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In the bag

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David Kermode | 15:42 UK time, Friday, 4 August 2006

When I tell people what I do, there are a few questions I always face.

Breakfast logo"What are the presenters like in real life?" is one. "What do they talk about in those bits at the end of the show when the title music is playing?" is another. "And does anyone really bother to e-mail, text or call you?" is also a regular question.

The answer to that one is yes, thousands. And do we pay any attention? Yes, we'd be mad not to.

There are some mornings where it's obvious, from the relatively low traffic that no particular story has really got people going. They tend to be the days where the viewing figures are a bit lower than usual.

There are others, like today, when we are overwhelmed. They tend to be the days for bumper audiences.

And what got everybody talking this morning? Plastic bags.

Declan Curry was live at Tesco, where they're going to give customers Clubcard points for recying their carrier bags. The chief executive, Sir Terry Leahy, joined us live and found himself answering not just Declan's questions, but also those of our viewers.

plastic.jpgWe have a producer dedicated to sifting through the e-mails, texts and calls. The best ones are picked out, then sent on to Declan's Blackberry.

Interactivity isn't to everyone's tastes of course. Some people tell me they turn off when we read out viewer's e-mails.

But I think it's really important for a number of reasons. Firstly, a show like Breakfast has to be in tune with its audience to be a success. What better way could there be of knowing whether or not you're connecting with the people watching?

Secondly, we've developed our Interactive offering over the last year or so. We realised that opinions aren't necessarily that interesting, where as experiences generally are. We've also found that some of the most pertinent questions can come from our viewers and they're often that much more challenging for our interviewees to answer because they're real questions from real people.

Thirdly, we’ve actually covered quite a few news stories that came through a viewer e-mail or text. We even shut down an internet bank for a day, when a viewer alerted us to a security flaw.

Interactivity isn't new of course. Watchdog has just celebrated its 25th birthday and people have been writing to us here at Breakfast for years. It's just much easier now, with modern communication.

So, is there any point in e-mailing, texting or calling us? You bet. And, yes, every little helps.

David Kermode is editor of BBC Breakfast

Comments

Will you tell us why you chopped off the few inches of the news readers tables that protected many hard of hearing ( plus background row haters)from the paper waving and hand gesturing presenters, therefore ruining the subtitles that we pay for through our taxes. Will you order them to stop their excitement at being paid to read an autocue, or limit their dose of `Speed` as it is ridiculous. Members of the public don`t gyrate their hands while they are speaking, if they did no one would listen to them.

One persons little while could be minutes, another person could take forever.

Some people tell me then turn off when we read out viewer's emails

That'd be me too, I'm afraid. If you're covering an international crisis in the Middle East, does it really help to hear from Benjamin in Basingstoke that both sides should stop the fighting and start the talking.

Oh, and interesting use of apostrophes there. Don't tell me it's a typo...

  • 4.
  • At 09:35 AM on 05 Aug 2006,
  • Dave Stewart wrote:

It's just that when I watch TV I want to hear the opinions of experts in their field and professional journalists. Hearing the opinions of white van man or cab drivers read out by top television presenters is often embarrassing.

If I wanted the opinion of the average Joe I'd switch off the TV and go out into the street.

See I love hearing what everyone thinks about subjects that are close to my heart.

Sure, when watching factual programmes we need the facts and we need to hear the views of the experts in the field, (be it on carrier bags or the casuatlies of war)to give us their considered opinion.

But, haveing said that, I also love to hear what other viewers think. Sometimes I'm aplauding and sometimes I'm shouting at the screen but it all adds to the debate for me.

So what do they talk about in those bits at the end of the show when the title music is playing then?

  • 7.
  • At 01:37 PM on 07 Aug 2006,
  • Phil Topping wrote:

Isn't it ironic there are people complaining about hearing the general publics comments on Breakfast on a blog which is designed for the comments of the general public.

Er....?

  • 8.
  • At 05:21 PM on 08 Aug 2006,
  • Anbika wrote:

I use to write to some famous personality, when i used to write before i would believe that they would write me one day but no, i was totaly wrong. i never got any answer, but now i write them because i know they don't reply us but they read us.
but i want to know why don't they reply when we have written so many questions? don't you think that they should give special time to thier fans or well wisher?
famous personality are not responsilble to their well wisher, am i right?

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