BBC Breakfast celebrates its 40-year anniversary

BBC Breakfast hosts Sally Nugent and Jon Kay have shared their memories of watching the first episode of the show’s predecessor 40 years ago.

Tuesday morning’s episode of BBC Breakfast marks the 40th anniversary of the programme – which launched as Breakfast Time on January 17 1983.

“I can remember what I was doing,” said Nugent.

“I was getting up, getting ready for school, put the TV on and couldn’t believe the news was on television.”

“Because we’ve never had morning telly – telly started at lunchtime,” added Kay.

Kay then produced an old childhood diary, sharing his entry written on January 17 1983.

“I talked about what you tell me – having cornflakes, not quite believing this opportunity… and here we are today, 40 years on,” he said.

“Dear diary, I woke up at 6am to watch the most publicised and now criticised breakfast TV. It was good – but all news!” young Kay wrote.

When it first aired, Breakfast Time was revolutionary, mixing hard news with showbusiness, gossip, health and even a daily astrology segment.

The presenters’ attire was also different, with cosy jumpers favoured over the more formal wear of modern BBC Breakfast hosts.

BBC Breakfast new presenter
BBC Breakfast presenter Sally Nugent recalled watching the first episode of Breakfast Time 40 years ago (BBC/PA)

The original programme was recorded at Lime Grove Studios in west London, which was also home to Grandstand, Panorama, and Doctor Who.

Tuesday’s show also saw a return of the Breakfast Time on-screen analogue clock, and Kay was using a special retro-branded mug.

Special guests included former weatherman Francis Wilson and the so-called “Green Goddess” – health and fitness guru Diana Moran.

One segment featured videos sent in by viewers, wishing the programme happy birthday and telling stories of their experiences of waking up early to watch it.

Some described their “shock and excitement” of watching a news and entertainment show in the morning for the first time.