Greg Dyke, the one-time saviour of ITV’s breakfast show and former director general of the BBC, argues that television presenters are only as good as the content they introduce.
Mr Dyke was a breath of fresh air at the BBC and I respect his opinion. I wonder what he makes of Good Morning Britain?
When TV-AM, ITV’s first breakfast show, was launched in February 1983 it was fronted by the so-called Famous Five – Michael Parkinson, David Frost, Angela Rippon, Anna Ford and Robert Kee.
The programme was a disaster and only rescued by sackings, Mr Dyke’s intervention and Roland Rat. Will Good Morning Britain’s not so Famous Five – Susanna Reid, Ben Shephard, Charlotte Hawkins, Sean Fletcher and Laura Tobin – put up more of a challenge to dull BBC Breakfast than their predecessors Adrian Chiles, Christine Bleakley, Aled Jones, et al?
I agree with Mr Dyke’s silk purse out of a sow’s ear argument, but the over-riding impression for the casual viewer of Good Morning Britain – and at that time of the morning we are all casual viewers – is that its main content seems to centre around the presenters talking to each other. If content is king, and it is, this is neither engaging or interesting.
Andrew Lambert, the director of Newsmaker PR and Video Production Ltd, spent 18 months as a news editor of one of GMB’s predecessor programmes – GMTV. Viewing figures were good, partly through the quality of the presenters – especially Fiona Phillips and Ben Shephard – and partly through the quality of the content via both sofa guests and reporters.
With a fraction of the BBC’s resources GMTV punched above its weight with a team of journalists which included John Stapleton, Sue Jameson, Richard Gaisford, Jonathan Swain and Cordelia Kretzschmar. All of these plus Nick Dixon, Michelle Morrison, Tiffany Royce and Angela Corpe still work at the London Studios. As a viewer I would much prefer to see more of this talented bunch than have to endure the tittle tattle of the desk jockeys.
Oh, and with due respect to Andi Peters, he’s no Cheggers.