ITV in 1988: TV-am 

30 March 2023

TV-am print logo



Breakfast Television Centre, Hawley Crescent, London NW1 8EF
Tel: 01-267 4300/4377

Directors Timothy Aitken (Chairman); Bruce Gyngell (Managing Director); Adrian Moore (Deputy Managing Director); Tony Vickers (Director of Sales); Stratis Zographos (Financial Director); Bill Ludford (Director of News & Current Affairs); Jonathan Aitken, MP; Edwina Coven, JP; Michael Davies; David Frost; Ian Irvine; Penelope Hughes (Company Secretary).

Executives Bruce Gyngell (Director of Programmes); Bill Ludford (Director of News & Current Affairs); Jeff Berliner (Controller, News & Current Affairs); Nick Wilson (Producer/Director, Children’s Programmes); David Davidovitz (Director of Production & Operations); Chris Collingham (Chief Engineer); Paul Bushell (Sales Controller); David Keighley (Controller of Public Affairs); Penelope Hughes (Company Solicitor); Paul Vickers (Company Lawyer).

TV-am broadcasts an early morning television programme throughout the UK between 6.00 a.m.-9.25 a.m. seven days a week.

Programmes The programme consists primarily of news, current affairs and news features. It is presented in a friendly style and is entertaining as well as informative. The basic format of the programme is as follows:

WEEKDAYS: 6.00 a.m. – 7.00 a.m.
TV-am sets the agenda for the day with a comprehensive look at all the main news stories plus weather, sport, ‘Money Matters’, daily reviews of the newspapers, and interviews. 7.00 a.m. – 9.00 a.m. Good Morning Britain comprising news, weather, sport, news features and current affairs including interviews with people in the news and celebrities from the world of politics and entertainment. 9.00 a.m.-9.25 a.m. After Nine, dealing with issues of particular interest to housewives, with regular personal advice from Claire Rayner and astrological forecasts with Russell Grant.

SATURDAY: 6.00 a.m.-7.30 a.m. News, weather, sport and regional reports on special events being held that weekend. 7.30 a.m.-9.25 a.m. The Wide Awake Club, a two-hour magazine programme for children including competitions, features, news, games and cartoons.

SUNDAY: 6.00 a.m. Open College: The Open Exchange. 6.55 a.m.-7.00 a.m. Sunday Comment, a short religious feature followed by children’s programmes. 8.30 a.m.-9.25 a.m. The Sunday Programme, comprising a review of the important news events of the week, together with interviews with major political or public figures.

The weekday programme features regular presenters who appear five-days-a-week and are, therefore, familiar to the viewers. Apart from the main presenters – Anne Diamond, Mike Morris, Richard Keys, Jayne Irving and Kay Burley – there are a number of personalities who appear on the programme, such as Lizzie Webb with a twice daily keep-fit routine, Trish Williamson with regular weather forecasts throughout the programme, Jimmy Greaves, with highlights of the week’s viewing on TV, and Gyles Brandreth with Postbag. Regular items in the programme, apart from news bulletins on the hour and half-hour with Gordon Honeycombe, are Popeye and birthday requests set to music in ‘Popshot Snapshots’.

The lively and friendly atmosphere which characterises the programme is one of the principal reasons why TV-am has captured and retained a major share of the early morning television audience across the UK.

NEWS News and current affairs are central to the programme, providing 70% of the content of Good Morning Britain, accounting for a high proportion of total programme costs. The programme includes ten-minute news bulletins on the hour and five-minute bulletins on the half-hour. Most of the news material included in the programme is produced by TV-am itself.

The senior news editors all have considerable experience of news reporting and there is a team of 27 on-camera reporters. TV-am has nine four-man ENG crews each comprising a journalist, a cameraman, a sound recordist and an electrician. In addition, there is an outside broadcast unit with a three-camera capability for coverage of events which are too extensive to be carried out by the ENG crews. TV-am’s policy is for an on-camera TV-am reporter to cover every major news story national and international. Microwave equipment links the ENG units or the outside broadcast unit to the main studios. This enables TV-am to broadcast live news material from these sources.

In the last year important events covered by TV-am’s on-camera reporters included the Queen’s visit to China, when live reports were featured daily on Good Morning Britain, the Zeebrugge ferry disaster, and the Irangate hearings in Washington. In the UK, TV-am mounted its largest ever news operation to cover the 1987 General Election. It involved 20 senior journalists, 11 news crews, three senior reporters following the main party leaders throughout the campaign, extensive reports from TV-am’s regional studios, leading political guests appearing every morning on the programme, and a daily rolling opinion poll, the first to be commissioned by television.

On Election results day, June 12th, TV-am presented a specially extended edition of Good Morning Britain, beginning at 6.00 a.m. and running through until 9.25 a.m. It featured ten outside broadcasts from around the country, a panel of politicians and political experts and hourly and half- hourly news bulletins from ITN.

The company also has agreements with Independent Television News (ITN) and Worldwide Television News enabling it to broadcast material made available by those companies. In addition, TV-am has agreements or arrangements with international television companies and agencies which give it the right to use material from those sources in the programme.
TV-am has regional studios and staff in Manchester, Cardiff, Glasgow and Belfast, with an un-manned studio in Birmingham.


Anne Diamond and Trish Williamson

Presenter Anne Diamond and weather girl Trish Williamson.


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