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Monday, 22 January, 2001, 12:49 GMT
New faces at Big Breakfast
Donna Air, Paul Tonkinson and Amanda Byram
A new look and new faces for breakfast
The Big Breakfast was re-launched on Monday with both a new look and presenters to fill the shoes of Johnny Vaughan and Denise Van Outen who left two weeks ago.

I was constantly having to get my armpits dried with a hairdryer

Paul Tonkinson

Channel 4 hopes the revamp will win back the hundreds of thousands of viewers who have deserted the programme in the last 12 months.

Donna Air, Amanda Byram, Paul Tonkinson and Melanie Sykes have been hired to freshen up the independently-made programme, which faces possible axing from Channel 4 if ratings do not improve.

The programme has seen viewing figures of 1.2m drop to around 500,000 in recent months.

The presenters, who also include old hand Richard Bacon, have had to get used to new sleeping patterns as well as the new format.

Johnny Vaughan and Denise Van Outen
500 guests joined the Vaughan and Van Outen for their last Big Breakfast
Byram said: "I didn't sleep a wink. It's not been too bad because the adrenaline kicks in but you know by 2.30pm I'll probably have fallen into a coma."

Donna Air, who has had a role on the show for many months but not as a main presenter, said: "I woke up at 1am and just stayed up watching Trisha and Judge Judy.

"I was being picked up at 3.30am so there was no point in going back to bed."

The nerves were certainly showing for comedian Paul Tonkinson who had to take emergency action to dry off his sweaty clothes.

He said: "I was constantly having to get my armpits dried with a hairdryer when I was off camera.

"I was certainly not the ice man."

See also:

01 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Comedian tipped for Big Breakfast job
05 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Breakfast star Vaughan's back agony
12 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Breakfast over for Denise and Johnny
02 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Vaughan quitting Big Breakfast
04 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Liza's Big Breakfast tears
04 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Van Outen's Breakfast return
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