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BBC Breakfast

Presented by Bill Turnbull
Louise Minchin
Charlie Stayt
Naga Munchetty
Theme music composer David Lowe
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
Location(s) MediaCityUK (2012—)
BBC Television Centre (2000–12)
Running time 195 minutes (Sundays - Fridays)
240 minutes (Saturdays)
Original channel BBC One
BBC News(Until 8:30)
BBC News HD (Until 8:30)
Picture format 576i (16:9 SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Audio format Dolby Digital 5.1
Original release 2 October 2000 – present
Preceded by Breakfast News (1989-2000)
Related shows BBC News at One,
BBC News at Five
BBC News at Six,
BBC News at Ten
BBC Weekend News
Outside Source
World News Today
External links

BBC Breakfast is a national British morning television news programme simulcast on BBC One and the BBC News channel. It is presented live from MediaCityUK and contains a mixture of news, sport, weather, business and feature items. The programme is broadcast seven days a week, every week of the year, including weekends and public holidays.

Adam Bullimore is the editor. He had been the deputy editor for five years.[1] Alison Ford, previously the UK Editor for BBC Newsgathering, was the editor of the programme until her death in July 2013.[2] Her appointment followed the departure of David Kermode to 5 News.


  • History 1
  • Format 2
  • Interactive 3
  • Notable presenters 4
    • Main 4.1
    • Sport 4.2
    • Business 4.3
    • Weather 4.4
    • Former presenters 4.5
      • Main 4.5.1
      • Sport 4.5.2
      • Business 4.5.3
      • Weather 4.5.4
      • Newsreader 4.5.5
  • Out of studio broadcasts 5
  • Video podcast 6
  • Specials 7
  • Awards 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11


Breakfast Time was the first BBC breakfast programme, with Ron Neil as producer. It was conceived in response to the plans of the commercial television company TV-am to introduce a breakfast television show. Breakfast Time's first broadcast was on 17 January 1983,[3] featuring multiple presenters: Frank Bough, Selina Scott, Nick Ross and Russell Grant. The atmosphere of the set was intended to encourage a relaxed informality; a set that mimicked a living-room rather than a studio, with red leather sofas, and Bough and Ross wearing jumpers and open-necked shirts. This allowed for an unconventional mix of authoritative and highbrow news and informative and entertainment features that made the show dominate the new genre and trounce the anticipated threat by the star-name commercial TV rival. So, a senior government minister might be subjected to intense questioning while sitting on the red sofa, to be then included in the presentation of a food cooking demonstration. Breakfast Time lasted 150 minutes, initially being transmitted between 6.30 am and 9 am—moving to a 6.50 am to 9.20 am slot on 18 February 1985.

A bomb detonated at 2:54 a.m. on 12 October 1984 in the Grand Hotel, Brighton, with the purpose to kill Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her cabinet, who were staying at the hotel for the Conservative Party conference.[4] Nick Ross presented Breakfast Time on his own, as live coverage came in from Brighton.

Ron Neil departed from the programme and on 10 November 1986 a more conventional news focus was introduced featuring a news desk, presenters in smart dress and a time-reduced programme broadcast that began at 7 am and ended any time between 8.30 am and 8.55 am. Presenters included Kirsty Wark, John Stapleton, Jeremy Paxman and Sally Magnusson.

On 2 October 1989, the programme was renamed Breakfast News, followed a more authoritative tone with a set modelled on the conventional desk style found with main news bulletins, and started at 6.30 am. A considerable portion of the first half hour was devoted to business news. In January 1993, the business news coverage extended to an hour-long programme in its own right, beginning at 6:00 am. Breakfast News started at 7:00 am.

Next came the merging of the separate programmes of BBC One and BBC News 24 into one single simulcast starting from 2 October 2000.

Since April 2006, the BBC News channel has screened rolling news coverage from 8.30 am while Breakfast continues on BBC One until 9.15 am. In April 2008, BBC News 24 was renamed "BBC News", as part of a £550,000 rebranding of the BBC's news output, complete with a new studio and presentation.

