TELEVISION / False start
Saturday 02 January 1993
The initial GMTV was actually little more than a dress rehearsal, the chance to check plugs and tweak satellite links. But Eamonn Holmes and Anne Davis bluffed it, sharing a desk in front of a large, real-effect gas fire. 'A new day,' said Eamonn, 'a new year, a new television station.'
Same old news priorities, though. The programme began with film of Princess Diana on holiday. This wasn't a story, it was a set of pictures: real-effect news. Anne kept the gas going by cutting to Joanna Sheldon, the station's royalty botherer, live from the Caribbean. 'Is the Princess managing to keep a low profile?' asked Anne with no apparent irony. Where Jo was, it was 1.15am and everyone was engaged in the low-profile activity known as 'sleeping'. Desperate, she quoted the usual 'sources close to the Princess' but also, in what may well be a royal-reporting first, sources close to the Princess's holiday destination. 'Those who really know the Caribbean say Nevis is as exclusive as they come.'
Looking for news, we rushed pointlessly between foreign correspondents in Washington, Moscow and Brussels, all of which were closed. At least the weather woman was open for business. In the tradition of cartography established by regional weather programmes, Emma Jesson was standing by a patch of illegible, computer-generated psychedelia. It seemed to be forecasting a Jimi Hendrix revival in the north and a shower of cufflinks over Wales.
With greater clarity, 'Meet the Gang' introduced us quickly to the GMTV team. Michael Hastings on politics, Linda Lusardi on keep-fit. How much more daring were it the other way around. And then, at 7.15, we went back live to the Caribbean where, incredibly, that royal story had not advanced. 'Is she keeping a low profile?' Anne re-asked. No lower than GMTV, which packed up at 7.30, while a nation slept on.
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Mario Balotelli: Staff at arson-hit Manchester Dogs' Home convinced Liverpool striker is behind five-figure donation
- 2 Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 The response to my Pizza Express review has been overwhelming, and taught me a lot about journalism
- 5 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned into a PR disaster
Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams cast in Channel 4 drama about cyber bullying
Jennifer Lopez and Iggy Azalea's 'Booty' music video is just a load of butts
Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written
The Walking Dead season 5 synopsis: Spoilers and existential questions revealed
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes