BBC Breakfast

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BBC Breakfast 2018 Titles.jpg
Created byBBC News
Presented by
Theme music composerDavid Lowe
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
Production location(s)
Running time
  • 195 minutes (weekdays)
  • 240 minutes (weekends, Olympics)
Original network
Picture format
Audio formatDolby Digital 5.1
Original release2 October 2000 –
Preceded byBreakfast News
Related shows
External links

BBC Breakfast is the BBC's Breakfast news programme. Produced by BBC News, the programme is broadcast on BBC One and the BBC News channel The simulcast is presented live, originally from the BBC Television Centre before moving to MediaCityUK[1] in 2012. The programme contains a mixture of news, sport, weather, business, and feature items, and is broadcast 365 days a year.

Pre-BBC Breakfast history[edit]

Breakfast Time was the first BBC breakfast programme, with Ron Neil as producer. It was conceived in response to the plans of the commercial television company TV-am to introduce a breakfast television show. Breakfast Time's first broadcast was on 17 January 1983,[2] and was presented by Frank Bough, Selina Scott, Nick Ross and Russell Grant. The atmosphere of the set was intended to encourage a relaxed informality; the set mimicked a living-room rather than a studio, with red leather sofas, and Bough and Ross wearing jumpers and open-necked shirts.[3] Breakfast Time lasted 150 minutes, initially being transmitted between 6:30 am and 9:00 am, before moving to a 6:50 am to 9:20 am slot on 18 February 1985.

Ron Neil, the programme's first editor,[4] departed from the programme and on 10 November 1986 a more conventional news focus was introduced featuring a news desk, presenters in smart dress and a time-reduced programme broadcast that began at 7:00 am and ended any time between 8:30 am and 8:55 am.[3] Presenters included Kirsty Wark, John Stapleton, Jeremy Paxman and Sally Magnusson.

On 2 October 1989, the programme was renamed BBC Breakfast News and followed a more authoritative tone with a set modelled on the conventional desk style of news bulletins, starting at 6:30 am. The programme had been planned to start in September but was postponed due to delays with the set. The first edition was presented by Nicholas Witchell and Jill Dando.[5]

In January 1993, both programmes moved to the then sixth floor N2 studio in a set used for the One, Six and Nine o'clock news.[5] Composer George Fenton reworked the theme tune for the Silicon Graphics CGI, title sequences were designed in-house by the BBC and the set was built by Television Production Design Ltd. The business news coverage extended to an hour-long programme in its own right, beginning at 6:00 am, while Breakfast News started at 7:00 am. A further revamp occurred in June 1997, when the programme was renamed simply Breakfast News.[5]

BBC Breakfast history[edit]

On 2 October 2000, the merging of separate breakfast programmes, BBC One and BBC News 24, into one single simulcast called BBC Breakfast started, with the first show hosted by Sophie Raworth and Jeremy Bowen.[5] The studio was replaced with a new set in 2003.

Since April 2006, the BBC News channel has returned to its traditional format (starting at 8:30 am) while Breakfast continues on BBC One until 9:15 am. In April 2008, BBC News 24 was renamed "BBC News", as part of a £550,000 rebranding of the BBC's news output, complete with a new studio and presentation.

On 2 May 2006, Breakfast moved into studio N6 at Television Centre with other BBC One news programmes that required a larger set design that included walls of Barco video screens. The original screen scenes of cirrus clouds on a blue sky were changed as a result of viewer comments that 'it looked too cold'[5]—their replacement was with orange squares of the same design as those appearing in the programme's new title sequence, which were designed to hide any joins or faults between the screens which had previously been obvious. The screens eventually displayed visuals needed for story content: different backgrounds, graphics and still photographs. More importantly, the set had a generic visual style that could be used for other programmes, such as the national news bulletins, without much additional physical change. The programme celebrated its 20th anniversary on 17 January 2003.[6]

On 28 January 2008, Breakfast returned to the TC7 studios, where Breakfast Time had been based following its move from the BBC Lime Grove Studios. On 2 March 2009, Breakfast relaunched with a new set and studio background.[5] The backdrop resembled that of the BBC News channel as did the new Breakfast titles. In May 2009 as part of cost-cutting, the live broadcasts of the business news from the London Stock Exchange were dropped.[7]

BBC Breakfast set in 2010 with Bill Turnbull and Sian Williams

In July 2010, the BBC announced that Breakfast was moving to their new studios in Salford Quays.[8] The BBC announced that with the April 2012 move to Salford, co-presenter Sian Williams and sports presenter Chris Hollins preferred not be included in the move to the North of England.[9] Williams left Breakfast on 15 March 2012.

