GMTV tries new recipe for breakfast success

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The Independent Online
CILLA BLACK came on to announce that her new nose was about to reach the same age - a fine quarter century - as her old bent one, but yesterday's relaunch of GMTV, the breakfast time service, was rather more than a nose-job, writes Martin Wroe.

Out went the ugly pink sofa and set, out went the real coal fire that cost pounds 15,000 to install, and out went weather reports live from Birmingham. Out also went any remaining trace of the F factor, which Lis Howell, the founding programme director, promoted when the station launched in January - she was out in March.

Fiona Armstrong has been replaced by Lorraine Kelly, who looked as if she was fronting TV-am, which she was, until it lost the franchise to GMTV in December. Kelly and Eamonn Holmes introduced new features that looked faintly familiar: Jimmy Greaves resurrected to review TV programmes; new face Tania with a fitness spot and Penny Smith, a newsreader from Sky News. And there was a scoop of sorts - Martin Frizell was the first British TV reporter in Sebokeng at Chris Hani's funeral.

Last month, GMTV won an average weekday audience of 1.9 million, compared with 1.5 million each for the BBC's Breakfast News, and Channel 4's Big Breakfast.