Diana Moran and Debbie Rix to return for BBC Breakfast 40th anniversary

The BBC’s morning news programme, originally called Breakfast Time, launched in 1983.
The BBC’s morning news programme, originally called Breakfast Time, launched in 1983. The BBC’s morning news programme, originally called Breakfast Time, launched in 1983.

Presenter and fitness guru Diana Moran and journalist and author Debbie Rix are among the familiar faces who will help celebrate the 40th anniversary of BBC Breakfast later this month.

The BBC’s morning news programme, originally called Breakfast Time, launched on January 17 1983.

To celebrate 40 years of BBC Breakfast, viewers will be taken on a journey back to the very first show with archive footage, viewers’ favourites and special guests.

BBC Breakfast first launched in January 1983 under the name Breakfast Time (BBC)

On January 17, current presenters Jon Kay and Sally Nugent will be on the BBC Breakfast sofa for an anniversary edition of the show, including a special half-hour when it will be rebranded to the original programme – Breakfast Time, and the team will also bring back the original and nostalgic vintage clock.

At 6.30am – the time the first show was launched – there will be a bespoke film presented by Kay, which will see him revisit the first programme and how it came to fruition.

BBC weather presenter Carol Kirkwood, who is the longest-serving member of the current team, is set to share special stories and memories from her time on the show.

Kirkwood began her career on the programme as a production secretary when Frank Bough and Selina Scott presented.

Francis Wilson, the first Breakfast Time weather presenter, will also appear on the show to join Kirkwood for a weather report.

Diana Moran, known as The Green Goddess, will feature in the anniversary special (BBC)

From 8.30am, a special Breakfast Time half-hour dedicated to the anniversary will see Jay and Nugent joined by special guests including astrologer Russell Grant and Rix, as well as an appearance from singer Leo Sayer who was a guest on the very first programme.

Elsewhere in the programme, BBC Breakfast reporter Jayne McCubbin will be in the capital with Moran, known as The Green Goddess, who will recreate her famous morning keep-fit routine at London’s Waterloo Station.

Moran will once again entertain morning commuters in true 80s style and viewers will also be treated to a look back at her first show.

The BBC’s media and arts correspondent David Sillito will present a special segment on the battle with ITV to be the nation’s first breakfast show, how BBC Breakfast changed the morning landscape of 80s TV and how it has evolved into the current programme.

Reflecting on her time on the show, Kirkwood said: “I’ve been at BBC Breakfast from the early days, starting as a production secretary and now presenting the weather.

“I have made some brilliant memories on the show and look forward to continuing to do so.”

Presenters of Breakfast Time TV
Presenters of Breakfast Time TV The original Breakfast Time team including weather presenter Francis Wilson, Nick Ross, David Icke, Jane Pauley, Debbie Rix, Frank Bough, Selina Scott and astrologer Russell Grant (PA)

Kay said: “Sitting on the big red sofa is a dream come true for me, you will get to see a snippet of this from my childhood in the anniversary special. It’s such a fascinating and fantastically busy time to be in news.”

The show’s editor, Richard Frediani, added: “Life begins at 40… and what a 40 years it has been.

“BBC Breakfast is the UK’s number one choice every morning, so we want to celebrate this occasion in the best way possible, bringing back presenters, taking a look at the archives, and marking history, showing some of our favourite TV moments from the very first show.

“We have a great team, on and off the camera, and I’m delighted to be at the helm for this special birthday. I hope viewers will enjoy the trip down memory lane as much as we have enjoyed making it while we prepare for an exciting 2023 with big plans for the year ahead.”

Meanwhile, current presenter Charlie Stayt said: “BBC Breakfast has always had a special relationship with the audience, and for 17 years I’ve been lucky to be part of that story.

“Every day, three-plus hours of live television news, never dull, created by a brilliant team.”

BBC Breakfast airs on BBC One, The BBC News Channel and BBC iPlayer from 6am every day.