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GMTV (Good Morning Television)
Created by Good Morning Television (ITV Plc)
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
Production location(s) The London Studios
Production company(s) ITV Studios
Original network ITV
Original release 1 January 1993 – 3 September 2010
Preceded by TV-am (1983–1992)
Followed by ITV Breakfast (Daybreak) (2010–14)
Related shows Breakfast
Sky News Sunrise
External links
[{{#property:P856}} Website]

GMTV (now legally known as ITV Breakfast Broadcasting Limited) is the name of the national Channel 3 breakfast television contractor/licensee,[1] broadcasting in the United Kingdom from 1 January 1993 to 3 September 2010. It became a wholly owned subsidiary of ITV plc in November 2009.[2] Shortly after, ITV plc announced the programme would end. The final edition of GMTV was broadcast on 3 September 2010.

GMTV transmitted daily from 6 am with GMTV's weekday breakfast magazine programme GMTV broadcasting until 8:25 (9:25 on Friday), followed by GMTV with Lorraine (Monday – Thursday), until the regional ITV franchises took over at 9.25 am. In later years, the switchover was practically seamless and the station was 'surrounded' in the most part by ITV Network continuity on either side of transmission. Consequently, most viewers perceived GMTV simply as a programme on ITV; however, until the complete buyout by ITV plc, it was essentially an independent broadcaster with its own news-gathering operation, sales and management teams and in-house production team. GMTV also broadcast its own children's programmes, independent from CITV until the programme Boohbah was cross-promoted on both sides, with different credits for each.



GMTV won the licence for the breakfast Channel 3 franchise from 1993, outbidding the previous licence-holder, TV-am, in the 1991 franchise round for £34 million.[3] The station was backed by LWT, Scottish Television, The Walt Disney Company, and the Guardian Media Group. GMTV promised a "cheerful morning and with more information" - termed the "F-factor". A new children's news bulletin was broadcast at 7.20am every morning, while at 8.50am during the week, a new female-lead format was also planned.[4] Carlton Communications bought a 20% stake in the consortium in November 1991.[5] GMTV was first intended to be called 'Sunrise Television',[6] but as Sky News' breakfast programming also went by that name (and still does to this day), Sky protested, resulting in the change of name.[7]

In May 1992, GMTV was criticised after unveiling its plans for a more family-orientated format - with business and city news being dropped. Director of Programmes Lis Howell stated: "The structure of the programme will be fundamentally different from TV-am. It will be a rolling programme, with two presenters in which the news will be long or as short as the news dictates. It's in a sense a news programme but it's a very soft news agenda, although if there is a big story we will ditch everything and cover it better than TV-am would have". GMTV also turned down an offer from David Frost to continue with his Sunday morning show - instead choosing to introduce a new leisure show about family matters, as it believed "TV-am flung its audience away on Sundays".[8]


The first edition of GMTV was broadcast on 1 January 1993, presented by Eamonn Holmes and Anne Davies. Its main weekday presenters at launch were Fiona Armstrong and Michael Wilson (Monday - Thursday), broadcast from Studio 5 at The London Studios on the South Bank.

Within six weeks of broadcasting, the station had lost 2 million viewers. Mark Lawson of The Independent dubbed the new franchise "Grinning Morons Television".[9] Greg Dyke was appointed chairman of the GMTV board and tasked with overhauling the station format, which included "more popular journalism". His role was primarily to bring new and imaginative ideas to the station without taking on full day-to-day running.[10] Within three days, programme Director Lis Howell resigned; Greg Dyke had refused to endorse any of her programming strategy for GMTV. Her replacement was Peter McHuge.[11]

By March 1993, following continued poor ratings, Wilson had moved to present a new "news-focused" slot from 6 to 7am (which in 1994 became the "Reuters News Hour"). Fiona Armstrong continued to co-present with Eamonn Holmes until 12 March 1993,[12] when her departure coincided with a revamp of the main programme, including a new set that mimicked that of TV-am.[13] Armstrong was replaced by Lorraine Kelly, with her former position as presenter of the post-9am slot Top of the Morning taken up by Sally Meen. Penny Smith became the main newsreader, joining from Sky News.[14]

