1 9 8 3 – 1 9 8 9 (UK)
Selina Scott joined nice “uncle” Frank Bough on BBC1’s Breakfast Time at 6.30 am on 17 January 1983. Along with ITV’s Good Morning Britain, it was one of the first breakfast shows on British television.
Helped by a £25,000 government grant for computer equipment, the BBC won the race to start first but never in the history of breakfast was more egg left on more famous faces in fewer weeks than with the start of breakfast television.
To say there were teething problems would be to underestimate the financial and personal wars that ensued.
An avuncular Frank Bough in a jumper and a tangled-tongued Selina Scott – a smooth-as-silk Princess Diana clone in grey nanny dresses with severe white collars – were the anchorpersons (pictured below) on the Breakfast Time red leather sofa, introducing items which included a horse race, cricket and pearl fishing.
During the five weekdays, Nick Ross added gravitas as a co-presenter, but the bigger stars were a skinny blonde in a lurid green body-stocking, Diana Moran the ‘Green Goddess’ of exercise (pictured below); bubbly Russell Grant who babbled about the stars – the celestial type not the Hollywood type; and Francis Wilson the whimsical weatherman who told us everything we did not need to know.
The programme was an easy-going and relaxed affair and came as a surprise to its commercial rival TV-AM which launched a few weeks later with a “mission to explain” – as Peter Jay had called it when a team of five celebrities (David Frost, Michael Parkinson, Robert Kee, Angela Rippon and Anna Ford) won the franchise – with Good Morning Britain.
Critics instinctively thought that the BBC offering would be a heavy-weight news programme, the TV equivalent of Radio 4’s Today programme.
However, with red leather sofas, and jugs of coffee and orange juice casually mingled around the living room style set, the effect was homey yet stylish, with a sprinkling of news.
Selina left Breakfast Time in 1987, and in 1988 moved to work in America, moaning that she had never been taken seriously.
Frank Bough left in November 1987 then retired from television after a Sunday newspaper shattered his wholesome image by revealing his one-time drug use.
Diana Moran (Green Goddess)