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On This Day 1983: Central News heads to TV-am

On this Day

On This Day 1983: Central News heads to TV-am

OTD, January 31st 1983…

Central News report by Richard Hudson-Evans who takes a look at the first national ITV breakfast company TV-am which began broadcasts on February 1st 1983 – weeks after the BBC rushed in a breakfast show to beat ITV to it with Breakfast Time. At the time TV-am was bound by the television regulator to not begin transmissions until February which gave the Beeb a free run to go to air first.

Despite this, the staff of TV-am who would bring the news programme Daybreak to screens, as well as the magazine show Good Morning Britain and later lifestyle show After Nine to air were buoyant about the launch of the station.

Presenters Michael Parkinson, Angela Rippon, Richard Kee, Lynda Berry and weatherman David Philpott all talked to Richard about the new morning service Richard. Central News also spoke to the chairman Peter Jay and the director of programmes Michael Deakin about the new venture.

Ultimately Good Morning Britain failed to lure in viewers with the BBC offering rating ahead. Following a revamp – or three – TV-am became the most-watched morning show in the UK and the Beeb eventually gave in and revamped Breakfast Time into Breakfast News with a more serious offering.

TV-am, having survived strikes, low ratings, not enough advertising revenue and several staff changes, was by 1991 finally settled – and profitable – until the television regulator the IBA threw in another televisual bomb, giving the licence to broadcast from January 1st 1993 to rival GMTV. The Good Morning Britain name was revived by ITV Daytime in 2014.

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