Within the first six months, GMTV reported £10 million losses - double that which was initially budgeted for.[15] In early September 1993, GMTV approached the ITC regarding the possibility of decreasing its quota of news. Just two months earlier, the ITC had criticised the company for being "too entertainment-led", expressing concerns about other programme areas. The ITC said: "They [GMTV] will have to put forward a strong case for changing the licence based on the viewers' preferences".[16] The request was denied, and by the end of 1993 the ITC issued a formal warning for its "unsatisfactory performance".[17]

A final warning was given in May 1994; GMTV would face a £2 million fine unless standards improved. The ITC acknowledged that considerable improvements had taken place up to the start of 1994, but its news bulletins continued to be "unsatisfactory, and initially to short to cover depth or authority", adding: "its current affairs and children's material did not meet the aspirations... in terms of quality or production". As part of the package to rectify the issues, Barney & Friends, an American children's television series was introduced, in addition to the Reuters News Hour and an upmarket Sunday morning programme.[18] By September 1994, GMTV had achieved high enough standards to avoid the fine[19] and for the first time, had made a profit.[20]

In July 1994, Anthea Turner joined GMTV to present along with Mr Motivator "Fun in the sun" summer holiday features, before being paired up with Eamonn Holmes to present the main programme shortly afterwards.[21] Turner left the station on 24 December 1996, after a dramatic falling out between the pair, which finally resulted in Holmes publicly calling her "Princess tippy toes". However, management denied she was "squeezed out", with Turner leaving on her own accord. Fiona Phillips took over her role on 6 January 1997.[22][23]

In 1998, the company returned into red, with losses of £12 million and a turnover of £80 million [24] In November 1998, GMTV finally received a windfall: the ITC reduced the amount the station had to pay to the treasury from £50 million to £20 million - the most dramatic reduction of all the licenses. The ITC believed this would allow GMTV the money to invest in more programming.[25]

GMTV continued to strengthen its output, receiving further praise from the ITC in its Annual Performance Review of 1999: "The overall programme quality improved... with more feature items and greater breadth of coverage, better journalistic and technical resources". This led to increased audience share for GMTV among adult viewers. The weekend output for children was also strengthened. The ITC praised GMTV's greater emphasis on overseas coverage and access to key figures in the news, particularly for live interviews.

Social action programming was particularly successful. There were signs of improvement in the information content of the magazine programme for older children, Diggit (previously criticised by the ITC). The ITC proposed improvements in two areas to be made priorities for the year ahead: "... In Sunday programming for adults, where there is scope for better background and analysis to key political stories alongside the major interviews, and in information content in programming for school-age children".[26]


During 1999, the STV Group held talks into buying out the other shareholders in GMTV, with Disney believed to be keen on the idea.[27][28] By September, an agreement had been reached to acquire Guardian Media Group's 15% stake for £20 million, but both Carlton and Granada objected to the deal.[29] Guardian Media Group concluded in selling off its 15% stake in GMTV for £18 million in January 2000, with all three companies receiving 5% - allowing the four remaining stakeholders to have an equal 25% stake in the company.[26][30]

In October 2003, STV made public its interest in acquiring Carlton and Granada's stakes in GMTV. Andrew Flanagan, chief executive: "We would be interested in buying GMTV. You need a trigger to try to do something and that's what we have tried to engineer." STV believed having a controlling stake in GMTV would allow an effective command against the newly formed ITV sales department.[31] In September 2004, ITV plc purchased STV Group's 25% in the company for £31 million[32] after being given the go ahead from the Office of Fair Trading - despite advertisers' fears it could give ITV influence over pricing. SMG said: "[We] are pulling out of GMTV because it did not want to hold a minority interest in someone else's media business".[33]

In 2005, presenter Eamonn Holmes left the station.[34][35] It was later exposed he was deeply unhappy with the "dumbing down and commercialisation", which resulted in him hating his bosses.[36]

Phone-in scandal

In April 2007, BBC One's Panorama programme made claims that Opera - a company dealing with GMTV's phone-in competitions - were finalising shortlists of potential winners "long before" lines closed, which resulted in viewers wasting an estimated £10 million a year since April 2003 on entering premium-rate phone competitions. Paul Corley, managing director of GMTV, said: "I'd just like to apologise for everything that's gone on. GMTV had trusted Opera, but, the fact is it appears two or three people at this telecoms company were taking it upon themselves to do this even without the knowledge of the management.[37] This contradicted Panorama's claims that in 2003, sales director Mark Nuttall at Opera had discovered the situation and sent an e-mail to staff, saying: "Make sure they never find out you are picking the winners early.".[38] Two senior executives resigned: Controller of Enterprises Kate Fleming and Managing Director Paul Corley [39][40]

