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Whataday10,838 posts since 13 Sep 2001
HTV Wales Wales Today
Article in yesterday's Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2020/apr/10/morning-glory-why-channel-4-should-resurrect-the-big-breakfast

Quote:
Morning glory: why Channel 4 should resurrect The Big Breakfast
It was the star-making TV sensation that brought cheeky irreverence to the pre-pre-watershed slot. At a time of crisis, we need it back more than ever

In the current what-the-bollox-ness of 2020, now that we’ve all been sent to our rooms for being naughty, the TV people have decided that we need to be cheered up. Cue an influx of feel-good comedy repeats, box sets, Mr Motivator for some reason, Jamie Oliver for some reason and, finally, finding an excuse to get rid of the Question Time audience (may they never return). But what about afterwards, the When-this-is-over™? Surely, in the new reality, the nation will need a bit of a lift? And surely Piers Morgan is not the man to do it. So, what is the solution? Perhaps, just perhaps the Big Breakfast is exactly what we need in these troubled times.

In late 1992, post-Thatcher Britain had just been punched squarely in the stomach by Black Wednesday, having only just emerged from the crash of the late 80s. People’s spirits were never going to be lifted by the super-serious and terminally beige BBC Breakfast News, a TV-AM that had been read the last rites or, indeed, Channel 4 Daily. Salvation appeared in the unlikely shape of Bob Geldof and his production company, Planet 24 and on 28 September of that year, a TV revolution started.

“Are we still practising, Gab, or is this it?” As a camera operator ran up shakily to two presenters standing outside a double-fronted property (ample parking, canal-side, large garden and optional production office). These were the first words on a show that would change the face of 90s TV. It made household names of Denise Van Outen, Gaby Roslin, Zig, Johnny Vaughan, Mark Lamarr, Paula Yates, Zag, Kelly Brook, Peter Smith-with-the-news, Liza Tarbuck, Melanie Sykes, Lily Savage and “top-bloke” Chris Evans.

You may scoff, you may even blame the show for Chris Evans, but in its heyday, the Big Breakfast trounced its competitors in the ratings, providing an upbeat start to the day before work and school, and bringing about a new style of live television. It was the radio “zoo” format realised on the small screen. Cameras were untethered, the structure messy, the suspiciously awake crew almost permanently in shot, with phone-in games involving swimming pools, randy vicars and early-morning innuendo. It captured the spirit of an increasingly optimistic time. Back then, the future – and the soft furnishings – seemed bright.

Over the next few years and through various changes and relaunches, enthusiasm and audiences dwindled despite spending almost £2m in 1996 (that’s almost 200 toilet rolls in today’s money) on a major refurb of the house, before a return to form with Johnny Vaughan and Denise Van Outen. In 2002, shortly before its 10th anniversary – and shortly before I was due to start work experience – the Big Breakfast was axed and replaced by RI:SE – the decaf soya latte to the Big Breakfast’s bacon, eggs and a kick up the arse. I did work experience at RI:SE instead … and decided to make my career somewhere other than breakfast TV.

Here, then, is an idea from someone shouting into the online ether, hoping a Channel 4 commissioner who is currently working from home is bored enough to be reading this. We need the Big Breakfast now. It solidified Channel 4’s identity from the very start of the day, and injected a cheeky, irreverent flavour into an otherwise dull mix of current affairs and lifestyle. When-this-is-over™, the country will need a pick-me-up, an uplifting alternative to the dryness, doom-mongering and histrionics.

The Big Breakfast was a talent pool for some serious primetime stars … where is today’s talent pool? Pick some up-and-coming unknowns (you can turn them into chat/game show hosts later) and find a suitable house in Leeds. Yes, Leeds is where half of Channel 4 are going to live soon and, believe it or not, some people come from Leeds too. This will give the show a unique identity, a fresh voice and a bigger (possibly hillier) garden for the pool.

Just like a hangover, when we finally emerge blinking into the light, Britain will need a Big Breakfast to line our stomachs for the day ahead. Get cooking, Channel 4.
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Brekkie34,740 posts since 4 Jan 2003 Recently warned
HTV Wales Wales Today
I won't disagree. As mentioned in the Steph Show thread C4 lacks an identity for much of the day and I think the point about C4 stamping that identity on the channel first thing in the morning is very valid.
Stay Home. Protect the NHS. Save Lives.
fanoftv8,380 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Central (West) Midlands Today
I also agree. The idea of using Leeds would be better for a property/location than an equivalent would cost down south. We know that there is an appetite for something light hearted and different in the morning because of the copious amounts of radio shows, whether any of these could be lured over to a lighter TV format though is anyone’s guess.

