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The Big Breakfast

Where life used to start at 7.

SO
Soupnzi London London
Poor Gaby was so woefully miscast. She’d pitched herself as a Parkinson-style interviewer (she mentioned him a lot in the pre-publicity), but this was never her USP. She was always especially good on the BB with actual people (particularly the Family of the Week), so she should have built on that.

Had Big Brother been around in the late 90s, she’d have been a good host of that, though would not have coped with the more risqué moments (as the Cybill Shepherd story above suggests).

Gaby’s show reminds you of the chat wasteland of the mid-90s where Wogan and Aspel had finished and the only replacements were either parodies (Mrs Merton) or sarcastic (Clive Anderson). There only seems to be one clip of Gaby’s show on YouTube. It doesn’t even feel or look like a C4-style chat show in the way that The Last Resort did before, and So Graham Norton would after.




Gaby’s constant invoking of Parky was no doubt one of the factors in the BBC showing his old interviews, which led to the Parkinson revival. So she did him a huge service.
Last edited by Soupnzi on 28 June 2020 12:54pm - 2 times in total
BR
Brekkie Wales Wales Today
Did Gaby start on Children in Need whilst she was on The Big Breakfast or afterwards? She did have Whatever You Want on Saturday nights on the BBC which ran for a couple of series at least, and again was her interacting more with the public than celebrities, and I think did City Hospital live for BBC daytime too which woud have played on her strengths. IIRC she did a few things for EastEnders theme weeks too and didn't she present from Wimbledon for Breakfast one year?
Turns out nobody had 2020 vision.
BA
Bananas
Did Gaby start on Children in Need whilst she was on The Big Breakfast or afterwards? She did have Whatever You Want on Saturday nights on the BBC which ran for a couple of series at least, and again was her interacting more with the public than celebrities, and I think did City Hospital live for BBC daytime too which woud have played on her strengths. IIRC she did a few things for EastEnders theme weeks too and didn't she present from Wimbledon for Breakfast one year?


I think she might have started CIN in 1995, so just a bit of an overlap with her time on the BB.
SW
Steve Williams
Re: Gaby. I wonder if the chat show was offered after she quit or was offered in order to try and force her out and freshen up the show. She was probably far more suited to interviewing the general public than celebs and would have been better off with a show based around that.


I remember William Phillips in Broadcast saying it was baffling that it was full of celebrities when everyone said her skill was working with normal humans. I don't think they were desperate to get her off The Big Breakfast, given she'd been about the one stable element in the previous twelve months after the revolving door of other presenters, and also given what Zoe Ball has said since about how much they tried to mould her in to Gaby II.

I think C4 wanted to keep hold of her when she left The Big Breakfast, because she was also doing The Real Holiday Show which was a big series for them at the time, and I seem to recall she'd signed a two year contract with C4. After the disaster that was her chat show, she did that special with the cast of Friends which was probably more her kind of thing - although critically just as unsuccessful - but then I remember reading that C4 had "loaned" her to the Beeb to do Whatever You Want in early 1997 cos she was still under contract to them. I can't remember her doing anything else for C4 after that.

Gaby’s show reminds you of the chat wasteland of the mid-90s where Wogan and Aspel had finished and the only replacements were either parodies (Mrs Merton) or sarcastic (Clive Anderson). There only seems to be one clip of Gaby’s show on YouTube. It doesn’t even feel or look like a C4-style chat show in the way that The Last Resort did before, and So Graham Norton would after.


True enough, there were a load of articles around the time debating the future of the chat show. Of course Johnny Vaughan very briefly had a chat show on C4 in early 1997, I remember reading at the time he wanted to call it The Bog-Standard Chat Show to emphasise that, but in the end it became Here's Johnny. It was an OK show, pretty Letterman-esque and very much a trial run for Johnny's Big Breakfast bits of business, as he did investigations into things like mullets and "the pub shoe", but it didn't much ratings-wise, he has always been a bit of an acquired taste. It was OK it didn't get another series, though, as he joined The Big Breakfast six months later.