On 12 December 2011, the first of several presenter changes was announced. Louise Minchin would, with the studio move to Salford, join the other main presenters of BBC Breakfast: Bill Turnbull, Susanna Reid and Charlie Stayt. Carol Kirkwood, on 26 March 2012, would remain in London presenting weather. Sports presenters Mike Bushell and Sally Nugent and business presenter Steph McGovern would locate to Salford. The first Breakfast edition from Salford occurred on Tuesday 10 April 2012.[10] London-based newspapers have reported extensive criticism of the BBC move[11][12][13] but a decrease in audience did not occur, with the retention of an approximate average of 1.5 million viewers.[14]

The 2012 Summer Olympics prompted BBC Breakfast to temporarily broadcast from an interim studio near the Olympic Park in Stratford. During the Games, former presenters Sian Williams and Chris Hollins also returned to lead the morning programme, in addition to Bill Turnbull, Charlie Stayt, Louise Minchin, and BBC Sport presenter Hazel Irvine. The show ended its temporary London return with broadcasting from the BBC News Channel's studio on the morning following the closing ceremonies before rebroadcasting from Salford the next day.

On 19 March 2013, BBC Breakfast updated its "lower thirds" to match the graphics and fonts used by the rest of BBC News since the previous day. The clock was consequently moved to the lower right side of the screen.

On 23 July 2014, the show went on location again, this time to Glasgow to showcase highlights from the 2014 Commonwealth Games. In the hours leading up to the opening ceremony, Carol Kirkwood reported from Celtic Park. The day after the end of the Games, Charlie Stayt presented from Glasgow Cathedral in the lead up to ceremonies marking 100 years since the start of World War I.

For the 2016 Summer Olympics, the programme was again renamed Olympic Breakfast and was anchored by Salford and Rio broadcasting from the BBC Sport studio.


Between 06:00 and 08:30 on weekdays, the programme is simulcast on BBC News. During the simulcast, the sports news is at 06:10, 06:35, 07:35 and 08:35. In addition, live sports bulletins are broadcast from sporting locations, such as Royal Ascot and Wimbledon, with the presenter interviewing key sporting figures. Business updates are presented at 06:10, when the main business stories from the newspapers are also discussed, and then at 20 minutes and 50 minutes past the hour, either from the studio, or out on location. The United Kingdom weather forecast is at 15 minutes and 45 minutes past the hour throughout the programme, either from the BBC Weather Centre in Broadcasting House, or out on location. Short (approximately four minutes) regional news, travel and weather bulletins are done just before the hour and the half-hour throughout the programme. Once the BBC News Channel breaks away for its own programming (starting from Business Live) at 08:30, a brief check of the headlines and sports are done. The show then gradually shifts to reporting lifestyle and entertainment-oriented stories. The broadcast occasionally ends with a musical performance from one of the guests.

The show is abbreviated during bank holidays to just three hours but still features regional news updates, and is completely simulcast on the BBC News Channel.

During weekends, there are no updates from regional news bureaus. The first and/or second hour of the weekend edition may occasionally feature abbreviated versions of the BBC's other programmes such as Click, Reporters (shown in full at 6:30 on Sundays), Newswatch (shown on Saturdays at 7:45), The Travel Show and the Film Review. They also have a paper review with guests, and Paul Lewis normally discusses business or personal finance news. The show is also simulcast on BBC One and the BBC News Channel, but BBC One occasionally breaks away on Sundays to show the previous night's edition of Match of the Day.

