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Balanced Breakfast

David Kermode | 16:54 UK time, Wednesday, 7 June 2006

This came through our 'duty log' for feedback this morning:

Breakfast logo

"[Caller] feels that the background studio colours used by the programme are politically motivated. "I have noticed that they have been a red colour since the late 1990s and have now changed to a blue colour. Is this political psychology? I think the BBC are using background colours to influence people's political thinking."

What this particular viewer neglected to mention was that we have, this week, 'warmed up' our studio to incorporate far more oranges and a bit of brown. Does this mean we've switched allegiance to the Liberal Democrats?

If so, we'd be a pollster's nightmare. The ultimate swing voter. We'd have backed all three main parties in a month.

I'm not sure whether there could be any subliminal advantage for a particular party in news branding? Personally, I suspect our viewers wouldn't fall for it, even if there was.

We have run into these sort of problems before. When we launched our general election coverage with an ambitious outside broadcast from Bristol, it poured with rain. Dermot broadcast the entire show protected by a BBC Breakfast umbrella, in our house colours back then - red and yellow.

We had three complaints about the absence of blue in our brolly, including one man who wrote to me suggesting the choice of umbrella reflected Dermot Murnaghan's own political preferences. I wrote back to our viewer, assuring him that, to my knowledge, Dermot had never revealed anything about his political persuasion and that he'd certainly not got involved in the programme umbrella ordering process.

Anyway, try putting red, yellow and blue together. It might look balanced - but it also looks hideous.


  • 1.
  • At 10:38 AM on 08 Jun 2006,
  • Phil wrote:

Can't we see a picture of the new set? Seeing as the previous new set was only about three weeks ago, is this an admission that you got it wrong?

People who have time to take in, and complain about, the (imagine italics here) lack of (end italics)specific colours on BBC Breakfast props are possibly one of the finest examples of eccentricity the UK has ever produced. Never mind the quality of the items, guest, topics, analysis etc. Count the cushions!

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