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Suspended GB News presenter Dan Wootton is preparing a return to screens on Rumble – the ‘free speech’ platform hosting former comedian Russell Brand since his YouTube earnings ban following rape allegations.
It comes as Michael Cass – the ‘official moderator’ for the ‘Dan Wootton Tonight Club’ – told its 7,400-strong X (formerly Twitter) followers that GB News had yet to announce its “intentions” around Wootton’s future and hit out at “weak and pathetic management” at the controversial channel.
Wootton is expected to return to the UK this week after a trip to his native New Zealand, from where he posted a video over the Christmas holiday in which he addressed unspecified “rumours”, claimed to have been “silenced” and called for a “media revolution”.
He offered a possible foretaste of any future Rumble content in his piece to camera in which promised to “be back” in 2024, telling followers: “You will be such an important part of that for me.”
He said: “Fishy Rishi [Sunak] is destroying the Conservative Party from the inside out. Slippery [Keir] Starmer is planning a communist takeover of the UK. The corporate media is deriding patriots as far-right yobs, and Sly [Sky] News and the British Bashing Corporation [the BBC] have hit a new low with their coverage of the conflict in Israel.”
Since mid-November GB News has – “until further notice” – filled Wootton’s week-nightly slot with appearances from colleague Patrick Christys. It is not clear whether the former Murdoch executive is continuing to collect his £600,000 annual salary, having been suspended over an on-air misogynistic rant by actor-turned-activist Laurence Fox, during which Wootton smirked as Fox made disparaging sexual remarks about political journalist Ava Evans.
That followed months of speculation about Wootton’s future on GB News after a three-year deep investigation by this newspaper into his personal and professional conduct, in which he was exposed as a serial catfish targeting friends and colleagues with attempts to obtain sexual imagery by deception.
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It also comes alongside an ongoing investigation by the Metropolitan Police into various Byline Times’ revelations, including that one alleged victim of the online pseudonym ‘Martin Branning’ was blackmailed over a 10-year period.
Now three sources with knowledge of Wootton’s vision for his future are saying he is looking to life beyond GB News – with Rumble his likely choice of destination following YouTube’s move to demonetise some controversial voices, including that of Russell Brand since rape allegations emerged about the former comedian were in October.
One source said: “Dan has had to acknowledge that his broadcasting career is in limbo and that he may need to go his own way. Rumble is the preferred platform, as it would allow him to make money from adverts and crowdfunding.”
In one of his final GB News broadcasts, Wootton led coverage of the Brand allegations – themselves subject of a separate police probe – and attacked so-called “cancel culture” and “trial by media”.
On 19 September, Wootton hosted three segments addressing Brand, and strongly criticised the demonetisation of Brand’s YouTube channel, running a poll in which Wootton asked viewers to vote on whether it was “wrong” for the platform to cut off Brand’s income stream, with 76% of respondents apparently agreeing.
This newspaper further understands that Wootton is considering teaming up with conservative commentator Calvin Robinson, who himself left GB News in support of Wootton following his suspension.
“Dan and Calvin may go into partnership together,” another sourced told Byline Times. “They both hope to have a base within a certain section of the GB News audience.”
Wootton, once prolific on social media, has been quieter since his suspension, but has kept his X account ticking over with retweets about ‘wokery’ and in support of hard-right Conservative Party figures and ideas.
The journalist has however been posting on social media from various international locations including France and New Zealand. Byline Times has also learned that Wootton travelled to the Grand Cayman, the famous offshore financial centre, in early December.
Dan Wootton was approached for comment.
Tom Latchem and Dan Evans are former colleagues of Dan Wootton’s from the News of the World. None of the sources in this investigation were paid