Temporary 2020 changes[edit]

As a direct consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the programme's format was significantly altered from March 23 until further notice. The changes involved:

  • Temporary suspension of regional news bulletins on weekdays.
  • Temporary suspension of showing BBC News programming (e.g. Click, Newswatch) on weekends.
  • Length of weekday editions shortened by 15 minutes and broadcast in full by the BBC News Channel, allowing for an extra hour long BBC News bulletin to air on BBC One at 9:00.
  • Weather bulletins now take place at 25 and 55 minutes past each hour, except for 8:55, filling the slot reserved for the suspension of regional news.
  • New, temporary seating arrangement with presenters now sat two metres apart from one another on the sofa.
  • Business and sports presenters moved to the newsroom, to allow for social distancing.
  • All guests, such as cabinet ministers, are interviewed remotely from their own homes.
  • Location interviewers stand two metres apart from people at all times during live on location reports.


Breakfast encourages viewer response and interaction via e-mail, Facebook and Twitter.[15][16] Video reports and interviews from the programme are made available on the Breakfast Facebook page after transmission.


Naga Munchetty, Trump comments[edit]

In September 2019, Munchetty was ruled to have breached the BBC's guidelines by criticising US President Donald Trump for perceived racism. That July, while presenting BBC Breakfast, Munchetty had taken issue with Trump's comments telling his opponents to "go back" to the "places from which they came". Munchetty said: "Every time I have been told, as a woman of colour, to go back to where I came from, that was embedded in racism. Now I'm not accusing anyone of anything here, but you know what certain phrases mean."[17]

The BBC was criticised for its decision to uphold complaints over Munchetty's comments. Several public figures, including Lenny Henry and Adrian Lester, signed an open letter asking the corporation to revisit its ruling against her.[18]

On 30 September it was reported in The Guardian that the complaint was also made against her co-host Dan Walker but his comments were not the focus of the BBC's executive complaints unit (ECU) investigation, due to the complainant's follow up complaint focusing solely on Munchetty.[19] Later that day, the Director-General of the BBC Tony Hall overturned the decision after looking into it personally.[20]

Current on-air team[edit]

BBC Breakfast's current main presenters are:

Business presenters[edit]

  • Ben Thompson (also serves as a stand-in main presenter)[22]
  • Sean Farrington (relief)
  • Victoria Fritz (relief presenter and stand-in main presenter)
  • Nina Warhurst (relief presenter and stand-in main presenter)[23]

Sports presenters[edit]

Weather presenters[edit]

Relief presenters[edit]

Regular reporters[edit]

  • Graham Satchell[24]
  • John Maguire
  • Tim Muffett

Regular BBC contributors[edit]

Former presenters[edit]


If there is no position before tenure, then this presenter was either a relief presenter or guest stand-in presenter.





Editorial team[edit]

Richard Frediani is the current editor of BBC Breakfast. He took on the role in September 2019 after being appointed in July 2019.[25] He replaced Adam Bullimore, who had held the role since 2013. Bullimore was previously the deputy editor for five years.[26] Alison Ford, previously the UK Editor for BBC Newsgathering, was the editor of the programme until her death in July 2013.[27] Her appointment followed the departure of David Kermode to 5 News.[28]

Regular guests[edit]

BBC Breakfast has a regular panel of experts who appear to provide specialist insight or analysis into news stories when they are required. In addition, the newspaper review on the weekends have a regular guest to provide commentary.

Out of studio broadcasts[edit]

Presenters make on-location broadcasts for particularly significant events.

The day after the September 11 attacks in New York City, Jeremy Bowen presented live near Ground Zero.

Dermot Murnaghan presented from Washington, D.C. to cover the 2004 US election. Bill Turnbull did the same for the 2008 US presidential election.

In the aftermath of the 7 July 2005 London bombings, Bill Turnbull presented live from King's Cross.

Sian Williams reported live from the scene of the Indian Ocean earthquake in 2005.

Dermot Murnaghan presented from the 2006 election campaign[verification needed] from Bristol.[30]

In September 2009, Kate Silverton presented from Lashkargāh, Afghanistan.[31] The programme would return to Afghanistan on 27 and 28 June 2014, when Bill Turnbull presented from Camp Bastion to celebrate Armed Forces Day.

Bill Turnbull presented live from Brighton for the September 2009 Liberal Democrats Conference, while Sian Williams presented from the Labour and Conservative Party Conferences.