On 24 September 2007, Opera was fined £250,000, while GMTV was fined £2 million by Ofcom, who stated: "the breaches constituted a substantial breakdown in the fundamental relationship of trust between a public service broadcaster and its viewers. The breaches were extremely serious as they involved longstanding and systematic failures in the conduct of broadcast competitions".[41] GMTV pledged to refund a total of £35 million to all viewers affected.[42]

A month later, the Serious Fraud Office took the decision to review the evidence from Ofcom into the phone-in scandal. An SFO spokeswoman said: "Following media reports and some complaints received from the general public about GMTV's use of premium rate telephone services, we are in touch with Ofcom although no SFO investigation is under way... Furthermore, the SFO will await the outcome of Ofcom's investigation into ITV's use of premium rate telephone services as highlighted in the Deloitte report.".[43] On 10 March 2008, the Serious Fraud Office decided not to investigate the phone-in scandal, stating it did not meet its criterion for an investigation.[44]


A major overhaul of GMTV output took place during the summer of 2008 - resulting in part from the loss of viewers to new competition from other digital channels, and to counter criticism its output had become too lightweight. Red Bee Media was brought in as a consultant with a view to refreshing the station's on-screen look, which had changed very little since 1993. ITV and Disney agreed a £4.5 million investment to modernise the production of the show, including new equipment such as Avid editing suites.[45] This then led to the relaunch of GMTV on 5 January 2009, introducing Emma Crosby and Kirsty McCabe, replacing Fiona Phillips and Andrea McLean.

In July 2008, it was announced that McLean would quit working on GMTV to focus on her role on Loose Women, to share the permanent host job with Jackie Brambles. On 31 December 2008, Andrea left GMTV after eleven years as a weather presenter.

Fiona Phillips left GMTV on 18 December 2008 after twelve years as its main presenter. She told viewers that leaving was "one of the hardest decisions I've ever made".[46]

ITV plc ownership

ITV plc attempted to buy out Disney's stake in GMTV following it gaining 75% control, in order to secure 24-hours control of Channel 3 in England and Wales, eventually paying £18m for the remaining 25% on 26 November 2009.[2]

As a result, many changes were made shortly after:

  • The editor of GMTV, Martin Frizell, was sacked in December 2009[47] with Sue Walton temporarily replacing him[48]
  • On 4 March 2010, it was announced that presenter and newsreader Penny Smith was leaving GMTV with presenter John Stapleton being redeployed as special correspondent[49][50] Smith presented her final broadcast on 4 June 2010.
  • Also announced on 4 March 2010 was political correspondent Gloria De Piero's decision to quit GMTV in February 2010 to stand as a Labour Party Parliamentary candidate[51]
  • On 6 March 2010 GMTV Kids presenters Jamie Rickers and Anna Williamson were made redundant[52] they appeared for the last time on the show in May 2010, meaning no presenter links between programmes in the Toonattik strand
  • In early April 2010, there was speculation that Eamonn Holmes and Kate Thornton were in the running to present the new revamp show.[53][54] A source said: "With Eamonn and Kate it will almost be like a pilot. If it works they will be licking their lips. It has not been signed but all sides are actively considering it. There is still some work to do but it is looking very likely."[55]
  • On 19 April 2010, it was announced BBC presenter Adrian Chiles was quitting his roles with the corporation, to join ITV plc on a six-year contract,[56] co-presenting on GMTV and casting doubt over the futures of incumbent male hosts Andrew Castle and Ben Shephard.
  • On 21 April 2010, it was confirmed that Ben Shephard was leaving GMTV after 10 years, after earlier telling management he would not be renewing his contract.[57][58]
  • On 7 May 2010, it was announced that former The One Show editor Ian Rumsey would take editorial control of the show from June 2010, with Paul Connolly as his deputy, taking over Sue Walton's temporary placement, as she moved to tackling GMTV with Lorraine's move to a new standalone show[59]
  • On 10 June 2010, it was confirmed that Andrew Castle would leave GMTV after 10 years[60]
  • On 10 June 2010 ITV plc announced that they would be dropping the GMTV brand name from the breakfast franchise in favour of a relaunched format later in 2010[61][62]
  • On 20 June 2010, ITV plc announced that Christine Bleakley would join Adrian Chiles as lead female host, after signing an exclusive three-year deal to present on the breakfast slot, and other prime-time entertainment shows. The pair had worked together on the BBC's The One Show[63]
  • As of July 2010, GMTV came from Studio 3 at TLS (where Loose Women and Lorraine comes from). This move was because Al Jazeera Sports, which originally came from Studio 7 had to move to Studio 5, so that Studio 7 could be made ready for Daybreak. This is also where the final show was broadcast from.
  • On 9 July 2010 it was confirmed that the new ITV plc breakfast show name from 6 September 2010 would be named Daybreak and that GMTV with Lorraine is set to become a standalone show with the title Lorraine and GMTV Limited was being rebranded ITV Breakfast Limited[64]
  • On 20 July 2010 it was confirmed that Kate Garraway would move from a presenting position on GMTV to the role of entertainment editor on Daybreak. Other members of the team moving over from GMTV were confirmed as John Stapleton continuing in the role of special correspondent, Dan Lobb as Sports editor, Dr. Hilary Jones becoming health editor and Richard Gaisford continuing in the role of Chief Correspondent[65]
  • On 20 July 2010 Richard Arnold and Carla Romano, after 10 years with the company, announced that they would be leaving the show to pursue their careers elsewhere[66]
  • On 1 August 2010 Emma Crosby confirmed that she would not be part of the new show[67]
  • GMTV with Lorraine aired for the last time with Myleene Klass presenting on 2 September 2010, whilst GMTV came to an end with Andrew Castle and Emma Crosby presenting on 3 September 2010.

