MY SHOUT The power of breakfast TV to irritate (some) viewers; LIKES: PUBS, EVERTON AND HALF MAN HALF BISCUIT HATES: EVERYTHING ELSE.
Byline: Paddy Shennan
IF YOU want to get a good idea of how irritable and irrational you can be first thing in the morning, switch on breakfast television - it always works for me.
Can watching people on TV, or listening to them on the radio, before you're ready for the day ahead be bad for your mental health? I think so.
Then again, not everyone is as irritable and irrational as me first thing in the morning.
All this came to mind during yesterday's allfemale BBC Breakfast show, which marked 100 years since some, but not all, women got the vote.
I realised I wouldn't have to "suffer" the routine annoyance of seeing Dan Walker picking up his mug of tea (coffee, water or whatever) WITHOUT USING ITS HANDLE, as he or co-host Louise Minchin handed us over to the local news.
Yes, THIS is how irritable and irrational I can be first thing in the morning. THIS is how little it can take to wind me up.
I mentioned this to my wife as she sat down next to me and began watching the programme. She looked at me as if I was mad. But I might have been talking to the wrong person, because I also asked her if she thought the BBC could be accused of being a bit gimmicky for having allfemale presenters and guests on this day of celebration (not least because of what has come out recently about the BBC and "equal pay"). She thought it might be gimmicky - but added that she hadn't noticed until I had told her.
Really. Some people just don't take watching television at breakfast time seriously enough! I decided not to bother asking her if she thought breakfast TV presenters are encouraged to be more like children's TV presenters or primary school teachers - on the basis that their audience, at that time of day, needs to be treated gently and with care. If that is the case, this often light and jolly style doesn't work with me - it just makes me more irritable and irrational (a bit like when Dan Walker thinks he is delivering some hilarious, rather than feeble and unfunny, one-liners).
Maybe, after all these years, I'm still struggling with the concept of human beings talking to me from the idiot box at such unearthly hours. Many people won't have known of a time before breakfast TV, but I was 18 when BBC1's Breakfast Time and TV-am's Good Morning Britain on ITV arrived in early 1983. I think I'm still getting used to the idea! But I'm a creature of habit, so will stick - irritations and all - with the BBC.
Watch ITV instead? You've got to be kidding! Two words: Piers Morgan.