|Index||3 reviews in total|
On Breakfast the presenting is a little better than that in the
regional news programmes, but not much. Interviews with politicians
have to be left to Dermot Murnaghan, who if not actually grilling the
MPs like Paxman still manages to show how they will avoid giving a
straight answer if they possibly can. They manage to get an often
varied and impressive list of guests. However sometimes this panders to
the situation and many of the guests are 'experts' with rather dubious
qualifications such as one medical expert who mispronounced
testosterone several times in one sentence. The trouble (and it is not
the fault of BBC Breakfast) is that most news in general these days is
almost entirely based on hype and hyperbole, so that for example they
have to bring in a doctor to reassure the viewers about the latest
health scare that eating a apple a day will increase your risk of
breast cancer or something equally ridiculous.
The way the news is chosen is interesting as at one point in July 2007 they managed to stick to floods in Britain that killed 4 people for almost the entire running time, while nearly completely ignoring a cyclone in Pakistan that left hundreds of thousands of people homeless. They seem quite happy to repeat the same lack of news every few minutes. When a car was discovered with a bomb inside this was literally the only information that they seemed to have available, along with about 20 seconds of footage that showed a policeman at the scene getting into his car and taking his hat off. This was shown a numerous amount of times throughout the morning and they featured a parade of terrorism experts and the like, none of whom could shed any light whatsoever on the situation or speculate to any degree with so little to go on. Completely pointless, much like the flood coverage which mainly featured various presenters standing around in a puddle every day for weeks while revealing little of interest about the situation.
Mostly BBC Breakfast seems to serve as advertising for other BBC programmes, with many interviews and features focusing on these, giving a biased version of how good these shows are. Some of it is a waste of time - for example having the failed candidates from 'The Apprentice,' who say barely anything they did not say on the extra show presented by Adrian Chiles the night before. Otherwise they seem to think that every viewer is fascinated to know how the latest winner from their musical reality shows is doing, hardly newsworthy. At least the bias means that they do not try to tell us how supposedly hilarious abysmal reality show 'Big Brother' was the night before like many other daytime programmes do ad nauseam.
On a good day, if there is a lot on in the news, this can be watchable and informative, the trouble is those days are few and far between, especially when celebrity gossip such as David Beckham's new hair style seems to be considered front page news. There have also been some improvements in the presenting line-up, giving it more consistency.
Overall though, when it is time to leave for work, you rarely feel like you might be missing something in the last hour worth seeing.
Early morning news, views and interviews. You can always trust the BBC to report the news in the most professional way possible, but the more warm presentation would appear to be influenced by ITV. Jeremy Bowen has a similar style to Des Lynam, and after watching a couple of episodes of this show I think I'm already falling in love with Sophie Raworth.
The BBC briefly nosed ahead in the Breakfast TV ratings war in 1983, more
sleight of hand than anything when they launched their service two weeks
so before the hapless TV-am. By early 1984 however the slide had begun,
never to be reversed as their middle class style jarred with a firmly
working class audience addicted first to Nick'n'Anne: and then to a
collection of similarly 'next door' couples on sofas as offered by TV-am
They've tried various iterations over the years, and the latest has to be close to the poorest. The presenters seem to be caricatures, rather than characters. The show stutters between an over excitable weather girl generally parked outside in the courtyard jumping up and down shouting `It's a GORGEOUS day!' to a Billy Bunteresque Business correspondent, (with his own studio, guests and crew no less) in the London Stock Exchange.
The anchors are no better, seemingly selected for appeal rather than ability with 'Lipstick' Kaplinski's reach seemingly exceeding her grasp on any subject more complex than fashion. Dermot Murnaghan is a little better, and looks like he might even have read the briefing notes before his interviews. Best of the lot is Rob Bonnet, who presents the sport, by the admittedly old fashioned technique of coming along, sitting on the end of the sofa, and reading it. He occasionally subs for Murnaghan who's contract clearly forbids him presenting on Fridays and at least lifts the shows solidity if not its style.
Weekends are better with Bill Turnbull generally partnered with Siân Lloyd or Jules (who, bizarrely, becomes Julia at weekends) Botfield. Exiled to the News 24 set, they manage to keep the 'matey' style going without too much of the self indulgent mannerisms of their weekday opposite numbers.
All in all it's an expensive white elephant aimed at the middle class, and middle aged commuter belt audience in the Home Counties (hence the inappropriate emphasis on business and London weather) I'll give you one guess as to the demographics of those responsible for this programme.
Thank God for Sky.
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