Factual or fun: why breakfast news can’t have both


The Nerd’s Last Word by Michael Bosley

Breakfast news. Eeurgh. I’ve tried to watch it.

I’ve tried to be the sensible 32 year old with a mortgage and a steady shirt-and-tie job and I’ve tried to sit down in front of the breakfast news with my sensible breakfast and pretend I care about interest rates, football results and a feel-good story about a small girl who makes her own greetings cards, but I just can’t do it.

It almost hurts to watch. The forced joviality, the bland quips between the presenters and the stilted attempts at jokes from people who look like they’ve just got their head around the idea of what humour is and are looking to go on to study a bachelor’s degree in humourology from the University of Fun with the hopes of going on to a placement in a large multi-national jokes factory and work their way up to Vice President of Giggles and Laughs.

There’s something desperately unfunny about anyone trying to be funny in a suit. Suits are fun-killers. They remind you of job interviews, funerals, lawyers and bankers. They are black holes for humour and happiness and anyone attempting to be super casual and care-free whilst wearing one is only fooling themselves.

The trouble with breakfast news, is that it’s job is to report the actual news; you know, earthquakes in China, car bombs in Kabul and insanity in the white house. You know, pretty sombre stuff. The whole format sits uncomfortably when they then spin around energetically and chortle heartily with the sports reporter guy about how rubbish they would probably be at lacrosse.

“Oh, you’re probably not as bad at it as me! Arf, arf, arf!”

“Oh, I bet I am! Arf, arf, arf!”

“Let’s put a wager on it! Arf, arf, arf!”

Oh you crazy kids! If only your mother was here to hear this risqué back-and-forth! Meanwhile, whilst all this is happening, I’ve already finished my sensible breakfast and am ready to head off to my steady job and have been neither informed nor entertained by this wishy-washy pulp.

What’s more, nobody gets gunged like they used to on kids TV and no one is being interviewed by a puppet in a brightly coloured bathroom like Big Breakfast.

Sadly, in this day and age if I want the news, I can usually speed-read the headlines on my phone in a matter of seconds, sans the unnecessary stock footage and having to beam live to a reporter who is stood somewhere in the vicinity of the thing they are talking about for some reason.

So either report the news, or bring back gunge tanks. You can be factual or fun, but you can’t be both.