This isn’t a region as such of course but because it was an individual franchise I thought that it was still worth reviewing. In October 1991 it was announced that the breakfast time franchise had been won by a company called Sunrise. However, because that was the name of the Sky News breakfast programme before their launch they were renamed GMTV.
When the time came for TV-am to close in December 1992 after almost ten years of ups and downs, GMTV started running promotions from the which insisted that they were going to be something different. GMTV was going to be bigger and bolder than anything that had gone before and be a brighter way to start your day. They launched at 6am on New Year’s Day 1993 and there were indeed a few changes from TV-am.
First of all, their main symbol featured the “GM” on a yellow sun shape with “TV” next to it. Another thing that was new was that there would now be regional news featured, along with the regular mix of news, sport, travel and all of that kind of thing. The launch presenters included Fiona Armstrong and Michael Wilson, but after a while there would be changes.
One area where I liked to watch GMTV was their children’s programmes, which used to take up most of the weekend and included various shows such as Wake Up In The Wild Room which I always thought was a lot of fun and good use was made of showing Disney cartoons. Also in the early days they had a weekday half-term show hosted by Simon Parkin which was enjoyable but it was no Wacaday.
Viewers didn’t really take to the early version of GMTV and ratings soon fell, so probably not that surprisingly TV-am style features returned after a short while such as the old sofa, they also brought in the fitness expert Mr Motivator, and there were various presenter changes with the likes of Eamonn Holmes, Lorraine Kelly and Fiona Phillips all taking their turns in hosting. On Sundays there was also a lot of political news coverage.
Through out the years the news coverage was also increased and the GMTV symbol was tweaked a lot over the years, maintaining the sun shape until January 2009 when a new symbol was introduced. I didn’t watch GMTV much in its later years but it continued until September 2010 when it was brought to an end after almost 18 years by which point there had been another new wave of presenters including Andrew Castle and Ben Shephard.
GMTV was actually a separate franchise from the rest of ITV, so it could be argued that ITV didn’t technically become a 24-hour channel until they took over the slot and launched their new breakfast programme Daybreak. One of the main hosts was Adrian Chiles who joined from the BBC but the show received a lot of negative press coverage and once again there were several changes to the programme until it ended in April 2014 and ITV tried all over again to create a successful breakfast show with Good Morning Britain which continues to this day.