Back on September 8th we here at ATV suggested that the one-time breakfast icon that is Roland Rat could be the saviour of ITV’s flop breakfast show Daybreak. Now the star of TV-am has suggested the idea himself.
Roland Rat was drafted into TV-am in 1983 when the new breakfast network failed to attract viewers. New TV-am boss Greg Dyke hired Roland and within months the ratings for Good Morning Britain had shot to over one million.
Such was the success of Roland he was later given his own series on BBC One. Today the megastar who always has time for his ratfans has suggested he may indeed be lured to Daybreak to change its flagging fortunes.
Roland is working in America these days but told supermarket ASDA’s magazine that he could be tempted back to British daytime television:
“They need me on there to save that early mornin’ bilge – yeahhhhhhh!!” and also said that Daybreak – the replacement for GMTV – was “a right load of old rubbish”.
Popular TV-am faces, Anne Diamond and Nick Owen.
TV-am remained a success until it wax axed by the IBA regulator in 1992. It was replaced with GMTV, which also failed to appeal to viewers initially – it was saved when it became a carbon copy of Good Morning Britain.
Roland isn’t the only one hitting out at the replacement for GMTV, which ended in September after seventeen years. This Morning host Eamonn Holmes also has raised an eyebrow at the new show, while yesterday Esther Rantzen – who was part of the original TV-am launch team – told the Guardian where Daybreak had gone wrong.
Just like we at ATV stated back in September, Esther noted “TV-am, like Daybreak, relied on celebrity presenters to pull in viewers. They had the biggest stars of the time, Angela Rippon, Anna Ford, David Frost among them, and that won them the franchise. But it lost the viewers… All that grandeur on screen made the viewers feel uncomfortable.”
Lorraine Kelly and Eamonn Holmes on GMTV
Esther believes the success of breakfast television is informal. Writing in the Guardian she added “Breakfast Time, created an easy, friendly atmosphere, with not a tie to be seen. Frank Bough and Selina Scott lolled on sofas, an informality never before seen on British TV.”
Two months on and GMTV viewers are still making their dislike of the new show clear online across Facebook and Twitter. It appears the public distaste for GMTV by ITV has alienated a large portion of their breakfast audience. As Greg Dyke, who hired Roland originally, noted last month. Speaking to the Guardian he said,
“I can’t quite understand why they’ve changed the brand that was making them quite a lot of money. I’m not saying it was great but why alienate the people who like it, without bringing anyone [viewers] new in?”
Roland Rat, however, has proved popular on Facebook where he has his own official page.