Susanna Reid presented from the 2010 Academy Awards Ceremony.[32]

On 6 April 2010, Sian Williams presented from Westminster in the run-up to the announcement of the 2010 General Election.[33]

During April and May of 2010, Bill Turnbull presented and reported from various locations on the party[which?] campaign trail throughout the country.[34][35][36]

On 30 April 2010, Charlie Stayt presented the programme from the University of Birmingham following the final leaders' debate of the election campaign.

On 12 May 2010, Sian Williams presented the programme from College Green, Westminster the day after David Cameron became Prime Minister. Bill Turnbull also presented from outside 10 Downing Street.

Following the Cumbria shootings the previous day, Bill Turnbull presented live from the town of Whitehaven on 3 June 2010.

Bill Turnbull presented on the progress of the Olympic Park in Stratford, East London on 27 July 2010, two years before the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics.[37] Chris Hollins presented the sports news from the same location.[37]

Bill Turnbull presented from the September 2010 Liberal Democrats conference in Liverpool and the Labour Conference in Manchester.

Sian Williams presented from the October 2010 Tory Conference in Birmingham.[38] He additionally presented from College Green, Westminster in anticipation of the unveiling of Chancellor George Osborne's spending review[39] and at the unveiling itself, both in October 2010.

A special split edition of the programme aired for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, with Sian presenting from Westminster Abbey and Bill live from Buckingham Palace. Naga Munchetty would later present from Windsor Castle to mark the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

On 17 April 2013, Charlie Stayt presented the show from St Paul's Cathedral, London for a special split edition in the build-up of the funeral of Baroness Margaret Thatcher.

On 13 March 2015, Bill Turnbull presented from St Paul's Cathedral, London in the lead up to a special service of remembrance to mark the end of operations in Afghanistan.

On 12 June 2016, Louise Minchin presented from outside Buckingham Palace in the lead up to the finale of the Queen's 90th Birthday celebrations.

Naga Munchetty presented from outside the Palace of Westminster covering the aftermath of the United Kingdom's European Union membership referendum results.

Charlie Stayt and Sally Nugent presented live from Westminster the day after the 2017 terror attack.

During a special edition focusing on the Manchester terror attack that took place the previous night, Louise Minchin presented from outside Manchester Arena where the attack happened, and Dan Walker presented in the studio.

Naga Munchetty presented from Borough Market in the aftermath of the London Bridge terror attack.

Charlie Stayt and Louise Minchin spoke to MPs in Westminster on 10 June 2017 about the hung Parliament result from 8 June.

Naga Munchetty and Charlie Stayt presented a special on the Grenfell Tower fire that happened during the night, followed by a broadcast the next day with Charlie live from West London and Naga in the studio talking to people.

On 13 December 2018, Naga Munchetty and Charlie Stayt presented live from College Green, Westminster focusing on the unsuccessful vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Theresa May by Conservative Party MPs.

Charlie Stayt and Steph McGovern presented live from Endcliffe Park in Sheffield when a flypast took place for the 75th anniversary of the "Mi Amigo" crash.

Video podcast[edit]

In September 2006, Breakfast launched its own video podcast called the Breakfast Takeaway. BBC News had already launched three other services: Newsnight, the Ten O'Clock News and STORYFix (also previously shown on television at weekends on News 24).[40] The Breakfast Takeaway was available Monday to Friday in MP4 format where it could be downloaded and viewed from a home or office computer.

The video podcasts were a one-year trial. After the BBC reviewed the trial, the podcasts were discontinued in July 2007.


In 2003, the Breakfast production team was commissioned by BBC One to make a week long series called The Day Team From Chatsworth, presented by Nicki Chapman and presenter of the BBC's Countryfile programme, John Craven. It took a behind-the-scenes look at the stately home Chatsworth House,[41] and was broadcast separately on BBC One at 10:30 am.

