The show must go on, and on... They said it wouldn't last, but ITV's 'This Morning' is celebrating 25 years on the air
For many, its combination of showbiz news, fashion advice and salacious real-life stories are the epitome of daytime-television banality. But on Thursday, despite critics who said it wouldn't last two months, This Morning will celebrate 25 years on air.
When it was launched in October 1988, reviewers said it would be lucky to still be bringing breakfast banter to viewers by Christmas. But they have been proved wrong by a long line of smiling presenters and a steady stream of topics with a broad demographic appeal.
Hosts from Richard and Judy to Phil and Fern and Ruth and Eamonn have done everything from interviewing a former US President to carrying out the first televised prostate examination – and always with a phone-in to keep viewers involved.
By all accounts it has not been the same since Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan upped sticks for Channel 4 in 2001, but on Thursday current hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield welcome them back in a show broadcast from its original home at Albert Dock in Liverpool.
Unsurprisingly, for a live show that has to fill a two-hour timeslot five days a week, there have been plenty of toe-curling moments. Here The IoS selects 25 daytime TV moments that could only be found on This Morning.
25 daytime TV moments
Keith Chegwin is reduced to tears when Richard and Judy's gentle probing outs him as an alcoholic.
Deep blushing from Judy as guest sex therapist Dr Ruth Westheimer details ways in which Judy can satisfy Richard in bed.
Judy is off work with flu, leaving Richard to pilot the sofa alone. Trouble ensues when he hears about parcel bombs being delivered to celebrities. Judy calls out the bomb squad on a "suspicious" padded enveloped. It was a silk tie for Richard.
Professional streaker Mark Roberts invades the show's floating map of the British Isles in the middle of Albert Dock. He then attempts to emulate weather man Fred Talbot's trademark leap from Scotland to Ireland. It isn't pretty.
Richard tells viewers he likes to "rest his equipment for 25 minutes" between bouts of love-making. Silence follows.
Richard Madeley asks famously gay Pet Shop Boys frontman Neil Tennant how his wife is.
The show invites three naked guests to its new London studio to celebrate the work of the Naturist Foundation. Worried producers miss the point though and use the This Morning logo to cover one chap's modesty.
Show's doctor carries out a testicular examination live in the studio. Richard informs the nation that a gentleman's left testicle often hangs lower than his right.
Judy interviews Richard, in character as Sacha Baron Cohen's Ali G.
The show screens the first gay partnership celebration.
Singer George Michael calls the show during Richard and Judy's finale. He says Richard talks "rubbish".
A knife throwing stunt goes terribly wrong when circus performer Jayde Hanson skewers his assistant. Fern Britton warns the nation "not to try this at home".
The show secures an interview with former US President Bill Clinton. Richard Madeley says: "I was in a similar position to you. I was accused of shoplifting. But unlike you, I knew I was innocent."
Fern Britton confesses she had a gastric band fitted to lose five stone.
A worse-for-wear Kerry Katona is interviewed to plug her latest MTV documentary.
Fern says Phil doesn't mind "dunking a bit of beef" while the two munch on a roast dinner at 10am.
Fern and Phil laugh uncontrollably at the word "Uranus".
Chef Gino D'Acampo promises to cook naked if This Morning wins a National TV Award. It does, and he does.
Phil interviews Chelsea Charms, who is famous for claiming possession of the world's largest breasts.
New presenter Eamonn Holmes gets in hot water for labelling a guest who fails to place Britain's main cities on a map "retarded".
In another television first, 30 men, including the show's TV critic Paul Ross, receive prostate examinations live in the studio.
Eamonn Holmes asks a sex addict: "Have you never thought about making a business of it?"
Katie Hopkins airs her "theory" that child names are linked to class. Hopkins wouldn't let her children play with anyone called Tyler or Charmaine.
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