TV Cream

TV: B is for...

Breakfast Time

"Frank Bough said 'Thank you! You're a Prince!'. Must say, they're a smashing team on that show."“IT’S 6.30AM, Monday 17 January 1983,” proclaimed the nation’s favourite uncle from within a cosy pullover and fetching slacks, “you’re watching the very first edition of BBC Television’s BREAKFAST TIME, Britain’s first ever regular early morning television programme. A very good morning to you all!” So began easy-on-the-ear (FRANK BOUGH’s chocolate tones), easy-on-the-eye (SELINA SCOTT’s dresses) small screen side-order to your tea and toast par excellence. Every day Frank and Selina would materialise from within plush red leather sofas, wicker tables and steaming pots of coffee to pretty much set in stone what UK breakfast telly would be like now and forever. And it was ace. Helping to clear the plates were NICK ROSS (third banana, serious features, something for the young mums); FRANCIS WILSON (weather window, knitted jumpers, something for the older ladies); GLYNN CHRISTIAN (cooking, related to that bloke off Mutiny On The Bounty); RUSSELL GRANT (horoscopes, more knitted jumpers, twat); DEBBIE RIX (read the news); the GREEN GODDESS (aka Diana Moran, leading commuters at London railway stations through fitness regimes at 6.45am); DAVID ICKE (sport, still more knitted jumpers); LYNN FAULDS WOOD (explaning why plates broke when you dropped them) MIKE SMITH (pop news for ver kids); and later DEBBIE GREENWOOD (former Miss Great Britain, Selina’s replacement) and GUY MICHELMORE (Cliff’s son, action man, holiday stand-in). Pissed all over TV-am from a great height (until GREG DYKE showed up). Went to France for the 40th anniversary of D-Day in “let’s get serious now” mode. Went round the country’s seaside resorts in “let’s rip off Greg Dyke” mode. Some bad personnel decisions (i.e. STEVE BLACKNELL becoming full-time entertainment correspondent). Some great personnel decisions (i.e. BOB WILSON taking over from Icke). Then – oh no! Half-arsed full-scale revamp in 1986 ruined everything, with the couches ditched for desks and everyone put into suits. Plus JEREMY PAXMAN joined. Previous format now deemed “too silly” for a country self-evidently desperate for hard news and nothing but over egg soldiers. Frank looked unhappy. Likes of JOHN STAPLETON, KIRSTY WARK and JILL DANDO shipped in. Frank quit. Axe fell when whole show mutated into BBC BREAKFAST NEWS in 1989. Everyone kept calling it Breakfast Time, though.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Glenn A

    July 12, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    The early version was like a breakfast version of Nationwide and was ten times more popular than Good Morning Britain, which seemed to major on long interviews with Tony Benn at 8 am, when people really wanted a short news bulletin and some happier features than Benn discussing the future of socialism with David Frost. Breakfast Time has definitely been an influence on GMTV, which continues its mix of news, weather and lighter articles on the other side( as we used to say).

  2. Dave Nightingale

    July 13, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    And…cue Frank in his cardie…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h10kGNZN4HA

  3. Ian Jones

    July 13, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    That’s TV history, right there. Really wonderful stuff.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

"Brian's Binatone is great for his cassettes!"

To Top