OPENING week negotiated, so let’s reflect on those pre-series boasts and promises...
Susanna Reid: “We want to bring the news to everyone in an accessible way.”
Ben Shephard: “The tone and stories will change and the news spine will be much stronger.”
And how, tell me, is this agenda-shaping journalism going?
Over to Andi Peters in Saffron Walden: “Oliver and Wendy, spin the Wheel of Cash... ooh, you’ve won the mystery prize! A goodie bag with an ITV umbrella!”
Bafta-winning stuff from the newshounds at Daybreak’s replacement Good Morning Britain, which set out with an apparent attempt to recreate, on-screen, the complete cockpit display of an Airbus A380 superjumbo.
They’ve thrown everything at it.
The chances of rain in Beccles, a clock that gained an hour at 7.09am on Monday, the promise of sport headlines to come at 6.35am (at 7.15am on Wednesday), and a news ticker displaying the words “Home Secretrary” which nobody corrected for the whole two-and-a-half hours.
Bless, they think they’re in Times Square.
Appropriate for a show that’s aiming for the razzle-dazzle of American breakfast TV, by installing a stupid big desk.
It’s news, only news (with the benefit of a super close-up)... IN. YOUR. FACE.
Trouble is there are so many presenters it’s like watching the Keystone Cops trip over each other to read each headline.
The big signing, of course, is Reid, “the world’s 30th sexiest woman”, who’s started nervously, fluffed lines and found herself unable to pronounce “cherry juice”: “Drinking a glass of tart, terry, jerry, cherry choos... sounds like I need a bit more sleep.”
Yep, I’d set the alarm for 8.30am if I were you.
She’s been carried by Ben Shephard’s safe pair of hands and outshone by the far slicker Charlotte Hawkins, a smart transfer from Sky News.
You can, though, make too much of the headlining personnel.
GMB’s problems run deeper, starting with unflushable elements like Ross King, Dr Hilary and the £1.54 phone-in competition and the teasing of the weather.
Just tell us the bloody weather, we haven’t got time for this.
The mystifying obsession with viewer interaction goes un-vetted and had Reid reading out this fabrication: “Paul says, ‘My teacher laughed when I said I wanted to be a pilot. Completely deflated I joined the army and became a pilot’.” (Erm, there are no pilots in the army, guys.)
Its crushing sense of self-importance gave Richard Gaisford, in Ukraine, virtually no screen time on day one and yet the top story 24 hours later because: “A Good Morning Britain team has been caught up in the escalating violence.”
Oh, now it’s news.
And BBC Breakfast was at the fatal Sheffield house fire by 6.30am on Monday, 90 minutes before GMB.
The Beeb knows what it’s doing. Andi Peters’ Wheel of Cash, live from a random market, exposes ITV’s scattergun cluelessness.
But to see its lack of imagination fully, compare and contrast.
Daybreak re-launched on September 3, 2012, with a manufactured X Factor band (Little Mix) and a rehashed old story (Farepak).
Good Morning Britain launched with a manufactured X Factor band (1D) and a rehashed old story (the 16 kids and counting family).
I give it 18 months.
This Morning, March 14, astrologer Russell Grant reading Prince Harry and Cressida Bonas’s horoscopes: “Venus in her own sign of Libra, for him, is a double whammy of love. The two Venuses in their chart, the goddess of love, absolutely connect. The potential of the relationship is enormous. It’s a royal marriage.”
I wouldn’t buy a hat just yet, Russell.
This week’s Couch Potato Spudulikes...
Steve Pemberton, in Happy Valley, showing C4’s Martin Freeman how to play the weak-willed Fargo lead role.
Britain’s Got More Talent’s Stephen Mulhern turning every act into a stooge in a brilliant one-man sketch.
This Morning’s supernatural week, with Phillip Schofield asking “the woman who’s had sex with a ghost” Nastasha Blasick: “So your husband’s not worried about you sleeping with Casper?”
And TLC’s enjoyable The Charlotte Crosby Experience managing to follow the Geordie Shore star’s enema-induced toilet un-pleasantries in Delhi (“I’ve got bad ring sting”) with an advert for Iceland’s Atomic Chicken Vindaloo.
Make mine a korma, thanks.
This week’s Best Dream Interpreter award goes to...
TLC’s Charlotte Crosby: “Last night I had a dream that I saw an elephant. So this has got to be some kind of sign that I’m going to see an elephant.”
You code cracker, you.
Crazy days in EastEnders where Lucy Beale’s murder ignited mass hyperventilation, involuntary spasming and Phil Mitchell giving a puppy the kiss of life.
An improvement on Shirley, obviously.
Kat got a slap on the wrist for perjuring a murder trial.
Every character getting into a car is assumed to be leaving Walford, not just popping to Aldi.
The show’s right-on brigade made it perfectly acceptable for a gay woman to say: “You’ve got a great rack.” (Imagine the outrage if it came from a man.)
And Lucy’s brother Peter asked Denise: “What are we going to do to get through this?”
Resort to the oldest soap trick in the book, Pete. A lesbian kiss.
That’ll distract the viewers from the nonsensical misery.
Let Me Entertain You.
I’m waiting. Still waiting.
Richard Madeley talking about ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Monday’s The Wright Stuff: “Whatever people make of it this morning, give it a chance.
“It’s very hard in the beginning and I don’t think it’s fair to judge a show on day one.”
He’s right. As appalling as it seems now, it is too soon to write the show off.
After all, it’s only had 13 years on Channel 5.
This week’s Couch Potato Spuduhates...
Britain’s Got Talent running out of steam midway through the auditions.
EastEnders canonising useless, grumpy waste of space Lucy Beale.
ITV’s Ejector Seat plagiarising The Graham Norton Show.
C4 Spitting Image puppet Christian Jessen finding a cheap excuse on Embarrassing Bodies: Live From The Clinic to unbutton his shirt.
ITV getting it wrong in pulling Law & Order’s finale after the Ann Maguire stabbing and, much worse, C5 getting it wrong not pulling a Columbine documentary.
And BBC2 cutting off the final frame of the titanic 13-12 Barry Hawkins v Dominic Dale world snooker quarter-final for an Eggheads repeat. Boneheads.
Turn it off. In fact disconnect the supply.
Rupert Everett on C4’s surprisingly informed look at prostitution Love For Sale: “Three orgasms a day sounds like a frankly incredible level of job satisfaction.”
You say that. But is it as good as coming up with a lousy one-liner watching Loose Women?
Not so smug now, eh?