« Topics
1234...131415
Woodpecker430 posts since 19 Jan 2018
Central (West) Midlands Today
I’m still not a massive fan of the format - I think with interviews it can often be better if both presenters ‘share the load’, so to speak - but I can certainly see how it has merit.

I think generally, fixed bulletins can work well with one presenter, whereas rolling news (especially during the day) is often better with two.


I always like double-headed news presentation, I think it's a shame we don't have it on any bulletin at the moment because it seems a bit warmer. Of course, the high water mark of double-headed presentation was in 1985-86 when all three of the main BBC bulletins used it.


And likewise in 2008-09, when all three main ITV bulletins used it. The closest you currently get to double-headed presentation on a network bulletin is, of course, Channel 4 News. I do think it's quite telling that whenever there's some large-scale breaking news, the news channels often go double-headed, when normally they'd just have one presenter. I always thought it was a shame when Sky phased it out in 2007, bringing in that dire main presenter/side presenter format during the day, with the equally as awful 15-minute newswheel in the evenings. Of course, they've brought it back since, albeit only for a few hours a day, and even then it's inconsistent.
Last edited by Woodpecker on 4 April 2019 2:01pm - 2 times in total
Newsroom1,640 posts since 2 Mar 2005
The first time Jill lead Breakfast News was the Russian Coup happened as I mentioned back in 2018. Paul Burden took the second seat. She impressed on management so much, she was catapulted to the senior presenting team.

On the subject of Buerk and Lewis... I found this on an old thread on here.

*
Formerly News Room
2
UKnews and 623058 gave kudos
JamesLaverty1925118 posts since 28 Feb 2017
Central (East) East Midlands Today
It was also the time John Humphrys finally stopped appearing, because although he'd given it up on a full-time basis when he joined Today back in 1987, for the next decade he still read the news on a part-time basis and was presumably contracted for X appearances a year.

That's interesting as the clip they always show on '90s documentaries is that of John Humphrys reporting on the 'Battle of Britpop'.


From what I can tell from Genome and YouTube clips, Humphrys and Witchell tended to be the main presenters of the Six if both Martyn and Anna were unavailable, think they were always lead presenter when they were on during this era. Both occasionally presented the Nine as well, although I think Witchell was the more common third presenter come the end of the era, with Humphrys the preferred choice at the beginning. Think he was officially the third choice in the previous era but not entirely sure, as I wasn't born until 1992. Humphrys seems to have also been a relief presenter on the One, although it's been suggested that there was no system to the One in the Virtual era if Stourton wasn't around, with Webb only becoming deputy presenter around the end of this period, and so whoever was available would present the bulletin.
JamesLaverty1925118 posts since 28 Feb 2017
Central (East) East Midlands Today
Was Martyn axed then in 1999 or did he leave by his own free will (possibly because of their not being enough "good news").


There was quite a big presenter shake-up in the 1999 revamp, quite a few familiar names disappeared, including Andrew Harvey and Ed Stourton. It was also the time John Humphrys finally stopped appearing, because although he'd given it up on a full-time basis when he joined Today back in 1987, for the next decade he still read the news on a part-time basis and was presumably contracted for X appearances a year.

The 1999 revamp line-up took a while to sort out, the papers were often reporting on the runners and riders - as mentioned earlier, Jill Dando might have been involved but they couldn't decide what she'd do so she decided to just leave, and I don't think Huw was the first choice for the Six either.

I do remember when Martyn Lewis stopped doing the Nine in 1993, there were stories in the papers that the Beeb were trying to put him on Breakfast News as there was nowhere else for him to go, but eventually they put him on the Six.

There's some interesting stuff in Peter Sissons' autobiography, seemingly Michael Beurk and Martyn Lewis didn't get on because they were basically left to sort out the rota themselves - as long as one of them was doing it, they didn't mind - and Beurk was convinced Lewis was deliberately getting in quickly and nabbing his preferred slots before Beurk could have his pick. Sissons says he and Beurk got on better but they still sorted out the rota themselves, leading to Sissons once having to read the news for 21 consecutive nights while Beurk went on holiday.


I always found it weird they shook the presenting line up for the Six and Nine in 1994. Surely when the Virtual look was introduced would have made more sense.

*Edit* Just seen Peter Sissons left Question Time at the end of 1993, so that makes a little more sense if he was switching bulletins then.
Inspector Sands13,690 posts since 25 Aug 2004

Personally not a huge fan of newsreaders alternating stories or even sentences, and I think that's why (along with budgets) many bulletins have become single headed.

Look at the camera

Look at your script
Look at your co presenter
.... and repeat
2
Brekkie and Woodpecker gave kudos
itsrobert6,291 posts since 23 Mar 2001
Granada North West Today
It was also the time John Humphrys finally stopped appearing, because although he'd given it up on a full-time basis when he joined Today back in 1987, for the next decade he still read the news on a part-time basis and was presumably contracted for X appearances a year.

That's interesting as the clip they always show on '90s documentaries is that of John Humphrys reporting on the 'Battle of Britpop'.