On 2 May 2006, Breakfast moved into studio N6 at Television Centre with other BBC One news programmes that required a larger set design that included walls of Barco video screens. The original screen scenes of cirrus clouds on a blue sky were changed as a result of viewer comments that 'it looked too cold' – their replacement was with orange squares of the same design as those appearing in the programme's new title sequence, which were designed to hide any joins or faults between the screens which had previously been obvious. The screens eventually displayed visuals needed for story content: different backgrounds, graphics and still photographs. More importantly, the set had a generic visual style that could be used for other programmes, such as the national news bulletins, without much additional physical change. The programme celebrated its 20th anniversary on 17 January 2003.[5]

On 28 January 2008, Breakfast returned to the TC7 studios, where Breakfast Time had been based following its move from the BBC Lime Grove Studios. On 2 March 2009, Breakfast relaunched with a new set and studio background. The backdrop resembles that of the BBC News channel as do the new Breakfast titles.

BBC Breakfast set in 2010 with Bill Turnbull and Sian Williams

In July 2010, the BBC announced that Breakfast was moving to their new studios in Salford Quays.[6] The BBC announced that with the April 2012 move to Salford, co-presenter Sian Williams and sports presenter Chris Hollins preferred not be included in the move to the North of England.[7] Williams left Breakfast on 15 March 2012, but she continues doing other assignments with the BBC.

On 12 December 2011, the first of several presenter changes was announced. Louise Minchin would, with the studio move to Salford, join the other main presenters of BBC Breakfast: Bill Turnbull, Susanna Reid and Charlie Stayt. Carol Kirkwood, on 26 March 2012, would remain in London presenting weather. Sports presenters Mike Bushell and Sally Nugent and business presenter Steph McGovern would locate to Salford. The first Breakfast edition from Salford occurred on Tuesday 10 April 2012.[8] London-based newspapers have reported extensive criticism of the BBC move,[9][10][11] but a decrease in audience has not occurred with the retention of an approximate average of 1.5 million viewers.[12]

The 2012 Summer Olympics prompted Olympic Breakfast on the morning of the opening ceremony (Friday 27 July) to temporarily broadcast from an interim studio near the Olympic Park in Stratford. During the games, former presenters Sian Williams and Chris Hollins also returned to lead the morning programme, in addition to Bill Turnbull and BBC Sport presenter Hazel Irvine. The show ended its temporary London return with broadcasting from the BBC News Channel's studio on the morning following the closing ceremonies before rebroadcasting from Salford the next day.

On 19 March 2013, BBC Breakfast updated its "lower thirds" to match the graphics and fonts used by the rest of BBC News since the previous day. The clock was consequently moved to the lower right side of the screen.

On 23 July 2014, the show went on location again, this time to Glasgow to showcase highlights from the 2014 Commonwealth Games. In the hours leading up to the opening ceremony, Carol Kirkwood reported from Celtic Park.


Between 6am and 8.30am of weekdays, the programme is simulcast on the BBC News. During the simulcast, the sports news is at 6.10am, 6.35am, 7.35am and 8.35am. In addition, live sports bulletins are broadcast from sporting locations, such as Royal Ascot and Wimbledon, with the presenter interviewing key sporting figures. Business updates are presented at 6.10am, when the main business stories from the newspapers are also discussed, and at 6.50am, 7.20am and 7.50am, either from the studio, or out on location. The United Kingdom weather forecasting broadcast is at 15 minutes and 45 minutes past the hour throughout the programme, either from the BBC Weather Centre in Broadcasting House, or out on location. Short (approximately four minutes) regional news, travel and weather programmes are just before the hour and the half hour throughout the programme. Once the BBC News Channel breaks away for its own programming at 8.30, a brief check of the headlines, and sports are done then the show gradually shifts to reporting lifestyle- and entertainment-oriented stories. The show occasionally ends with a musical performance from one of the guests.

The show is abbreviated during bank holidays to just three hours but still features regional news updates, and is completely simulcast on the BBC News Channel.