A number of other guests or celebrity presenters have been used on Breakfast to present themed days or weeks, even though some have never been mainstream news reporters or presenters. Many of these have seen the programme extended to 9:30 am.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "BBC Breakfast – About the BBC". Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  2. ^ "Breakfast Time 1983 – History of the BBC". Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  3. ^ a b Dowling, Tim (9 April 2014). "The Battle for Britain's Breakfast; The Call Centre – TV review – The Guardian Dowling.T p.9 April 2014". The Guardian.
  4. ^ See for example: Ian Jones, Morning Glory: A history of British breakfast television. Kelly, 2004; especially pp. 17–18, 22–29. ISBN 1-903053-20-X
  5. ^ a b c d e f "BBC Breakfast through the years – tvnewsroom". 24 June 2018. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  6. ^ 20 years of breakfast television BBC News, 17 January 2003
  7. ^ Holmwood, Leigh; Dowell, Ben (13 May 2009). "BBC News to cut Paris correspondent role in latest cuts – The Guardian Holmwood.L & Dowell.B p.13 May 2009". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  8. ^ BBC Breakfast moving to Salford BBC News, 14 July 2010
  9. ^ Sian Williams opts out of BBC Breakfast move BBC News, 31 March 2011
  10. ^ "BBC Breakfast first broadcast MediaCityUK". Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  11. ^ Robinson, Stuart (13 September 2010). "Salford Quays Wish you were Here". 13 September 2010. London Evening Standard. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  12. ^ Hough, Andrew (10 April 2012). "BBC's £2m London-to-Salford travel bill". 10 April 2012. The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  13. ^ Blears, Hazell. "Hazel on BBC's Salford Move". Article by Hazell Blears MP. Archived from the original on 3 January 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  14. ^ Kanter, Jake. "BBC Breakfast ratings steady after Salford move". 14 September 2012. Broadcast Now. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  15. ^ Contact us BBC News, 29 June 2010
  16. ^ Contact us BBC News, 28 May 2010
  17. ^ "Naga Munchetty Trump comments 'breached BBC rules'". 25 September 2019.
  18. ^ Hirsch, Afua (27 September 2019). "You can't be 'impartial' about racism – an open letter to the BBC on the Naga Munchetty ruling | Afua Hirsch, Lenny Henry, Adrian Lester, Krishnan Guru-Murthy and others". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  19. ^ Editor, Jim Waterson Media (30 September 2019). "BBC racism row: Naga Munchetty complaint was also about co-host Dan Walker". The Guardian.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  20. ^ Kuenssberg, Laura (30 September 2019). "Tony Hall has overturned the decision about Naga Munchetty - he's looked personally at the decision and says her words did not merit a complaint being upheld against her". Retrieved 14 January 2020.
  21. ^ "BBC Breakfast Team". BBC Breakfast. BBC. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
  22. ^ "Ben Thompson – BBC Breakfast". Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  23. ^ "Nina Warhurst – twitter". Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  24. ^ "Breakfast Reporters – BBC Breakfast". Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  25. ^ "Richard Frediani appointed BBC Breakfast Editor". BBC Media Centre. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  26. ^ "Adam Bullimore appointed Editor, BBC Breakfast". Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  27. ^ "BBC Breakfast editor Alison Ford dies of cancer", BBC News, 3 July 2013
  28. ^ "About Vinosaurus". Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  29. ^ "Is the BBC biased? From today's BBC Breakfast paper review". 12 December 2015. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  30. ^ Balanced Breakfast Editors Blog, BBC, 7 June 2006
  31. ^ Kate Silverton: Ms Silverton strikes gold The Independent, 18 February 2008
  32. ^ Oscars 2010: A night on the red carpet BBC News, 1 March 2010
  33. ^ BBC – 6 April TV Newsroom
  34. ^ BBC Breakfast 6 April 2010
  35. ^ BBC News – General Election 2010: Making It Clear TV Throng, 5 April 2010
  36. ^ ANDREW GREAVES: 'Expect Brown to come out fighting today' The Bolton News, 12 April 2010
  37. ^ a b Live – Two years to London 2012 Olympics BBC Sport, 27 July 2010
  38. ^ Child benefit cuts for better off are fair – Cameron BBC News, 5 October 2010
  39. ^ Good morning! It's a special edition of Breakfast today with @sianbreakfast in Westminster as we look ahead to today's Spending Review Twitter/BBC Breakfast, 20 October 2010
  40. ^ Podcasts from BBC News BBC News, 8 May 2006
  41. ^ The Day Team at Chatsworth BBC News, 17 October 2003
  42. ^ Hat-tric for Breakfast BBC News, 7 March 2006
  43. ^ National TV Awards winners BBC News, 26 January 2011

External links[edit]