Good Morning Britain review: A dizzying attempt at a breakfast show

The high-paced newsy offering will have to work hard to rival BBC Breakfast

So far behind was ITV trailing in the breakfast ratings that it needed a show with distinctive flavour if it was to recover ground on the BBC.

What viewers of the launch edition of Good Morning Britain got was neither the Eggs Benedict nor the Kedgeree nor the Kellogg’s Coco Pops of breakfast television – but rather an unpalatable concoction of the lot.

It began inauspiciously with the sight of the irrepressible former children’s show host Andi Peters in a Leeds market usually after 6am before falling back on a format clearly borrowed from ABC’s Good Morning America.

Instead of the usual British breakfast sofa, the show’s four presenters were camped behind a vast glass-topped desk with a backdrop of the dome of St Paul’s and the London skyline.

While the pre-launch hype had focused on presenter Susanna Reid, who had jumped ship from the BBC in a reputed £1m deal, she was not the obvious star of the show as the four hosts shared out the headlines which were dealt with at a dizzying rate.

The result was a high-paced newsy offering which is much more squarely in the territory of rival BBC Breakfast than ITV’s previous offering, Daybreak, an expensive experiment that was scrapped after four years with ratings down to 600,000 (compared to the BBC’s 1.6m).

ITV has a long tradition in breakfast television, from the launch of TV-am in 1983 through to its long-running successor GMTV, which was on air for 17 years.

But Good Morning Britain’s choice of an American-style format seems to have discomfited many of the viewers who took to social media during its debut show. The large desk was seen as an oppressive “barrier” between the hosts and the audience while the multitude of presenters was overbearing.

Sky’s Kay Burley took to Twitter to say “Just watching Good Morning Britain…there’s so much going on I need a little lie down”. Her comments shouldn’t be dismissed as the nervousness of a broadcast rival and echoed the thoughts of “Satnavsooz” who said it was “too busy”.

The new presenters for ITV's Good Morning Britain Sean Fletcher, Susanna Reid, Ben Shephard, and Charlotte Hawkins host ITV's Good Morning Britain

But just as Good Morning Britain seemed to be setting out its stall as a committed news programme back it went to the market where Peters was now giving away £50 prizes on something called The Wheel of Cash (39 years after NBC unveiled the Wheel of Fortune format).

This crunching gear change and lack of originality was later repeated with the arrival of the show’s star guest Paul O’Grady. The news stories had evaporated and we could have been back watching ITV morning stalwart Lorraine Kelly.

In between, Good Morning Britain courted a younger audience by fawning over the boy band One Direction.

The overall result, as a commentator on the Radio Times blog noted, was that the show was “trying too much, too many times for too many people”.

It was never going to be easy launching into a market where the BBC has such a commanding position and at a time of day when other media have audiences that breakfast television can only dream of.

As a contributor to the Digital Spy website observed, “Radio is king in the mornings” and no matter how much Good Morning Britain improves it’s never likely to be able to compete with John Humphrys and the Today programme or Chris Evans on Radio 2.

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

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Chvrches lead singer Lauren Mayberry in the band's new video 'Leave a Trace'

music
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Home on the raunch: George Bisset (Aneurin Barnard), Lady Seymour Worsley (Natalie Dormer) and Richard Worsley (Shaun Evans)

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers

Strictly
Arts and Entertainment
NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton

film
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell and Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones
Arts and Entertainment
New book 'The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep' by Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin

books
Arts and Entertainment
Calvi is not afraid of exploring the deep stuff: loneliness, anxiety, identity, reinvention
music
Arts and Entertainment
Edinburgh solo performers Neil James and Jessica Sherr
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
If a deal to buy tBeats, founded by hip-hop star Dr Dre (pictured) and music producer Jimmy Iovine went through, it would be Apple’s biggest ever acquisition

album review
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith is joining The Voice as a new coach

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Dowton Abbey has been pulling in 'telly tourists', who are visiting Highclere House in Berkshire

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Patriot games: Vic Reeves featured in ‘Very British Problems’
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Summer nights: ‘Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp’
TVBut what do we Brits really know about them?
Arts and Entertainment
Dr Michael Mosley is a game presenter

TV review
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

    Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
    House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

    The honours that shame Britain

    Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
    When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

    'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

    Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
    International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

    International Tap Festival comes to the UK

    Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
    War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
    Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

    'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

    Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
    Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

    BBC heads to the Californian coast

    The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
    Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

    Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

    Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
    Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

    Car hacking scandal

    Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
    10 best placemats

    Take your seat: 10 best placemats

    Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
    Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

    Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

    Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
    Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

    Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

    Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
    Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

    Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

    The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
    Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

    Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

    His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
    Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

    Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

    Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future