Wednesday 21 March 2018

Breakfast for two

Breakfast television lives or dies by the quality of the presenters and the "chemistry" between them.

*Frank Bough and Selina Scott - Breakfast Time (BBC): The BBC's inaugural breakfast show paired the veteran sports presenter Bough with pretty and sweet Scott and they ushered in the sort of relaxed, conversational style that's become so common on early morning TV today. Later the image was shattered when a Sunday tabloid revealed that the cuddly, avuncular Bough enjoyed the company of prostitutes and was a user of cocaine.

*David Frost and Anna Ford - Good Morning Britain (ITV): Breakfast Time narrowly beat ITV in the race to make the first early morning magazine show and despite luring presenters of the gravitas of Frost and Ford - as well as Michael Parkinson and Angela Rippon - the programme floundered. Its nadir came in 1987 when an industrial strike meant the show was made with a skeleton technical staff.

*Anne Diamond and Nick Owen - Good Morning . . . With Anne And Nick (ITV): A lack of noticeable rapport between the presenters hampered the show's impact, and Diamond was often accused of dumbing down major stories. When the Berlin Wall fell, she suggested that East Germans would have a better choice of shops in the West, leading her critics to suggest that she hadn't fully grasped the significance of the event.

*Chris Evans and Paula Yates - The Big Breakfast (Channel 4): Although Gaby Roslin was Evans' actual co-presenter, most remember his connection with Yates whose "on the bed" interviews made for much-watch television. And her flirtatious encounter with future partner Michael Hutchence has passed into broadcasting folklore. In its heyday, the show was irreverent, fun and a big ratings success.

*Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan - This Morning (ITV): The chemistry between this pair was no doubt enhanced by the fact that they are married. Madeley also had the tendency to inadvertently divulge details of their private life, much to the annoyance of Finnigan. The mix of human-interest stories and showbiz proved to be a ratings winner.

*Mark Cagney and Maura Derrane - Ireland AM: Ireland's reigning Television Personality of the Year, Cagney, has a relaxed, convivial attitude that makes him a favourite with housewives of a certain age. Derrane, another graduate from Irish-language TV, has proved to be his finest co-host to date. Meanwhile, Ireland's first breakfast show is going from strength to strength despite being made on limited resources.

*Eamonn Holmes and Lorna Dunkley - Sunrise: Sky's image overhaul at the end of last year saw the introduction of a breakfast programme hosted by GMTV veteran Holmes and Sky news reader Dunkley. It has yet to find its feet and has been criticised for dumbing down serious stories. The ratings have been poor, leading Sky chiefs to ponder a move for Grainne Seoige.

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