Tuesday, 19 January 2010
Two-timing hussy... but only before 8am
I am not a morning person. I need to leave at least an hour and a half between blearily stabbing 'snooze' on my alarm and actually leaving for the station, glossy and blow-dried. After hitting snooze once or twice depending on the night before and the prospect of the day ahead, I have a very polished regime. This roughly allows fifteen minutes for a hot wake-me-up shower, ten minutes or so for wandering around the kitchen, stopping at intervals to stare blankly at the contents of the fridge before remembering what I'm doing, and to make a cup of tea. Then post-caffeine, I have around half an hour of watching breakfast TV and eating toast in order to fully switch on before I can get anywhere near my wardrobe or hairbrush. This may seem completely bizarre, but I've been waking up around the same early hour for eighteen months now, and since I show no signs of being able to spring up immediately, don a perfectly chic outfit and dance down the street singing like Julie Andrews, I'm sticking to it.
During my half-hour toast munch, I drop any pretence of intellectual loyalty and flick promiscuously between BBC Breakfast and GMTV. This feels vaguely like having an affair with Jeremy Paxman and David Beckham simultaneously: you don't feel good about it afterwards, but it's oddly decadent at the time. I can watch the headlines on Breakfast (pounding dramatic music, blood-red graphics, harrowing images) and then flick to 'What's Wills wearing Down Under?!' on GMTV, as a Minogue-esque brunette contemplates where Prince William might party while he's in Sydney. I know I should want journalism at its hard-hitting finest, but somehow at this hour I just can't stomach it. Just like some people can't do breakfast itself, breakfast news needs to be diluted with light-hearted trash and bad puns just for me to get through it. So I flit from recession figures and politician grillings to pre-recorded Alexandra Burke interviews and 'fun' news stories, and it suits me fine.
A little Krispy Kreme with your espresso, if you will.
I like the quality of the BBC, but they do manage to sound fusty about any subject that they haven't covered in their Oxbridge education. Twitter, drugs and Lady Gaga are all covered with an excruciating awkwardness, as though verbally picking them up with latex gloves. Or worse (and often the male presenter is the culprit) whilst trying to sound down with the kids, blud. At least Ben Shephard and Emma Crosby can give you the hard facts up front and then move on to marijuana or Perez Hilton as if they've at least come into contact with them. Saying that, their weather section is more than a little spoofy, often padded out with unnecessary comment (today the mist and fog around London was 'a bit depressing'. Thanks for slapping that on my day before I've even opened the curtains, love.) I like the BBC's mumsy Scottish weathergirl (you can see how their names are less memorable) but the minute their business or sport guy comes on, they can kiss me goodbye. I like the fact that GMTV snared Martin Lewis, who can keep my attention on money for a minute or two just by cutting out the high-faluting lingo and concentrating on what we all deal with: bills, charges, saving, spending. I do not need to know how the Yen is doing this week.
As the day goes on, I make it my business to read the broadsheets, browse the websites and deal with the decay and misery in the world. But, like consciousness, that needs easing into. I guess you could say GMTV is my sNews button...