Murdoch-owned network". BBC News. 16 September 2021. Retrieved 16 September 2021.
  28. ^ Waterson, Jim (16 September 2021). "Piers Morgan hired to launch Rupert Murdoch TV station talkTV". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 September 2021.
  29. ^ "TalkRadio branding morphes into TalkTV on television launch day". RadioToday. 25 April 2022. Retrieved 10 April 2023.
  30. ^ Manning, Charlotte (28 April 2022). "Piers Morgan's TalkTV ratings plummet while Sharon Osbourne's show falls again". Metro. Retrieved 30 April 2022.
  31. ^ Sherwin, Adam (29 April 2022). "Tears, teething problems and zero rated viewing figures at TalkTV leave rivals GB News crowing". Archived from the original on 30 April 2022.
  32. ^ Rainbird, Ashleigh (27 April 2022). "Sharon Osbourne and Jeremy Kyle's new Talk TV show a ratings flop for launch". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 30 April 2022.
  33. ^ a b Elliards, Xander (27 January 2023). "Anti-corruption watchdog raps Nadine Dorries over TV presenter role". The National. Retrieved 30 January 2023.
  34. ^ a b "Ofcom clarifies rules on politicians presenting TV and radio programmes". The Independent. 2 February 2023. Retrieved 25 March 2023.
  35. ^ Tobitt, Charlotte (6 April 2023). "News UK accounts: Sun losses hit £127m due to legal costs while Times titles double profits". Press Gazette. Retrieved 7 April 2023.
  36. ^ Kanter, Jake (25 April 2023). "TalkTV: Inside Rupert Murdoch's $42M Bet & Why The Network Says It Must Be More Than Just 'The Piers Morgan Channel'". Deadline. Retrieved 26 April 2023.
  37. ^ "Talk TV: Launch Date Confirmed and Programming Details Revealed". 28 March 2022.
  38. ^ Ramachandran, Naman (28 March 2022). "'Piers Morgan Uncensored,' Sharon Osbourne's 'The Talk' to Lead Rupert Murdoch's TalkTV April Launch". Variety.
  39. ^ Green, Alex (28 March 2022). "Launch date announced for TalkTV and Piers Morgan's new global show". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2022-05-26.
  40. ^ Martin, Roy (3 January 2023). "TalkRadio / TalkTV to provide programming for Local TV network". RadioToday. Retrieved 5 February 2023.
  41. ^ Maher, Bron (3 January 2023). "TalkTV signs content partnership with David Montgomery's Local TV". Press Gazette. Retrieved 5 February 2023.
  42. ^ Majid, Aisha (25 July 2022). "TalkTV ratings three months in: News channel a distant fourth for TV viewers". PressGazette.
  43. ^ a b Turvill, William (2023-02-03). "Piers Morgan's Rishi Sunak interview drags TalkTV ratings above BBC News, Sky News and GB News". Press Gazette. Retrieved 2023-04-19.
  44. ^ Watch: Every time Nadine Dorries compliments Boris Johnson in first interview, 2023-02-03, retrieved 2023-04-19
  45. ^ Bryant, Miranda (2 July 2022). "TalkTV apologises to mental health charity over 'plain wrong' claims". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 29 July 2022. Retrieved 29 July 2022.
  46. ^ "Weekly Audience Report" (PDF). Ofcom. 19 September 2022. Retrieved 25 March 2023.
  47. ^ Everett, Charlotte (29 March 2023). "Nadine Dorries hit with Ofcom complaints over Friday night TalkTV show". The Mirror. Retrieved 29 March 2023.
  48. ^ "Nadine Dorries Says Boris Johnson 'Will Be Found Guilty' Of Misleading MPs". HuffPost UK. 24 March 2023. Retrieved 25 March 2023.