BBC Breakfast is brilliant. I’ve tried Today on Radio 4 but the upper-middle class presenters (who all speak reeeeeeally sloooooowly) tend to make my early morning coma even worse than it already is.
I’ve no idea what’s on Channel 4 any more, since RI:SE was axed and the lovely Zora Suleman removed from our screens. The days of the Big Breakfast are long gone. GMTV is all soft-furnishings, cheesy grins and Ben Sheppard, so clearly it’s BBC1 all the way.
The set up is a big screen, a sofa, suits and presenters. Quite a sparse scene, so the presenters have to do all the work. Rather than come on like your childless Uncle and Auntie as they do over on GMTV, the BBC presenters look as knackered as you are. This results in them frequently fluffing their lines and wearing expressions that say ‘what the giddy fuckfuck am I doing out of bed at this ungodly hour?’.
Here’s a look at the ones I see in my window of viewing before I’m herded onto the cattle truck, with breakfast still dripping down my chin.
Sian’s the most straightforward of the bunch. She’s a no bullshit presenter from the old school. Slick, professional and focused, she’s the adhesive that keeps this shambles running, and may God bless her for that.
Bill’s apparently an amateur beekeeper, chicken-lover and fan of Wycombe Wanderers. This trio of outside interests clearly play on his mind when he’s called upon to make a link, as he becomes so bewildered by his autocue that he often umms and aahs over his actions like a confused old man. The inevitable shouting from production ringing in his ears is clearly too much for him to take and his face relaxes into a dazed sleepiness. He looks like he should be sitting in his pyjamas reading the headlines from a tabloid – like a Dad trying to wake up slowly as his wife witters on about shoes.
Somehow Declan manages to look even more shattered than Billy Turnbull. His wry humour makes the economy seem fleetingly comprehensible, but then as soon as he’s gone, like a mirage, your understanding dissolves and you’re back to blaming the credit crunch on some American mortgage or something like that.
Chris is either on very strong uppers or is a child dressed up as a man. He should be intensely irritating, with his perpetually chipper attitude to sport and his sharp and cutting mockery of our hero Bill, but for some reason he gets away with it. He’s like the short kid at school who didn’t get bullied because he was a half-decent striker. You want to dislike him but you just can’t.
Last on our whistlestop tour of morning mutterers is the lovely Susanna Reid. Susanne stood in for Sian when she was on holiday. She’s like Sian but more distant. Her valium-eyes droop low and her slow, suttering speech patterns make you feel like your sitting with a Vicodin-drenched housewife somewhere in suburban Surrey with a hot water bottle. It’s a strange way to start the day when Susanna’s at the helm.
I’ve missed off the other business bloke who always strikes me as stern and sarcastic. I’ve also omitted the spaced out weathergirl who always stands, inexplicably, in the Blue Peter garden. Even when it’s pissing it down with rain. And I’ve missed off some others. Apologies to those not on the list. I’m sure you’ll consider packing it all in when you realise you’ve been left out.
God bless BBC Breakfast, God and the Queen.