BBC BLOGS - The Editors
« Previous | Main | Next »

Breakfast chat

David Kermode | 16:00 UK time, Friday, 8 December 2006

Heading home last night, I felt guilty about two things.

Breakfast logoHaving read all the comments in response to my blog, I'd chosen to ignore the postings about the irritation felt by some of our viewers about presenters 'chatting'.

This theme crops up from time to time. So what I should really have said is that I make no apology for it. It's about tone, it's about us feeling 'real' in the morning, rather than feeling 'sterile' (which used to be a regular complaint). I'm sorry if it irritates, but I think it's key to the warmth of our show. I suspect this is a hornet's nest, which is why I chose not to address it yesterday. But that was probably a mistake, so there you go.

The second thing? I was accused of 'announcing' our decision to go early with decorations, rather than blogging for opinion. This is probably a fair point, but we were responding to the sheer number of e-mails and texts we'd already received to the programme site.

Anyway, I feel better now.

PS: I have received a bauble from the editor of GMTV, who tells me it was left over from his grotto. This is very kind of him, but I would have preferred some of the money he chucks at his viewers each morning to persuade them to watch.

I feel much better now.


  • 1.
  • At 04:53 PM on 08 Dec 2006,
  • David wrote:

"I would have preferred some of the money he chucks at his viewers each morning to persuade them to watch.

I feel much better now."

At least the money he chucks at people come from his shareholders and advertisers rather than from the licence-fee paying public.

  • 2.
  • At 04:56 PM on 08 Dec 2006,
  • David wrote:

"I would have preferred some of the money he chucks at his viewers each morning to persuade them to watch.

I feel much better now."

At least the money he chucks at people come from his shareholders and advertisers rather than from the licence-fee paying public.

  • 3.
  • At 05:34 PM on 08 Dec 2006,
  • Michael Sanders wrote:

Actually the money he chucks at people comes from you (you as in the public not you personally) in the form of telephone competitions and advertising. Advertising on TV or radio or in magzines etc is paid for us the public when you buy ANY product. At least with the licence fee there is some form of accountability!

  • 4.
  • At 08:38 PM on 08 Dec 2006,
  • James wrote:

I was flicking through a TV paper from about six years ago and wondered who was presenting various shows. I saw who was presenting Breakfast back then and couldn't possibly imagine them in the role.

They're on TV daily now, but I thought (albeit briefly) they couldn't have been on there for long. Breakfast would be thoroughly boring if Bill couldn't do anything but read the news.

  • 5.
  • At 08:30 AM on 09 Dec 2006,
  • Jack wrote:

Aren't you a bit young for this job? Who let you out of the Newsround studio?

  • 6.
  • At 09:36 AM on 09 Dec 2006,
  • CobblyWorlds wrote:

One the previous blog Ian said:

"The correct day to put up your decorations is the day YOU decide to do it: Who cares what anyone else says !"

I second that. I don't do Xmas, but don't begrudge the enjoyment of those who want to.

With regards 'chat' it's no more than a tiny part of the programme and succeeds in making it a relaxed opening to many people's days. The gradual change in tone and content throughout from 06:00 to 09:00 (and after) does, I suspect, fit the shifting demographic throughout that time-range.

I've not got a problem with Breakfast at all. The last thing I need first thing in the morning is a stern po-faced programme. Change it to that and your viewing figures will nose-dive.

Some people just like moaning and look for any opportunity to do so. Most people who are happy with the programme won't bother to post here.

Aye, but at least the money is used to pay for decent content.

Anyway, to wake his public up he could always chat about the thousands of Carers who can't get out to do Xmas shopping to-day because they are looking after their disabled children or parents....and anyway...what's the point of Xmas shopping when Carers have such little funds to live on.

  • 9.
  • At 06:27 PM on 09 Dec 2006,
  • J Westerman wrote:

Re 1.(David 08 Dec 2006)
David: do you mean us – the people who buy the goods sold by the advertisers and who also watch the BBC?

  • 10.
  • At 06:34 PM on 09 Dec 2006,
  • Allie wrote:

Why bother `blogging for opinion'? Just do what instinct tells you the majority of your viewers - or potential viewers - want. Bloggers and people who respond to blogs aren't a representative selection of the population. They're already getting too much credence.

  • 11.
  • At 09:56 PM on 09 Dec 2006,
  • PeeVeeAh wrote:

I'm glad you feel better now, David! (rhetorical)

On the 'chatting' front: Why is it that you feel your presenters need to impose their spontaneous and unscripted personalities on the information-seeking public? Surely if 'entertainment' is the primary viewing aim, then the watcher will choose any number of freeview alternatives. I'm dismayed that this viral symptom has seemed to spread to 'News24 as well! One way of preventing infection is to ensure that newsreaders don't go on air in face-to-face pairs. As soon as the professional delineation of roles and stories is blurred, the viewer is at risk of 'ad hoc'-isms of the third-generation kind :-/

As for your second reflection: The statistical merit of basing design decisions on blog feedback must be shaky, to say the least! It's well known that there are always folk (like me!) who make their opinions felt - but the vast majority will never tell a supplier that they won't 'prefer' them again when they fail to please the last time. It is therefore likely that the true picture is far less supportive of your change in timing than you believe> Perhaps?

  • 12.
  • At 07:54 PM on 10 Dec 2006,
  • Elizabeth wrote:

The news can be delivered in an engaging way without the need to encourage your presenters to make fools of themselves.

How many times must I listen to endless good mornings/thank you's (for nothing other than presenting an item)/false laughter and mundane boring chat. If you are short of things to say cut the show by an hour.

  • 13.
  • At 09:55 PM on 10 Dec 2006,
  • Ryan wrote:

Last week your presenters were dribbling on about round-robins. I was completely lost. Why do you explain what you're talking about before devoting 5 minutes of airtime to it?

It really annoyed me.

  • 14.
  • At 07:10 AM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Richard Morris wrote:

Agree with post 7 with the addition that most of the chat is toe-curlingly dire. For example, today at 06.18 where everybody reads out something from the papers (another feature for which I would be pleased to hear a justification, incidentally). And if I want to hear Hollins and the other male presenter exchanging sports banalities, which I don't, then I'll go down the pub. The fact is that none of your presenters has the ability to 'chat' convincingly and naturally without the aid of an autocue. No 'chat' doesn't mean, in the words of post 2, a 'stern and po faced programme'. Just tell us the news.

  • 15.
  • At 11:55 AM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Trevor Malkin wrote:

Re Breakfast 11/12/06

Why does the BBC insist on very loud 'mood' music and 'flashy' camera work? The item on posting a letter to Stornaway could have been interesting and informative, but was radio one and impossible to follow its route etc. I am afraid we just switch off. Items do not have to be 'jazzed' up to be interesting!

I agree with post 15. There is nothing so annoying as finding 'mood music' inserted into an interesting documentary when the sounds of nature are more wonderful. I also don't like the flashy camera shots which not only seem a bit dated now, but can cause nausea.

  • 17.
  • At 04:54 PM on 21 Dec 2006,
  • Johan wrote:

GMTV pumps out some utter tripe every morning. Presenters are gently weeping about the poor souls who are addicted to gambling in the UK, followed by an interview with a working class single mum whose husband gambled away their house, followed by a cut to adverts and a chance to win a brand new car by calling an 0870 charging 50p a minute.

Last time I checked they call that irony! I prefer the beebs material on the whole as they actually produce some quality programmes, not just hot air and advertising...

This post is closed to new comments.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.