During weekends, there are no updates from regional news bureaus. The first and/or second hour of the weekend edition may occasionally feature abbreviated versions of the BBC's other programmes such as Click, Reporters and the Film Review. The show is also simulcast on BBC One and the BBC News Channel but BBC one occasionally breaks away at 7.30 on Sundays to bring Match of the Day. The third and fourth hour (on Saturdays) are completely live and occasionally, the last segment on Saturdays may feature cooking.


Breakfast encourages viewer response and interaction via e-mail, Facebook and Twitter.[13][14] Video reports and interviews from the programme are made available on the Breakfast Facebook page after transmission.

Notable presenters


Tenure Presenters Current role nb
2001– Bill Turnbull Monday–Wednesday [A]
2006— Louise Minchin [B]
Charlie Stayt Thursday–Saturday [C]
2009— Naga Munchetty [D]
Jon Kay Sunday and relief
2012— Roger Johnson
Christian Fraser
Simon McCoy
Sian Lloyd
2015— Rachel Burden
Victoria Fritz
  • A ^ Bill Turnbull presented Friday to Sunday on his addition to the programme in 2001 until 2007. Turnbull then presented Monday to Thursday alongside Sian Williams from 2007 to 2012. It has been announced that he will leave at the end of January, 2016.[15]
  • B ^ Louise Minchin was initially a relief presenter when she joined Breakfast in 2006, she replaced Sian Williams to become a main presenter in 2012.
  • C ^ Charlie Stayt was initially a relief presenter when he joined Breakfast. Stayt then presented Friday to Sunday alongside Susanna Reid from 2007 to 2012.
  • D ^ Naga Munchetty was initially a relief presenter when she joined Breakfast in 2009. Munchetty became the regular Sunday presenter in 2012, and a main presenter in 2014.


Tenure Presenter Current role
2012– Sally Nugent Anchor and relief
2005– Mike Bushell Anchor
2013- Ore Oduba Relief


Tenure Presenter Current role
2011– Steph McGovern Anchor and relief
Ben Thompson Relief
2012– Dominic Laurie


Tenure Presenter Current role
1999– Carol Kirkwood Anchor

Former presenters



  • Rob Bonnet – sports presenter, 2000–2005
  • Chris Hollins – sports presenter, 2005–2012; Occasional relief as main presenter
  • Sue Thearle – sports presenter, 2000–2008




Out of studio broadcasts

Presenters make on location broadcasts based on the significance of the story:

  • 11 September 2001. Jeremy Bowen presented live near Ground Zero in New York City following the days of the aftermath of the tragic events.
  • November 2004. Dermot Murnaghan presented from Washington DC for the 2004 US Election.
  • 2005. Sian Williams reported live from the scene of the Indian earthquake.
  • April/May 2010. Bill Turnbull presented and reported from various locations on party campaign trail throughout the country.[22][23][24]
  • October 2010. Sian Williams presented from the Tory Conference in Birmingham.[26]
  • October 2010. Sian Williams presented from College Green, Westminster in anticipation of the unveiling of spending review.[27]
  • October 2010. Sian Williams presented the unveiling of spending review.
  • On 29 Apr 2011, a special split edition of the programme with Sian presenting from Westminster Abbey and Bill live from Buckingham Palace for the build-up of the Royal Wedding.
  • 26 July 2012. Charlie Stayt and Louise Minchin presented the show live from the BBC News Studio in Olympic Park in London for the Olympic Games. Weather and sports news were also originated from the same location.
  • 17 Apr 2013. Charlie Stayt presented the show from St Paul's Cathedral, London for a special split edition in the build-up of the funeral of Baroness Lady Thatcher.
  • 27 & 28 June 2014. Bill Turnbull presented from Camp Bastion to celebrate Armed Forces Day.
  • 4 August 2014. Charlie Stayt presented from Glasgow Cathedral in the lead up to ceremonies marking 100 years since World War 1 broke out.
  • 13 March 2015. Bill Turnbull presented from St Paul's Cathedral, London in the lead up to a special service of remembrance to mark the end of operations in Afghanistan.

