RISE and shine, folks, because something’s afoot in the land of breakfast television.
It’s National Bring Your Kid to the Office Week, by the looks, and Lorraine Kelly has entered into the spirit of the occasion by accompanying her suited-and-booted whippersnapper to the ITV1 sofa on work experience.
A lovely gesture by the veteran presenter... huh? What’s that you say? “That’s Aled Jones”?
Well, shove my hand up Roland Rat’s bottom and call me Frank Bough if it isn’t so.
Yes, it’s the eagerly-anticipated-by-nobody re-launch of Daybreak, where everything has turned ORANGE OH MY GOD IT’S TOO BRIGHT MAKE IT STOP.
You get the gist.
The brand spanking new set (with the same old sofa), however, is the least of ITV’s concerns.
The biggest is instantly alienating their own viewers, judging by the reaction on Twitter, and the fact that this newish format has no chance of making a dent in BBC Breakfast’s ratings dominance.
Lorraine Kelly, an excellent TV pro, is clearly able only to work alone.
And much as I don’t want to single him out, because the choice of her co-presenter is the network’s fault, but Aled Jones is out of his depth.
I don’t know what’s been worse – his personal weight-loss obsession, his too-eager-to-impress tie, his completely inappropriate beaming smile (Lorraine’s not blameless here) after his first words on day two: “Police investigating the deaths of a mum and her partner on a boating holiday reveal she may have been strangled.
It’s 7am! Welcome to Daybreak!” or his sigh that said “Ah well, never mind, eh?” after the story about the British family shot in France.
There was his savage line in questioning politicians, entrusted as he’s been with the final uppercut after a volley of jabs from Lorraine.
To new Tory Party chairman and Austro-Scottish alcoholic beverage Grant Shapps on Wednesday: “By the way, congratulations on the new job. Are you going to make a difference?”
To David Cameron on Thursday: “Prime Minister, it’s back to school for most children in England and Wales. How was it in your house?”
It was like watching Frost/ Nixon. They’ll be reeling for days.
Aled’s cheeky-chappie routine is just painful and he’s hardly making friends and influencing people: “I can remember my first day at school but is your memory that good, Lorraine?”
“I’m guessing you didn’t go to school, Laura.”
“Thankfully, Richard Arnold isn’t in the studio.” Actually, I’m with him on that one.
But his links are diabolical: “From the first lady of the US to the first lady of weather, I suppose,” and seem to have infected “the first lady of weather”, cute newbie Laura Tobin, after Alison Steadman was interviewed: “I was a big fan of Gavin and Stacey. I’m also a big fan of the sunshine. Good news because there’s a lot of it in today’s forecast.”
It’s not just Aled’s fault, of course. He’d be fine if this was aired Sundays only.
And Daybreak’s Olympics legacy (every ruddy show needs one, apparently) is a “Team DB” stringpull goodie bag with a Frisbee.
But when Lorraine said yesterday: “After the break, 50 Shades of Grey author EL James’s husband joins us, and we’ll show you how to find your very own Mr Grey,” my initial reaction was: “He’s sat to your right, Lorraine, weekdays from 7am.”
Daybreak’s still broken.
Wake up, ITV, and smell the coffee.
- ITV1’s love letter to a 1970s classic, Unforgettable: The Sweeney.
- BBC1’s Good Cop.
- The first glance of Doctor Who’s new assistant as a zombie Dalek.
- A phenomenal final week of Celebrity Big Brother.
- So much to celebrate on C4’s Paralympics: Murderball, the uninhibited Last Leg With Adam Hills, and both Jeff Adams and John Rawling falling into the commentator’s trap during the 800m wheelchair heats of saying: “David Weir/Tatyana McFadden are head and shoulders better than the rest,” in every sense of the words.
- And Dallas reincarnated on Channel 5, which was almost entirely devoid of artistic merit, overacted, melodramatic and had ridiculous lines like: “Oil’s in your blood! When did you turn your back on it?” and “Bobby’s not your dad!”
I loved it.
- Fool Britannia turning out not to be an elaborate practical joke but an actual programme.
- ITV’s obsession with dogs and horses.
- The X Factor digging its own grave.
- And these words from a chatshow host on Monday afternoon: “Hello and welcome to, would you believe, the 11th series of The Alan Titchmarsh Show.”
No, Alan. I wouldn’t.