'BBC Breakfast' to relocate to Salford: but will the stars follow?

The comedians David Mitchell and Robert Webb were star guests on BBC 1's Breakfast programme yesterday, sending the show's publicists into overdrive. The pair's interview with presenters Sian Williams and Charlie Stayt was posted on Breakfast's website and discussed on its Facebook page and Twitter account.

But there were no official tweets about the hottest subject being discussed yesterday by the show's staff – that Breakfast is to be uprooted from TC7, the studio it uses in Television Centre in London, and relocated to Salford, outside Manchester.

Not until James Laidler, a producer in charge of "all things social media for BBC Breakfast" tweeted that there was an "awful mood in office today". It "emerges Breakfast is very likely moving to Salford by 2012 and we'll have six months to decide if we go too". The bad humour was a result of the "compressed timescale of relocation", he said, not because of a dislike of Salford.

The BBC has briefed staff on the likelihood of a move north but said yesterday that no final decision had been taken. "We've always been clear we want to move other output north and this is part of a range of options," said a spokesman. It is understood that BBC management is very keen for the move to happen.

Other sectors of BBC output that are earmarked for relocation to Salford are the sports and children's departments and parts of Radio 5 Live. Some 1,500 BBC staff are due to relocate next year and will make flagship shows such as Blue Peter and Match of the Day in the North-west. But Breakfast could provide a more visible reminder that the corporation's national output does not all emanate from London.

"If BBC Breakfast were to move to Salford, viewers could really start to notice that the BBC was making more of its programmes in the North," said Torin Douglas, the BBC media correspondent. "Breakfast runs for three hours a day on BBC 1 – and the Salford Quays waterfront and new buildings could provide a highly visible backdrop for the programme."

News of the likely relocation was received well in the North-west of England, where the presence of Breakfast would be seen as an important signal of the BBC's commitment to the Media City that is being created on a 220-acre site at Salford Quays. But persuading the programme's famous guests to travel far from the capital will not be easy, as ITV show This Morning found when it broadcast from Liverpool.

Producers of breakfast radio and television are accustomed to sending early morning taxis for interviewees, but an appearance on Breakfast might in future necessitate a journey north the night before and an overnight stay. BBC stars – such as Mitchell and Webb – frequently visit the Breakfast sofa to plug upcoming shows but may not be willing to give up so much time for the sake of publicity. It remains to be seen whether Williams, Stayt and other star Breakfast presenters such as Bill Turnbull will be prepared to follow the programme north.

The proposed move also comes at an interesting time in the early morning television ratings battle. GMTV, which has been taken into full ownership by ITV, is undergoing a transformation and was last week rebranded as Daybreak, ahead of the introduction of its new presenters Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley.

Daybreak is to be broadcast from new "state-of-the-art" studios and is promising to put an emphasis on "distinctive, credible journalism", making it a more direct competitor to Breakfast, which brands itself as "the UK's favourite morning programme". Having seen the success which Chiles and Bleakley enjoyed in making BBC 1's The One Show an unlikely hit in the early evening schedule, the corporation's senior executives will be fearful of the threat they pose to Breakfast, especially if staff at the BBC show are uncertain of their futures.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
Arts and Entertainment
William Pooley from Suffolk is flying out to Free Town, Sierra Leone, to continue working in health centres to fight Ebola after surviving the disease himself

music
Arts and Entertainment
The Newsroom creator Aaron Sorkin

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Berry (centre), the star of Channel 4 sitcom 'Toast of London'

TVA disappointingly dull denouement
Arts and Entertainment
Tales from the cryptanalyst: Benedict Cumberbatch in 'The Imitation Game'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Pixie Lott has been voted off Strictly Come Dancing 2014

Strictly
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
    La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

    Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

    The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
    10 best high-end laptops

    10 best high-end laptops

    From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
    Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
    Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
    Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

    Meet Racton Man

    Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
    Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

    Garden Bridge

    St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

    An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
    Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

    Joint Enterprise

    The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
    Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

    Freud and Eros

    Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum