Breakfast with Anna 

15 October 2021

Plus Angela, Esther, Frost and Parky



Daily Mirror masthead

From the Daily Mirror for 29 December 1980

BREAKFAST television is on the way. And Anna Ford will be one of the stars.

Appearing with her will be Angela Rippon, Esther Rantzen, Michael Parkinson, David Frost and Robert Kee.

They will take turns — two at a time — to present the daily show when it starts in 1983.

The prized contract for breakfast viewing was won from seven other bidders by TV-AM, a consortium headed by journalist Peter Jay.

Four people mug to the camera

SUCCESS! Michael Parkinson, David Frost, Anna Ford and Peter Jay in jubilant mood at last night’s celebration party. – Picture by MIKE MALONEY.

News of the victory came yesterday in the long-awaited franchise share-out by the Independent Broadcasting Authority.

But two existing ITV companies had nothing to celebrate. Westward and Southern lost their franchises in the shuffle.

Anna Ford said last night: “I am looking forward to working with Angela. Some people suggest that we are rivals, but there will be no problems.”

Angela said: “I am delighted.”

Peter Jay is the son-in-law of James Callaghan and Britain’s former ambassador in Washington.

As champagne corks popped at a London party to celebrate the victory, he said that TV-AM’s 6.15 to 9.15 a.m. service would be like a newspaper.”

Mr. Jay insisted that it would stimulate breakfast table conversation, not kill it, and that children would be made better informed.

The IBA has delayed the start of TV-AM by nearly a year in the hope of improved advertising revenue and to let ITV’s Channel Four get off the ground in 1982-3.

by Tony Pratt

Mirror Comment


Early birds and breakfast serials

Angela Rippon

ANGELA: Morning glory

TELEVISION has been putting snap, crackle and pop into American breakfasts for years, even though most of their shows make Crossroads look exciting.

Now, with the announcement that breakfast TV is starting here in 1983, will the bleary-eyed British start to a new day be gone forever?

Will there be breakfast with a serial, shaving by soap opera and washing-up with kitchen-sink drama?

Will millions go to work with square eyeballs as well as go to bed with them ?

Will children not only stay up late to watch TV but want to get up early to see it, too?

Of course, some people say that breakfast television has as much chance of success as Ena Sharples has of becoming Prime Minister.

A weekend poll showed that more than half the population thinks it won’t watch.

But we have been promised an early-morning feast of good viewing, led by stars who would wipe the sleep from Rip Van Winkle’s eyes.

Even if the programmes fall flat, it would be worth leaving the set on to see Angela Rippon and Anna Ford in all their morning glory.

Westward heave-ho


Joy for TV boss ousted in board row

A woman and a man

JUBLIANT: Peter Cadbury with his wife Janie. He has offered help to the people who beat his old company.

TWO ITV companies got the axe yesterday in a major television shake-up.

Franchises were taken away from Southern TV, which makes Worzel Gummidge, and Westward TV, which has been rocked by boardroom battles.

ATV, the Midlands company which produces Crossroads, was ordered to give up 49 per cent of its capital and change its name. Yorkshire TV and Tyne Tees TV were told to cut their financial links. The changes in the ITV set-up were announced by Lady Plowden, chairman of the Independent Broadcasting Authority, when new eight-year contracts were handed out to run from January 1982.

The contracts are the first to be awarded since 1968.


A Westward spoke said their staff received the news in “stunned silence.”

But there was jubilation from deposed chairman Peter Cadbury, who was replaced earlier this year by Labour peer Lord Harris.

Mr. Cadbury promptly offered to give free advice to Westward’s successors, Television South West. He also announced that he plans to gather up the remnants of his old company to make a comeback in home entertainment.

He aims to move into the video market using any staff who don’t switch to TSW.

Lady Plowden

LADY PLOWDEN: Ousted companies not criticised.

Mr. Cadbury said at his Hampshire home: “I have had three approaches from organisations wanting me to take them into video. One is British, the other two French.

“Nothing would suit me better than to work again with the boys and girls at Westward. I’ve known some of them for 20 years.”

“Some of them have already told me they don’t want to move to the new company.”

Mr. Cadbury went on: “The twelve directors who are now out of a job deserve what’s happened.

“Lord Harris told me Westward had only a snowball in hell’s chance of keeping its franchise with me as chairman. I wonder how he feels now as a snowball.”

Lady Plowden said it has nothing to do with Westward’s boardroom troubles.

ATV, under its new name, will no longer be completely controlled by Lord Grade’s Associated Communications Corporation.

The IBA ruled that ACC should hold only 51 per cent of the capital and that preference in new shareholders should be given to Midland people.

THAMES and LONDON WEEKEND, who keep their contracts, are to have talks with the IBA about improving their services.


ATV logo

ALL CHANGE: The ATV symbol that is to vanish.

Twenty-nine new companies bid for contracts alongside the 15 existing stations.

Lady Plowden insisted that the ousted companies were not being criticised by the IBA.

“It is just that someone better has come along,” she said.

Alan Sapper, general secretary of the TV technicians’ union, warned: “If we lose one job through the franchise changes we will go on strike as we did last time, when new companies tried not to re-employ some of our members”

by Jack Bell


‘The directors deserve to go’

– Ex-Westward boss Peter Cadbury

And Southern get the chop as well


Southern logo

OUT: Southern

BOSSES of Southern TV were stunned when they lost their job for programmes for the richest area in Britain after 20 years.

The company’s franchise went to a new syndicate called South and South East Communications. Its managing director is 42-year-old producer-director James Gatward, who made some of the Minder programmes.

He promised to put “fun and fire” back into regional TV.

He suggested that the IBA had probably been impressed by the fact that 85 per cent of his company’s hacking came from within the region.

One director is ex-BBC man Michael Blakstead, former editor of Tomorrow’s World, The Risk Business and Burke’s Special.

A Southern TV spokesman said: “We are shattered.

“We recognise we had strong opposition, but the decision appears to have been taken on future programming promises rather than our own programme record, which the IBA agrees is an honourable one.”

‘Licence to print money’ days are over


Westward logo

OUT: Westwatd

THE gravy-train days are over for ITV companies.

Owning a commercial TV station was once described by the late Lord Thomson of Fleet as having “a licence to print money.” Now the picture is not bright.

Companies will have to fight rocketing costs – especially with the introduction of breakfast TV and the fourth channel — and falling returns from advertising by financially pinched firms.

They also face the bleak prospect of a change in the Exchequer levy system which could go against them.

City experts reckon that the present 66.7 per cent tax on profits could be dropped in favour of a tax on turnover — bad news if no profit is made.

Competition will also be tough from other video ideas, and there are problems with cable and satellite services.

by Tony Patey

Keith Waterhouse

Keith Waterhouse on Monday

Much of the same


THE long-awaited new franchise for operating this column was announced by the Independent Column Authority yesterday.

In an atmosphere of gold-rush-type excitement, the financiers, retired politicians, insurance brokers, sports personalities, peers of the realm, senior probation officers, linseed oil manufacturers, chaps with a lot of initials after their names and suchlike notables hoping for a piece of the action, flocked to Independent Column House to await the appearance of Lady Hoyden, the Authority’s chairman.

Several hopeful merchant bankers had slept all night on the pavement, wrapped in copies of the Financial Times for warmth, so as to be first in the queue.

Among the dozens of applicants for the profitable column contract there were at least three serious contenders:

Hello, Good Morning And Welcome Columns Ltd. A group of entertainment moguls and businessmen presided over by Lord Dotty, whose experience of column-writing includes service in the Guards and the chairmanship of a firm of balsa-wood importers. If successful., Lord Dotty’a column was pledged to do more for the old, to support the opera, give the right of reply to offended minorities, and to be more educational, and to be more readable.

Not Waterhouse On Monday Again! Ltd. Headed by Sir Charles Chumpworth, a full-time baronet, this consortium aimed to split the column contract in two, leaving the Thursday column in its present hands but taking control of the lucrative Monday column and converting it into a hard-hitting crossword. The crossword would have several clues for the old and 1 Down would always be, where possible, the name of an opera.

Column Investments Ltd. These bidders, who as well as a token columnist include a TV panel-game personality, a magistrate, an accountant with rimless glasses, a professor of archaeology and a certifiably insane earl, would leave the column structurally as it is but put it on a sounder financial basis. That is to say, instead of the money coming to me, it would go to them.

★ ★ ★


As the tension outside Independent Column House mounted and applicants gnawed their cheque-books with anxiety, precisely at 4.30 p.m. there was a cry of “Hats off for her Ladyship!” and Lady Hoyden appeared on her balcony and released a homing pigeon which flew, appropriately enough, to the Home Office.

Unlocking the sealed tin cylinder attached to the pigeon’s leg, the Home Secretary extracted a tiny scroll of parchment and read the name of the successful applicant. He transmitted it to Mrs. Thatcher who was at once on the hot line to the Queen. A puff of smoke from the roof of Buckingham Palace told the waiting multitude outside Independent Column House that, as Her Majesty had graciously consented to the appointment, it could to now be made public.

Lady Hoyden thereupon announced that the franchise for this column would be awarded toits present holder, Mr. Keith Waterhouse, on condition that he keeps his nose clean, pulls himself together generally and supports the opera.


The following section is commentary from our expert writers

Chase McPherson in the USA writes: The network affiliation system here in the US does not usually allow for such theatrics as the IBA (and certainly not the later ITC) franchise rounds. But that’s not to say it doesn’t happen.

Here, you get a license to broadcast from the FCC. You only lose that license if you royally screw up (General Tire/RKO springs to mind). What goes out on your airwaves is usually between you and one of the networks; you can also choose to be an independent and go without network affiliation.


Courtesy of Dontryl Alexander


Stations, and more likely these days, station groups – usually sign long-term affiliation deals with networks – anywhere between 5-20 years. Once in a generation you may have a “realignment” – this is where a large number of stations swap network allegiances, such as what happened when Murdoch’s Fox gained NFL football rights in 1994 and purchased the New World station group. This set in place a domino effect of affiliation changes across more than a dozen markets across the nation. It happened again to a smaller extent in 2007 when The WB and UPN merged to form The CW.

A network can pull affiliation from a station but it doesn’t necessarily mean the station stops broadcasting. This most recently happened in 2017 when NBC decided to build its own station in Boston, pulling affiliation from locally-owned WHDH. Station owners decided to ramp up local news coverage and run as an independent.



You Say

1 response to this article

cosmo 28 November 2021 at 5:23 pm

My, Peter Cadbury really was bonkers, wasn’t he?

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