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The Evolution of Breakfast

Breakfast's 25th birthday
BBC Breakfast presenters past and present celebrating the programme's 25th anniversary, including (left to right) Angela Rippon, Francis Wilson, Chris Hollins, Glyn Christian, Selena Scott, Sue Cook, Sian Williams, Mike Smith and Bill Turnbull.

Breakfast Time

On 17th January 1983 at 6.30am television history was made - Breakfast Time was the UK's first regular morning television service. Presented by Frank Bough and Selina Scott it combined news and sport with lighter features, such as astrology with Russell Grant and keep fit segments with the Green Goddess, Diana Moran.

Christmas with Breakfast Time in 1984 warranted special titles

The set was designed to resemble a living room, with red leather sofas and steaming carafes of hot coffee. But over the years the programme became gradually more formal. Presenters later included Kirsty Wark, John Stapleton, Jeremy Paxman and Sally Magnusson.

Still Breakfast Time, but more formal, and with high-tech computer-generated titles

Breakfast News

The formality of the programme was enshrined on 4th September 1989 when the show was relaunched as Breakfast News. The show now had a desk in line with the other national news bulletins.

Big desk, sharp suits - it's Breakfast News

In 1993 the BBC rolled out a corporate look (nicknamed the cut-glass era) across all its bulletins, including Breakfast. The new theme tune remixed the original Breakfast Time theme to give it a modern edge. The studio, with its seemingly infinite desk and cut-glass crest were generated entirely by computer - a feat of engineering even by modern standards.

Cut glass and computer imagery in 1993

By 1997 BBC News' corporate look had begun to fragment - Breakfast News' opening titles now sported clouds and lots of people in suits. At 6am, for the first half an hour the programme was devoted entirely to business (and had its own identity, Business Breakfast)

Slightly sunnier skies by 1997


A much bigger relaunch came on 2nd October 2000 with the programme becoming, simply, Breakfast. As well as a lighter, brighter look and new presenters, the programme also merged the separate morning programmes on BBC One and BBC News 24 (now the BBC News channel).

Breakfast News becomes Breakfast in 2000

Since April 2006 the BBC News channel has begun its rolling news coverage at 8.30am while Breakfast continues on BBC One, covering lighter stories and featuring celebrity guests.

The Iraq War began in the early hours of 20th March 2003, so Breakfast carried extensive coverage

In May 2006 the current look of Breakfast was introduced along with a wider revamping of the BBC national news bulletins. Breakfast moved to join all the news bulletins in studio N6, the rear walls of which are made up of video screens allowing for different backgrounds whenever required. Initially Breakfast had cirrus clouds on a blue sky, but some people thought it felt a little cold, so instead it was replaced by a montage of sunrise images from our titles.

Not everyone was a fan of the clouds in 2006

On 28 January 2008 Breakfast returned to its previous home, studio TC7 where the programme has remained ever since!

BBC Breakfast


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