See also


  1. Retrieved 14 July 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 ITV buys remaining 25 pct stake in GMTV Reuters report on Interactive Investor, 26 November 2009
  3. Winners and Losers. The Times, Thursday, 17 October 1991; pg. 4
  4. Sunrise offers good cheer and more information. The Times (London, England), Thursday, 17 October 1991
  5. Sunrise brings in Carlton to conclude breakfast TV deal. Georgina Herny Madia Editor The Guardian ; 23 November 1991
  6. GMTV | Album | Ident
  7. GMTV | Nevermind | Ident
  8. TV-am successor offers 'soft news' Georgian Henry Media Editor The Guardian; 20 May 1992
  9. Mark Lawson (6 January 1993). "TELEVISION / Beginning with the worst of intentions: In the first of a new weekly column Mark Lawson watches the early offerings from the new franchise holders and finds the omens for television's future depressing - Arts & Entertainment". The Independent. Retrieved 27 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. GMTV brings in new chief to halt slide. Andrew Culf Media Correspondent The Guardian (1959–2003); 20 February 1993;
  11. Programmes director quits beleaguered GMTV. Andrew Gulf Media Correspondent The Guardian (1959–2003); 23 February 1993;
  12. Fiona Armstrong quits GMTV to spend more time with family: Andrew Culf Media Correspondent: The Guardian; 16 March 1993
  13. MARTIN WROE , Media Correspondent (20 April 1993). "GMTV tries new recipe for breakfast success - UK - News". The Independent. Retrieved 27 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Fresh faces on GMTV. The Times, Friday, 2 April 1993;
  15. LWT share deal could create 15 management millionaires. Martin Flanagan. The Times, Friday, 30 July 1993;
  16. Struggling GMTV aims to cut news. Alexandra Frean Media Correspondent. The Times, Friday, 3 September 1993
  17. TV watchdog condemns quality of programmes. Alexandra Frean, Media Correspondent. The Times, Friday, 27 May 1994
  18. Dinosaur follows rat as 'poor' GMTV tries to avoid £2m fine. Culf, Andrew The Guardian (1959–2003); 27 May 1994;
  19. Quality rise by GMTV removes threat of fine Andrew Culf Media Correspondent The Guardian (1959–2003); 16 September 1994;
  20. GMTV seeks to expand as it moves towards profit for first time. Andrew Culf Media Correspondent. The Guardian (1959–2003); 15 December 1994;
  21. Pulsing pectorals add to toned-upTV station's buoyant breakfast mood. Culf, Andrew. The Guardian; 22 June 1994;
  22. Eamonn Holmes absent from the GMTV sofa. The Times , Friday, 3 January 1997
  23. Cue for truce in TV spat: GMTV presenter apologises over newspaper report. Culf, Andrew. The Guardian; 3 January 1997;
  24. Scottish Media likely to sell 20% stake in GMTV. Raymond Snoddy, Media Editor. The Times, Tuesday, 21 July 1998;
  25. Loss-making GMTV wins £30m licence fee windfall. Raymond Snoddy Media Editor. The Times, Thursday, 26 November 1998
  26. 26.0 26.1 "GMTV | Media | MediaGuardian". Guardian. 7 September 2000. Retrieved 27 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  32. ITV buys GMTV stake from SMG Chris Tryhorn Media Guardian, 10 May 2004
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  35. Jason Deans, broadcasting editor (22 February 2005). "Eamonn Holmes quits GMTV | Media | MediaGuardian". Guardian. Retrieved 27 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  36. "I've made up with Anthea but hate bosses at GMTV; EAMONN HOLMES EXCLUSIVE" Sunday Mirror, May 22, 2005.