When they did the TFI Friday revival a few years ago, I was reminded of the Last Resort revival they did in 1997, which everyone's forgotten about. They did a clip show to mark its tenth anniversay - which was the first I'd ever seen of it, being too young to watch it the first time round - and then on Christmas Eve, as part of C4's fifteenth anniversary celebrations, they did a whole new episode. I enjoyed it but it got a bit ignored among the big shows on other channels, and Jonathan Ross' career was probably at its lowest ebb at the time, so seemingly hardly anyone even knew it was happening.

Did Gaby start on Children in Need whilst she was on The Big Breakfast or afterwards? She did have Whatever You Want on Saturday nights on the BBC which ran for a couple of series at least, and again was her interacting more with the public than celebrities, and I think did City Hospital live for BBC daytime too which woud have played on her strengths. IIRC she did a few things for EastEnders theme weeks too and didn't she present from Wimbledon for Breakfast one year?


As mentioned, her first Children in Need was in 1995, that year she did it with Tel and the regular co-host Sue Cook, then Cook left and Terry and Gaby did it together. As suggested, she was pretty much entirely on the Beeb after Whatever You Want, she did quite a lot of shows for them, including Television's Greatest Hits, the light-as-a-feather archive clip show.

The 'stEnders stuff was a bit interesting, as you say she did a couple of weeks of live shows on daytimes around the turn of the century. That then spun off into something called TV Revealed, which I can see from Genome had two runs in 2000 - https://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/schedules/bbcone/london/2000-05-30#at-10.00

This was a live show where Gaby (and Nick Knowles, who I'd forgotten was on it) would be in Elstree nosing around what was going on and introducing a few clip packages, as you can see there was a phone-in as well, it was all a bit ragged but they something found some interesting archive stuff, and you had to get your archive kicks where you could find them those days. They would usually be somewhere on the 'stEnders set but I do remember at least one show they did on the Kilroy set as that was also filmed in Elstree. It was quite a pleasingly ragged show in terms of its production.
BU
buster London London
The first one was a bit of a disaster - clearly some major issues at the start as the Weather Show filler was unscheduled, then when it did go on air it was all stretched and then squashed and had a brief breakdown at the start:
JB
JasonB London London
Is there any information about this American version of the show circa 1995/1996 as seen in the 1000th show from 06:58?
Have you washed your hands?
HC
Hatton Cross Central (West) Midlands Today
Safe to say 'The Big Day' never got beyond the unbroadcast pilot stage.

Seems like the production company worked on the show off their own bat, before hawking it around the networks, with zero success.
Readers are warned that this post contains some flash photography
VM
VMPhil Granada North West Today
I thought the FX show Breakfast Time was the American version of The Big Breakfast?

SO
Soupnzi London London
I thought the FX show Breakfast Time was the American version of The Big Breakfast?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yjdk5urfLDQ


I think it was. When it moved to the actual Fox channels in autumn 1996 as ‘Fox After Breakfast’ I remember reading a report in Entertainment Weekly saying it was based on the BB. You can see all the hallmarks of the show (puppets, OBs, house setting, wacky camerawork) in the above clip and this one

Watching this in the States in 1996 it felt more like the original BB than the current BB did at that time
Last edited by Soupnzi on 4 July 2020 1:56pm
BA
Bananas
They've even got Russell Grant on it! He was a bit of an obsession for Chris Evans at one point in 1994.
SW
Steve Williams
They've even got Russell Grant on it! He was a bit of an obsession for Chris Evans at one point in 1994.


Yes! Russell Grant was doing a live daytime show for ITV called Russell Grant's All-Star Show in 1994, which was a bit of a shambles. Evans watched it one day and thought it was brilliant, and talked about it the next morning, and eventually he ended up doing a whole feature about it, showing his favourite bits and even talking to Russell on the phone about it. Would love to see that again.

35 days later

JB
JasonB London London
A full episode of "Snap" from August 1997 which aired outside of The Big Breakfast at 6pm presented by Denise Van Outen:

Have you washed your hands?

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