I wonder if they could trial it with anniversary or celebration shows In September, after all it seems very Big Breakfast to heavily celebrate the 28th anniversary rather than a rounded number.
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Hatton Cross3,542 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Central (West) Midlands Today
My angle - we don't need The Big Breakfast back, but there is a gap in the market for a programme like The Big Breakfast.

Problem is, even from Leeds, with a different set, different name, different presenters, different format/features, different timeslot and running time - it'll still be compared to The Big Breakfast.
And therefore whilst Channel 4 may give it a chance - the viewers expecting a Leeds reboot of TBB, once they see it's not will switch off in droves.
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Andrew14,492 posts since 27 Mar 2001
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Launching something like this and it being a success would be a big ask, and especially when you factor in that The BB was only successful about half the time it was on air, and Ri:se was barely successful at all.

The ratings for Breakfast show that people aren’t really on the look out for something different and are perfectly happy with their plain corn flakes.
Hatton Cross3,542 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Central (West) Midlands Today
Thinking about it - and trying to tap into a market that is there, you just need to get them?

Like Chris Evans did at (the old) Virgin Radio for Sky One years ago.

Put three or four HD remote controlled pan and tilt cameras in the Heart Studio at Global in Leicester Square (I know they already have them, but those are static and for social media use) and put out a siml-cast of the Jamie and Amanda Breakfast show for a couple of hours.
Play the pop video on tv as the same track plays out on the Heart network nationally.

For Heart the cross promotion is huge, and for Channel 4 - a couple of hours of cheap programming, and they can go after advertising specifically hitting the target audience (female 25-45) that is only really served by some limited features on BBC Breakfast and GMB.
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what375 posts since 11 Mar 2018
HTV West Points West
Thinking about it - and trying to tap into a market that is there, you just need to get them?

Like Chris Evans did at (the old) Virgin Radio for Sky One years ago.

Put three or four HD remote controlled pan and tilt cameras in the Heart Studio at Global in Leicester Square (I know they already have them, but those are static and for social media use) and put out a siml-cast of the Jamie and Amanda Breakfast show for a couple of hours.
Play the pop video on tv as the same track plays out on the Heart network nationally.

For Heart the cross promotion is huge, and for Channel 4 - a couple of hours of cheap programming, and they can go after advertising specifically hitting the target audience (female 25-45) that is only really served by some limited features on BBC Breakfast and GMB.

Ugh, as if we need any more exposure to that banal rubbish.
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Whataday10,838 posts since 13 Sep 2001
HTV Wales Wales Today
Launching something like this and it being a success would be a big ask, and especially when you factor in that The BB was only successful about half the time it was on air, and Ri:se was barely successful at all.


It depends how you define success. It was never unprofitable to my knowledge (which is one of the reasons it lasted so long). I agree it's a big ask though, especially with Channel 4's fragile situation at the moment.

Considering ITV owns the format I'm surprised the brand hasn't been revived for weekend mornings (even as a studio based show).
Brekkie34,740 posts since 4 Jan 2003 Recently warned
HTV Wales Wales Today
Yes, wouldn't happen currently but do think it is sad now that so many parts of the commercial TV schedules are about not losing money rather than trying to make money. I've always felt there is a real gap there in the market for something more positive and upbeat in the mornings, just as there was in 1992.

I guess if the show was revived in Leeds they'd probably still need a base in London to catch the stars who wouldn't come up to the house, but that should be easily achieved in exactly the same way they used to do it by having replica sets of things like the bed and the shed to record interviews with people who couldn't be live in the house.
Stay Home. Protect the NHS. Save Lives.
JasonB5,369 posts since 20 Sep 2003
London London
A full episode from when Johnny was absent due to his back in 2000:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lsx6-y1dBpw


The episode before is also on YouTube. Jasmine Lowson was misread at first as Jasmine Lawson.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1WG2hT9hfU
The TV is different too, is that explained at all?


That TV was introduced in September 1998 originally with a blue frame, painted green when Liza Tarbuck joined.
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