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Dan Wootton: Who is the prominent TV presenter and tabloid journalist?

 (ES Composite)
(ES Composite)

Dan Wootton and Laurence Fox have been suspended from GB News as the network tries to quell the backlash following misogynistic remarks aired on Wootton's broadcast.

The news channel said yesterday: “GB News has suspended Dan Wootton following comments made on his programme by Laurence Fox last night. This follows our decision earlier today to formally suspend Mr Fox. We are conducting a full investigation.”

The most recent controversy started on Tuesday night (September 26), when Fox went on the Dan Wootton Tonight programme on GB News to debate remarks made about men’s mental health by political journalist Ava Evans.

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Fox demeaned the journalist personally and said he would ignore her in a bar rather than listening to her argument.

After calling Evans a “little woman”, he continued by saying, “Show me a single self-respecting man that would like to climb into bed with that woman ever, ever, who wasn’t an incel.

“We need powerful, strong amazing women who make great points for themselves. We don’t need these sort of feminist 4.0. They’re pathetic and embarrassing. Who’d want to shag that?”

Fox continued, laughing along with Wootton, “Sorry, it's true, though.”

Wootton has since issued an apology on X, formerly known as Twitter, admitting his reaction was 'unacceptable' after viewers noted he appeared to be smirking.He said: "I want to reiterate my regret over last night’s exchange with Laurence on GB News. Having looked at the footage, I can see how inappropriate my reaction to his totally unacceptable remarks appears to be and want to be clear that I was in no way amused by the comments. I reacted as I did out of shock and surprise in an off guard moment while working out how to respond as he continued to speak by searching for tweets @AvaSantina had sent earlier in the day while having them read out in my ear at the same time.

"However, I should have intervened immediately to challenge offensive and misogynistic remarks. I apologise unreservedly for what was a very unfortunate lapse in judgement on my part under the intense pressure of a bizarre exchange. I know I should have done better. I'm devastated that I let down the team and our supportive GBN family. We seek to tackle the issue and not the person, which I intend to stress again on air tonight."

Wootton is already under investigation for historical misconduct allegations by both his former employers at News UK and MailOnline, which has suspended him. As a result, three different media organisations are currently investigating him for a number of reasons.

But who is the 40-year-old presenter?

Who is Dan Wootton?

Wootton has made a name for himself in the media as a prominent voice at tabloid newspapers and TV channels like GB News.

The presenter and columnist is facing allegations that he used a pseudonym and offered colleagues money for sexual material, claims he has branded as “simply untrue”.

The publishers of MailOnline, where he writes a column, and his previous employers at The Sun newspaper said they are looking into allegations against the New Zealand-born journalist.

During his time at The Sun, Wootton was best known for breaking stories, including the withdrawal of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex from royal duties.

In January 2020, the newspaper published a front-page article with his byline which revealed that Harry and Meghan were reviewing their roles.

The couple later announced they intended to step back as “senior” members of the Royal Family, become financially independent, but still supporting the Queen while splitting their time between the UK and North America.

Wootton also became embroiled in a legal battle with Johnny Depp over an article published in April 2018, while he was the newspaper’s executive editor, which referred to Depp as a “wife-beater” in the headline.

The actor filed a libel claim against News Group Newspapers (NGN) — the owner of The Sun — which resulted in a 16-day trial in which the judge ruled that the content of the article was proven to be “substantially true”.

In January 2021, Wootton announced he would be leaving his job as executive editor at The Sun, where he had previously edited the paper’s Bizarre column.

He then become a columnist for MailOnline, owned by DMG Media, which also publishes the Daily Mail and Metro newspapers.

He also hosts his own show on GB News, titled Dan Wootton Tonight, which explores daily news stories and hosts interviews.

Previously, he was showbiz editor at the now-defunct News of the World and appeared on ITV’s Lorraine as the showbiz correspondent.

In a MailOnline column published in May, Wootton claimed former This Morning presenter Phillip Schofield tried “multiple times” to have him fired as a contributor on Lorraine.

He has also previously suggested The Sun knew about Schofield’s relationship with a younger ITV colleague but said all he could “legally” write in 2019 while working for the newspaper was that a staff member moved from This Morning to Loose Women “despite a previous close friendship” with Schofield.

In an interview with the BBC, Schofield dismissed the claims that he tried to have Wootton dismissed from ITV, saying the accusations had come from Wootton’s “utter, total hatred” for him.

“You can’t do it. There is no way that any presenter on one show can get a contributor fired from another because they don’t like the fact they’re in the building,” Schofield said to the BBC.

“I don’t know where this came from, that I have more power than anybody else. Bless Dan, there is a lot of things that I think he said out of hatred for me.”