Oh what a beautiful morning...

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The Independent Culture
It's got to stop. Richard and Judy are tunnelling their way out and someone's got to stop them. A show like Get A Life! would be all very well for presenters like Esther Rantzen or Anne Robinson, whose dubious talents would remain safely unstretched by a comfy topic-related format combined with the opportunity to badger their audience. But Richard and Judy are like farmers - outstanding in their field - and the powers that be at This Morning (10.30am ITV) would be ill-advised to let them drift off into the vacuum of prime-time nonentity without putting up a fight.

Morning magazine programmes are a lot harder than they seem. Stephen Rhodes and Alison Keenan struggled courageously last week, but all they contrived to do was prove that being able to handle an autocue and an ear-mike isn't enough. Richard and Judy have an alternating Mr-Nice and Mr-Nasty routine, an ability to seem to genuinely empathise with the tales of tragedy that assail their phone-ins, and a robust humour about the endless pratfalls inherent in live television.

The BBC, meanwhile, has given up and opted for presentation-by-hamster with Ann and Nick. The funny thing is that the two sides often have the same topics ("news", you know) and frequently the same guests. Ingredients, however, don't guarantee palatability: souffles and prairie oysters, after all, are both made from eggs.