  37. Smit, Martina (24 April 2007). "Phone-in firm sorry over GMTV scandal". Telegraph. Retrieved 27 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  38. "Entertainment | Viewers 'lose millions' to GMTV". BBC News. 23 April 2007. Retrieved 27 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  42. "GMTV hit with £250,000 record fine for phone-in fakers scandal | Mail Online". 24 September 2007. Retrieved 27 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  43. Pierce, Andrew (19 October 2007). "Fraud office reviews GMTV phone-in scandal". Telegraph. Retrieved 27 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  44. Leigh Holmwood (10 March 2008). "GMTV escapes fraud investigation over phone-in scandal | Media |". Guardian. Retrieved 27 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  45. Maggie Brown (8 September 2008). "GMTV format to be overhauled | Media |". Guardian. Retrieved 27 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  46. "Entertainment | Tearful GMTV goodbye for Phillips". BBC News. 18 December 2008. Retrieved 27 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  47. GMTV editor Martin Frizell to leave breakfast TV broadcaster Daily Record, 11 December 2009
  48. Editor Martin Frizell leaving GMTV The Guardian, 11 December 2009
  49. GMTV stars Penny Smith and John Stapleton leave the sofa in cut backs Daily Mirror, 4 March 2010
  50. Old pro Penny Smith keeps mum on the GMTV sofa after being axed... but tweets: 'Let the partying commence' Mail Online, 4 March 2010
  51. Tony Blair's 'favourite broadcaster' Gloria De Piero selected for safe Labour seat Mail Online, 21 March 2010
  52. Children's TV presenters lose their jobs as GMTV bosses continue to wield the axe Mirror, 6 March 2010
  53. Paul Revoir (12 April 2010). "Eamonn Holmes is heading back to the GMTV sofa with Kate Thornton | Mail Online". Retrieved 27 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  54. "Eamonn Holmes and Kate Thornton to present GMTV - Showbiz - London Evening Standard". 13 April 2010. Retrieved 27 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  56. Conlan, Tara (19 April 2010). "Adrian Chiles quits BBC for ITV". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 August 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  57. Ben Shephard to leave GMTV GMTV, 22 April 2010
  58. GMTV presenter Ben Shephard to quit the show Mirror, 30 June 2010
  59. Ian Rumsey made GMTV editor The Guardian, 7 May 2010
  60. After a decade on the sofa, Andrew Castle bows out of GMTV ITV Press Centre, 10 June 2010
  61. Kanter, Jake (10 June 2010). "£1.5m shake-up sees GMTV name dropped". Broadcast. Retrieved 10 June 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  62. "£1.5m shake-up for GMTV". The Independent. 11 June 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  63. Midgley, Neil (20 June 2010). "CChristine Bleakley joins ITV after BBC sacking". GMTV. Retrieved 5 March 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  64. ITV unveils new breakfast show Belfast Telegraph, 9 July 2010
  65. Daybreaking News! GMTV, 20 July 2010
  66. Richard Arnold, Carla Romano depart GMTV Digital Spy, 20 July 2010
  67. Secrets of my sofa: As she leaves GMTV, Emma Crosby takes you behind the scenes Mail Online, 1 August 2010

External links