They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and during the 90s I couldn’t go without my early morning dose of The Big Breakfast before heading off to school properly nourished.
I used to regularly wake up at 7am as the show started and would be have to be dragged away from it by my mum so I made it to school on time. The Big Breakfast was golden telly and featured many of the best presenters during the decade, and some still going strong at the present.
It began in 1992 with Chris Evans and Gabby Roslin as its hosts and was a wacky alternative to the usual dross on at that hour. It had news, quizzes, interviews and phone-in games,as well as Keith Chegwin going around the country doing doorstep challenges which was my favourite item.
One day I woke up and I straight away realised that he was standing in my estate, mere metres from my house! Me and my sisters ran down the road and got on screen and I could go to school bragging to my mates I’d been on national television that morning.
Then there were also Zig and Zag which I never really understood what they were doing, but as I was only about six years old I was just transfixed by some brightly-coloured thing talking strangely – and that was just Chris Evans.
But for me the golden period was when Johnny Vaughan and Denise Van Outen were the hosts. This was before he became a sanctimonious prick and she thought she could sing, and they had some great on-air chemistry before she was replaced by Kelly Brook, which I’m sure made it a lot easier for guys to get up in the morning…
The budding journalist inside me loved the Pun Down feature, and I used to enjoy the Wonga game which was like giant jenga. They also used to mess around with their guests and take the micky a bit which was refreshing rather than seeing Jonathan Ross and co brown-nosing celebrities.
Another good idea was to extend the show during school holidays until midday and put on children’s shows after 9am. This helped launch the likes of Dermot O’Leary and Ben Shepherd’s TV careers and would ensure I’d be staying in bed until the afternoon during the summer months, a trait I continue to exercise to this day.
When Vaughan and Van Outen left people began to switch off as they brought in idiots like Mike McClean and Richard Bacon. The show was beaten in the ratings by kids shows on Channel Five and was pulled in 2002 before being replaced by RI:SE which was as big a flop as Michael Douglas without Viagra.
Although I am rarely awake before 10am these days, from what I’ve seen early morning TV is not worth waking up for. After 10 years of feasting on a Big Breakfast we are now being starved of morning entertainment and I for one am hungry for a slice of fun appearing on my screen before I face the day ahead once again.