From what I can tell from Genome and YouTube clips, Humphrys and Witchell tended to be the main presenters of the Six if both Martyn and Anna were unavailable, think they were always lead presenter when they were on during this era. Both occasionally presented the Nine as well, although I think Witchell was the more common third presenter come the end of the era, with Humphrys the preferred choice at the beginning. Think he was officially the third choice in the previous era but not entirely sure, as I wasn't born until 1992. Humphrys seems to have also been a relief presenter on the One, although it's been suggested that there was no system to the One in the Virtual era if Stourton wasn't around, with Webb only becoming deputy presenter around the end of this period, and so whoever was available would present the bulletin.

In terms of the One, initially John Tusa was the main deputy for Ed Stourton; later, Justin Webb. However, I definitely remember John Humphrys, Jennie Bond and Huw Edwards presenting it occasionally during the virtual era. And obviously Anna Ford at least once, as demonstrated earlier in the thread.
itsrobert6,291 posts since 23 Mar 2001
Granada North West Today

Personally not a huge fan of newsreaders alternating stories or even sentences, and I think that's why (along with budgets) many bulletins have become single headed.

Look at the camera

Look at your script
Look at your co presenter
.... and repeat



Personally not a huge fan of newsreaders alternating stories or even sentences, and I think that's why (along with budgets) many bulletins have become single headed.

Look at the camera

Look at your script
Look at your co presenter
.... and repeat

Elstree triangle?

Oh I absolutely detest that style. Why did it become so fashionable to have both presenters in shot all the time, sharing the sentences between them? I don't know what the intention is, but it makes for uncomfortable viewing as far as I'm concerned. I'd much rather one presenter be in shot at a time.
2
Brekkie and chevron gave kudos
Woodpecker430 posts since 19 Jan 2018
Central (West) Midlands Today
Look at the camera

Look at your script
Look at your co presenter
.... and repeat

Elstree triangle?

Oh I absolutely detest that style. Why did it become so fashionable to have both presenters in shot all the time, sharing the sentences between them? I don't know what the intention is, but it makes for uncomfortable viewing as far as I'm concerned. I'd much rather one presenter be in shot at a time.


It can look very uncomfortable at times, especially on slow news days: Wink



As for why they have both presenters in shot, I suppose often it's just done to give a wider variety of shots; you could probably also argue it brings a sense of familiarity and reassurance - I'm sure some marketing type somewhere would tell you it's better to have both Mummy and Daddy tell you about the horrible things going on in some far away country. If you think about it, it's almost like a family - you've got Mum and Dad as the reassuring newsreaders, the pretty daughter doing the weather, sometimes the hunky son presenting sport, and then the reporters are various other family members/friends/neighbours. Actually, I reckon there could be a sitcom idea there... Laughing

On that note, you might find this article about TVNZ's news an interesting read. It bemoans the perceived dumbing down, including the whole two presenters in shot thing we're discussing; among other things, it suggests that the bulletins follow a comedic arc, with the two main presenters as a couple, the weather presenter as a sort of jester, and the reporters as 'lighter characters', designed to reinforce the relationship between the two leads.
3
paul_hadley, Rkolsen and itsrobert gave kudos
itsrobert6,291 posts since 23 Mar 2001
Granada North West Today
This is exactly why I can't stand BBC Breakfast any more. There's a whole "family" of very smug, full-of-themselves presenters and reporters and the whole performance comes across as contrived. Interestingly, I don't feel the same way about GMB. I think the difference is that Breakfast pretends to be one big, happy family whereas the presenters on GMB don't give a stuff whether they insult or offend each other. Somehow, the latter is more tolerable - for me at least. They just act normally which is quite refreshing.
3
Spencer For Hire, Brekkie and Woodpecker gave kudos
VMPhil9,714 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
If you think about it, it's almost like a family - you've got Mum and Dad as the reassuring newsreaders, the pretty daughter doing the weather, sometimes the hunky son presenting sport, and then the reporters are various other family members/friends/neighbours.

Hahaha… never thought about it that way but you're definitely onto something.
1
Woodpecker gave kudos
Brekkie31,684 posts since 4 Jan 2003
HTV Wales Wales Today
This is exactly why I can't stand BBC Breakfast any more. There's a whole "family" of very smug, full-of-themselves presenters and reporters and the whole performance comes across as contrived. Interestingly, I don't feel the same way about GMB. I think the difference is that Breakfast pretends to be one big, happy family whereas the presenters on GMB don't give a stuff whether they insult or offend each other. Somehow, the latter is more tolerable - for me at least. They just act normally which is quite refreshing.

I'm certainly far more comfortable in my family when we're insulting and offending each other rather than just playing happy families.

Anyway, not sure how we got to that topic but talking about TV families I thought the input from Nick Ross was very interesting here and one consequence of most bulletins and indeed many shows switching to single headed presentation is that you're not really getting the familar double acts of news and factual programming you once did. I guess The One Show is the exception there, though you still get random Friday and quite frankly sometimes it would probably be more watchable with no presenters.
I preferred the internet when it had a sense of humour.
1
Woodpecker gave kudos