Breakfast Of Champions: Redux

Chapter 1: The Eggs Crack
Camden Lock 19th October 1984

"Hello"
"Hello is that Bruce Gyngell"

"Yes"
"Lord Thomson wishes to speak to you


Pause

"Good Morning Bruce"
"And a very good morning to you Lord Thomson. How can I help you today"
"I'll come straight to the point Bruce. We had an emergency meeting last night regarding the coverage that TV-AM had over the attack in Brighton"
"And as I said to you last week if you will give me until February 1985 I will have the matter sorted"
"I'm afraid that is out of the question"
"I beg your pardon"
"Our feeling is that TV-AM is too weak and ill structured to carry on. We both know that the station has been a laughing stock and has made blunder after blunder. Brighton was the last straw. We simply cannot have a breakfast franchise in such a state as TV-AM. We have therefore decided to revoke TV-AM's licence to broadcast as of now."


Editor's note: I'm restarting this as I feel the previous version of a AH/Youtube crossover wouldn't have worked.
 
"I was doing a link when out of the corner of my eye I saw Bruce stomp towards the set. He was livid..
'stop, stop everything, we've been cancelled' He turned towards the camera and started ranting and raving to whoever was watching at home"

(Nick Owen. "The Battle For Britain's Breakfast" BBC 2014)
 
"The IBA are the biggest bunch of spineless, feckless bastards I've ever met. I made it crystal clear to them last week that if they gave me until next February then I would have started a decent news service. They didn't. Lord Thomson the head of the IBA has just told me over the phone....over the fucking phone that our licence has been revoked as of now. TV-AM is dead it has been murdered by the IBA and why? Its because they're embarrassed. Well it was they who gave us the licence in the first place so I'm not embarrassed. I'm fucking livid. Every single one of the people working here have shown guts and heart, ideas that that lot down at Brompton Road haven't got the first idea about. If anyone of them thinks I'm going to go quietly then they don't know me. To all of you in the building today. Anne, Nick, Wincey and the rest I love you all. To the loyal fans at home. I love you all....to the IBA. You are a bunch of c...."
 
I reckon this could be really positive for Britain. Gyngell was running a cheap and nasty channel so any successor is going to know they have to do things properly or lose their licence.

With Gyngell busy immolating himself live on air, vaporising any support he may have had in a torrent of abuse, he has already lost this fight. Even if he hadn't the case was unanswerable, TV AM was incapable of meeting its licence commitments because the owners were too cheap and had cut costs too far. Interesting to see who replaces them and what they do
 
I reckon this could be really positive for Britain. Gyngell was running a cheap and nasty channel so any successor is going to know they have to do things properly or lose their licence.

With Gyngell busy immolating himself live on air, vaporising any support he may have had in a torrent of abuse, he has already lost this fight. Even if he hadn't the case was unanswerable, TV AM was incapable of meeting its licence commitments because the owners were too cheap and had cut costs too far. Interesting to see who replaces them and what they do

TVAM was a joke in many ways. It had in my opinion the wrong kind of setup entirely. The Famous Five as they were known may have been good at their jobs of being presenters and journalists but when it came to business they had no chance. Their successors will have different ideas.
 
Last edited:
23rd October 1984
"The Independent Broadcasting Authority is saddened by the response of Mr Gyngell to our decision to remove TV-AM's licence to broadcast. We had no choice but to do so as the station's conduct and quality had fallen far below acceptable levels. We still believe that ITV should have a breakfast licence and are looking into varying possibilities."

"Morning Glory by Ian Jones 2019"
"While Lord Thomson public view was one of optimism the truth was that the IBA had been humiliated by TV-AM. The remark about wanting breakfast television to return was according to a source said with incredible reluctance. Given the choice the IBA would rather have kicked the idea into touch and let the BBC have free reign but that would have left the authority open to ridicule. Attempts were made by the IBA to approach former applicants to reapply by all of them refused point blank. One senior member of a rival consortium told me that no right minded, sane individual would touch commercial breakfast television with a bargepole.

For several months ITV reverted to its 9.25 AM startup whilst the BBC effectively ran victory laps. It wasn't until February 1985 that things started to change but in a way that the IBA never considered and in a way that would shape ITV for a long time to come"
 
Chapter 2: We Know What We're Doing New
Just after Christmas 1984 four men were having a convivial dinner in a restaurant in Central London. To the passer-by they were just faces in the crowd but the opposite was true. They were 4 of the most powerful players in ITV. Normally professional adversaries on this occasion they were meeting as potential allies.

Christopher Brand the chairman of London Weekend Television sat with Leslie Hill of Central along with Richard Dunn of Thames and ITN's Chief Executive David Nicholas. The only item on the agenda was regenerating breakfast television on ITV. They had watched over the last few months as the IBA had tried in vain to ask failed applicants to try again only to be told in no uncertain terms to go away. The four realised that they had the chance to not just save the idea but also to ensure that their own positions and those of their companies were secured.
 
The Sunday Times 3rd February 1985
Four existing ITV companies have revealed a plan to restart breakfast television on the network.

The London based programme providers Thames Television and London Weekend Television along with Birmingham-based Central and Independent Television News (ITN) which provide the channel with national bulletins including News At Ten have announced a plan to create a new service to replace TV-AM which closed in spectacular fashion last year.

The as yet unnamed service would be based in both London and Birmingham and would provide a mixture of news, sports and features on weekdays with weekends being dedicated to sports, children's programmes, arts and celebrity interviews. Its rumoured that Bruce Forsyth will be presenting a show mixing comedy and interviews...
 
Top