Channel 4 has announced that it is rebooting its iconic morning show The Big Breakfast after an 18-year hiatus, with BAFTA-winning British comedian Mo Gilligan hosting a one-off special.
The revival will form part of a Black Takeover Day in 2021, during which the British broadcaster will mark a year since the international protests and debates sparked by the killing of George Floyd on May 25.
ITV Studios will produce The Big Breakfast revival after the show was originally made by Charlie Parsons’ production company Planet 24. Channel 4 promised to recapture the show’s anarchic spirit and said it will be reimagined through an “unashamedly Black British lens.”
The original show ran for 10 years and launched the careers of countless television executives, as well as catapulting the likes of Chris Evans to stardom. Evans went on to become the BBC’s highest-paid star, which included presenting the Radio 2 breakfast show and an ill-fated spell fronting Top Gear.
Gilligan, who won a BAFTA for Channel 4’s The Lateish Show With Mo Gilligan, said: “Like so many of us, I loved The Big Breakfast and I am so grateful to be asked to host this special event, particularly as part of such a hugely thrilling and history-making day for British television!”
As part of the Black Takeover Day, Channel 4 said it would make diverse versions of flagship shows, including Celebrity Gogglebox, Countdown and Channel 4 News. Hollyoaks, which has been embroiled in a diversity scandal in recent weeks, is also planning an hour-long special entirely written, directed, and performed by its Black talent.
Furthermore, Channel 4 it is looking to commission a Black-led comedy series and an unscripted series set in the Black community. It will be calling on producers to pitch ideas.
Channel 4 is consulting with The Sir Lenny Henry Centre For Media Diversity to help shape the Black Takeover Day and ensure that it leaves a lasting legacy. “It will be much more than a day of eye-catching programming, providing a focal point for our efforts to drive up on and off screen representation and leaving a lasting legacy on the channel and beyond,” said director of programs Ian Katz.
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