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1 item from 2016

Thirty years of the TV sofa: from political strategy to sexism

18 March 2016 10:24 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

It ushered in a softer TV style, but now, amid a sexism row over where presenters sit, the TV sofa is anything but comfortable

“As you can see our home is very, very relaxed and informal,” said Frank Bough, formally, introducing the first edition of BBC Breakfast Time at 6.30am on 17 January 1983, “and we really do think that that is the right setting from which to bring you interviews with people and personalities who are making the day’s news”.

So radical was the appearance of a sofa – in this case, a red leather one – that viewers had to be warned about it in advance, by a trusted presenter wearing a pullover the colour and texture of a garden mole. After breaking viewers in gently, Bough ambled over to the sofa where his co-presenters, Selina Scott and Nick Ross, were sitting. And Scott was sitting on the left.

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- Emine Saner

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