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Thursday, 20 December, 2001, 08:31 GMT
Sky wins Big Breakfast slot
Amanda Byram and Richard Bacon are current presenters
Amanda Byram and Richard Bacon are current hosts
BSkyB has won the lucrative contract to produce the replacement for Channel 4's axed show The Big Breakfast.

The company has teamed up with Princess Productions to provide a live news and entertainment morning show.

The deal will see the companies paid about 12m for the year-long contract.

Channel 4 took the decision to scrap The Big Breakfast when ratings took a dive following the departure of Johnny Vaughan.


The Big Breakfast has been one of Channel 4's most distinctive and important programmes for nearly a decade

Tim Gardam, Channel 4
A recent relaunch with new presenters failed to win back viewers, and the last show will go out on 29 March 2002.

Contemporary

The bidding process was opened in June as dozens of production companies sought to fill the slot.

A shortlist of four was drawn up, including The Big Breakfast's Planet 24.

The new, as yet unnamed, show will feature topical entertainment stories, news, weather and sport, presented in a contemporary way.

Denise Van Outen
Denise Van Outen has gone on to a stage career
BskyB is also celebrating after beating ITN to provide Channel 5's early-morning news.

Sky's Sunrise programme will replace the ITN News Channel during the morning, although ITN will continue to provide Channel 5's other news bulletins.

Princess Productions is behind such shows as Model Behaviour and Light Lunch.

The Big Breakfast was launched in 1992, aimed at a younger audience than its rivals.

New life

It set up the careers of its first presenters Chris Evans and Gaby Roslin, who enjoyed audiences of 1.5m.

But their departure sparked a slide in ratings as Sharron Davies and Rick Adams took over.

The introduction of Johnny Vaughan and Denise van Outen breathed new life into the format.

Van Outen quit to be replaced by Kelly Brook, who took criticism for her lack of experience, eventually bowing out to pave the way for Liza Tarbuck.

But when the popular Vaughan left, producers decided the time was right to refresh the show.

Johnny Vaughan with Kelly Brook
Kelly Brook struggled to repeat Denise van Outen's on-screen chemistry with Johnny Vaughan
However, the team were not a hit and Paul Tonkinson was quickly fired and his place taken by former Blue Peter presenter Richard Bacon.

Tim Gardam, Channel 4's director of programmes, said: "The Big Breakfast has been one of Channel 4's most distinctive and important programmes for nearly a decade.

"It represented a breakthrough for TV entertainment as a whole and created a style that has been widely imitated.

"It has also been one of the most successful breeding grounds for new talent, and I would like to thank everyone who has worked so hard on the show over the past nine years."

See also:

19 Dec 01 | TV and Radio
Sky News gets Channel 5 airing
19 Jun 01 | TV and Radio
Big Breakfast washed up
19 Apr 01 | TV and Radio
Big Breakfast 'not over'
06 Apr 01 | TV and Radio
Big Breakfast host sacked
12 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Breakfast over for Denise and Johnny
22 Jan 01 | Entertainment
New faces at Big Breakfast
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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