Last week, Chris Evans pictured himself as a market trader who will be forced to take his stall elsewhere if his latest production, the daytime chatshow The Terry and Gaby Show, is not a success. And, after a couple of less than impressive programmes, Boys and Girls and Live ... with Chris Moyles, he needs Terry Wogan and Gaby Roslin to be a hit for five.
Daytime has been something of a battleground lately and it will be interesting to see how well Terry and Gaby do against the even cuddlier coupling of Pip Schofield and Fern Britton on ITV1's This Morning.
Wogan and Roslin are a proven live team following their experiences on Children in Need and, while it is impressive that five has managed to lure them to its schedule, the show itself plays it safe by aping the cosiness created by Des and Mel over on ITV1 or Richard and Judy in their heyday.
It opened with Terry and Gaby beaming on a couple of green leather sofas that were straight out of Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge.
Whether this was an ironic recognition of the cheesiness to come or a coincidence was unclear.
Monday's first edition started promisingly. Both presenters are at home with live TV and seemed relatively at ease. The Evans touches were apparent from early on - the "amusing" shot of first guest Jonathan Ross semi-naked in his dressing room and a rowdy, albeit mainly blue-rinsed, audience.
The programme introduced Johnny Ball, back on TV in a spot called "Challenge Johnny", and then went into a lame Big Breakfast-style feature that involved a Scouse presenter knocking on somebody's door in the hope that they'd agree to take part in a game of selling their possessions. How amazing was it that the first door he should knock on was that of Danny Baker, another DJ chum of Evans? Not very.
Then the Ross interview commenced and things started to get a bit slow and muddled. Gaby went off to do a vox pop that backfired ("Not everything works," Wogan muttered) and things started to flag badly when Wogan and Ross were reduced to reading out yet more e-mails from viewers.
Things got very This Morning when Gaby returned to do a Champagne tasting session with a "hunky" wine expert and ended with Ball's "science bit", a good end to the show.
So, all in all, a very mixed bag. On the plus side Wogan and Roslin are good, solid performers and given that is was the first show there were few embarrassing cock-ups. On the downside, Evans' recent tendency to behave like a magpie (stealing bits of old tat from here and there rather than creating anything original) shows. Overall though, I think Terry and Gaby will do the business for five because they complete a good morning schedule after The Wright Stuff.
Ian Darby, Campaign's media editor, prefers to watch Big Strong Boys on BBC1 on weekday mornings.
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