The Skybox decided to play up this morning (later resolved by switching it off at the mains for 2 minutes) luckily we still have a terrestrial signal even if the aerial is pointing at Leeds (we are in Peterborough, the Anglian region signal being rubbish). So instead of the usual flipping between Sky, Radio 4 Today and BBC Breakfast opted to give Daybreak another try making the viewer tally 600,000 plus 1.
Could not immediately put my finger on it but the very early newspaper review summed it all up. All the male presenters, slouched on the sofa, had open neck shirts and the good life has resulted in shirt buttons straining attempting to hold back rolls of tummy fat.
None of them had been told how to sit on a TV studio sofa (Old-style Floor Manager: "Bum well back into the crease luvvy.Tits out and shoulders back") Hairdresser had obviously taken the day off and only some of the males were made up for TV lighting...it shows.
Adrian is still doing his 45 degree on, leaning whispering routine, but the audio desk needs to adjust the limiter, at times his portaprompt scripted links just trailed off or the roller was too slow or he really needs glasses... a few advance run throughs would be good too.
Christine at 6:15 am has full slap on, as if she had just breezed in from an all night nightclub gig. Not the ideal getup to ease you into the new day - just too 'full on' that early...No one seemed to know where the live camera was, to show off the opened tabloids and broadsheets.
None of the comments were scripted so the review as such, was disjointed and devoid of information and a couple of the 'presenters' clearly didn't do mornings, urgently needed a huge caffine shot.
The running order heavily plugs ITV product and the usual oiks from X-factor did their stuff, good really as I had time to nip out to the kitchen and use my new Tefal Quick Cup water boiler gizmo (15 seconds!) (John Lewis about £70), to make a second cuppa before the house and livestock (moggies) collectively stir themselves.
So refreshed, the oiks has finished and hopefully it would be back to some hard news but no it just carried on with a sofa full of straining bodies and variable audio. I did however like the way the solid coloured screens gave way to a dawning London skyline, a kind of upright 'Peppers Ghost' illusion. Thinking of which they could have saved a few million on the studio set, if they had gone whole hog and used the theatrical version of Peppers Ghost to achieve the same effect.
So having rubbished the Daybreak set up how do you go about improving it?
NEWS WE CAN USE. That in a nutshell will do it. It will involve the use of regions and like Sky some form of running information strip, but on the lines of the CNN static rising caption.
It also needs Adrian to go back to his 'working lunch' business style of delivery rather than further developing his footy, evening ooooone show style of presentation. I know ITV paid millions to get them both on contract but did ITV really think this through? Lunchtime evening and sports sequences are not the stuff that morning beakfast shows are made of. Ask any BBC local radio station controller about talk led breakfast shows, fast, punchy, quirky, information led, bit of music, irate phone calls and annoying interviews... Why re-invent the wheel?
Daybreak also needs a credible heavyweight News Anchor with added gravitas, the sweet young frail thing Tasmin,Yasmin (?) is just so out of her depth on any of the weightier items.
If you cast your mind way back to the Poll Tax riots, and the earlier IRA bombings in London, you'll understand. By this November we will see riots on the streets and Daybreak ITV's main morning news outlet will be in no position to set us up for the day or have the news management structure or trained up resources to cover it.
The simple non-political answer of course is to beef up ITN and badge hard news content as comingn from ITN rather than the waspish fluffy led ITV News which covers local 'garden shed fires' on the regional opt outs to international pool footage led coverage ... All things to all people in terms of news management, might suit the finance director but lacks any form of authority or place on a mainstram channel. Fix it, before the rat fans take over!