Video podcast

In September 2006, Breakfast launched its own video podcast called the Breakfast Takeaway. BBC News had already launched three other services: Newsnight, the Ten O'Clock News and STORYFix (also previously shown on television at weekends on News 24).[28] The Breakfast Takeaway was available Monday to Friday in MP4 format where it could be downloaded to and viewed from a home or office computer.

The video podcasts were a one-year trial, and from July 2007 they were discontinued. The BBC then reviewed the trial but the podcast has not been continued.


In 2003, the Breakfast production team was commissioned by BBC One to make a week long series called The Day Team From Chatsworth presented by Nicki Chapman, and presenter of the BBC's Countryfile programme, John Craven. It took a behind the scenes look at the stately home Chatsworth House [29] and was broadcast separately on BBC One at 1030 in the morning.

A number of other guests, or celebrity presenters have been used on Breakfast to present themed days or weeks, even though some have never been mainstream news reporters or presenters. Many of these have seen the programme extended to 0930:


  • In March 2006, Breakfast won the TRIC award for best daytime television programme for the third year in a row[30]
  • The show was nominated for a National Television Award in the Topical Magazine Programme category in 2011 but lost out to ITV's This Morning[31]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ "BBC Breakfast editor Alison Ford dies of cancer", BBC News, 3 July 2013
  3. ^ "The Evolution of Breakfast". BBC News. 14 November 2008. 
  4. ^ "Patrick Magee convicted of IRA terrorist attack". The Guardian (London). 
  5. ^ 20 years of breakfast television BBC News, 17 January 2003
  6. ^ BBC Breakfast moving to Salford BBC News, 14 July 2010
  7. ^ Sian Williams opts out of BBC Breakfast move BBC News, 31 March 2011
  8. ^
  9. ^ Robinson, Stuart. "Salford Quays Wish you were Here". 13 September 2010. London Evening Standard. Retrieved 25 July 2013. 
  10. ^ Hough, Andrew (10 April 2012). "BBC's £2m London-to-Salford travel bill". 10 April 2012 (The Daily Telegraph). Retrieved 25 July 2013. 
  11. ^ Blears, Hazell. "Hazel on BBC's Salford Move". Article by Hazell Blears MP. Retrieved 25 July 2013. 
  12. ^ Kanter, Jake. "BBC Breakfast ratings steady after Salford move". 14 September 2012. Broadcast Now. Retrieved 25 July 2013. 
  13. ^ Contact us BBC News, 29 June 2010
  14. ^ Contact us BBC News, 28 May 2010
  15. ^
  16. ^ Balanced Breakfast Editors Blog, BBC, 7 June 2006
  17. ^ Silverton dazzles at the Oscars - this time for all the right reasons Mail Online, 25 February 2007
  18. ^ Kate Silverton: Ms Silverton strikes gold The Independent, 18 February 2008
  19. ^ And the budget award goes to... BBC presenter Susanna Reid, who's wearing a £50 Oxfam dress to the Oscars Mail Online, 23 February 2009
  20. ^ Oscars 2010: A night on the red carpet BBC News, 1 March 2010
  21. ^ BBC – 6 April TV Newsroom
  22. ^ BBC Breakfast 6 April 2010
  23. ^ BBC News - General Election 2010: Making It Clear TV Throng, 5 April 2010
  24. ^ ANDREW GREAVES: 'Expect Brown to come out fighting today' The Bolton News, 12 April 2010
  25. ^ a b Live - Two years to London 2012 Olympics BBC Sport, 27 July 2010
  26. ^ Child benefit cuts for better off are fair - Cameron BBC News, 5 October 2010
  27. ^ Good morning! It's a special edition of Breakfast today with @sianbreakfast in Westminster as we look ahead to today's Spending Review Twitter/BBC Breakfast, 20 October 2010
  28. ^ Podcasts from BBC News BBC News, 8 May 2006
  29. ^ The Day Team at Chatsworth BBC News, 17 October 2003
  30. ^ Hat-tric for Breakfast BBC News, 7 March 2006
  31. ^ National TV Awards winners BBC News, 26 January 2011

External links

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