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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 April, 2004, 22:35 GMT 23:35 UK
The perfect breakfast radio show?
By Stephen Dowling
BBC News Online entertainment staff

Johnny Vaughan and Chris Tarrant
Johnny Vaughan has a tough job following Chris Tarrant
Former Big Breakfast host Johnny Vaughan takes over from Chris Tarrant as breakfast show host at London's Capital FM on Monday. BBC News Online asks what makes great breakfast radio.

It is perhaps the hardest job in radio, experts say. Breakfast show audiences, for the most part, are listening to their radios as they tumble out of bed, gulp their cereal or listen in the morning rush hour.

It has proven too much for many DJs - and makes the outgoing Tarrant - Capital's breakfast show host for 17 years - something of a legend for having been so successful for so long.

BBC News Online asked radio industry figures what they thought the perfect breakfast show needed - from the "zoo" teams made famous by Chris Evans to the mix of music - and whose qualities the perfect host should have.

Ande MacPherson, programme director at Manchester's Century 105.4 FM
"I think there are five things the perfect breakfast show needs to deliver - but doing all five well every day is where the real talent comes in.

"It has to be fun because no-one likes waking up in the morning. It has to be intelligent but not high-brow. It has to be informative and live in the world, and have bite-size news and information - everything from hard news to what I will encounter on my way to work.

"It has to have a social context - even if it's just a joke I can use during the day - and it has to be real. As Johnny Vaughan is a Londoner, I think he's a good choice."

Kenny Everett
The late Kenny Everett "broke all of the rules"
Jon Bradford, director of the Radio Academy
"My ultimate breakfast show host is Kenny Everett, but that requires a hotline to the celestial studio. He broke all of the rules and made people rethink what radio was all about. He had a completely off-the-wall sense of humour.

"What he did had a debt to things like The Goons, but his show was completely unversed and unscripted.

"With a breakfast show, you can probably get away with playing less music. I'm now about 110 years old, and I like to find bits and pieces from across the spectrum. I like to be able to hear everything from The Who to Eminem.

"As for teams, I think Chris Evans really killed off the concept of the zoo format. But what Jono does on Heart is probably as near as possible to a relationship of equals on a radio show.

"I thought Chris Moyles was stunning in the earliest days of the breakfast show on Radio 1. He was great at exploring new technology. His use of texts on the show is clever and strong."

Andre Paine, media reporter on London Evening Standard
"It seems like the breakfast shows are trying to go for the huge appeal of the older names like Tony Blackburn and Noel Edmonds.

"Tony Blackburn had that easy charm. It really was classic radio broadcasting - he came across like a cool uncle. That what Tarrant had as well, an all-pervasive appeal.

"The zoo format, that's a Chris Evans legacy that Sara Cox continued, the braying crowd of callers.

"Danny Baker, who is on breakfast at BBC London 94.9FM, he has an ability to not take himself too seriously."

Vaughan takes over Capital show
19 Apr 04  |  Entertainment
Radio 1's Moyles up for best DJ
07 Apr 04  |  Entertainment
DJ Moyles 'storms' breakfast show
05 Jan 04  |  Entertainment
Vaughan replaces Capital's Tarrant
30 Sep 03  |  Entertainment
Vaughan chat show switch
21 Aug 03  |  Entertainment
Capital's unlucky countdown
28 Jan 03  |  Entertainment


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