Big Breakfast is back on Channel 4 for a Black To Front takeover day
The Big Breakfast will return to Channel 4 on Friday as part of an all-day celebration of black talent, nearly 20 years after it was last broadcast.
The one-off reprise of the channel’s Black To Front Day will be co-hosted by AJ Odudu and Mo Gilligan.
Sir Trevor McDonald will be a guest host on Countdown, while Mel B will be the host of Steph’s Packed Lunch.
The day would “amplify black talent, voices, and tales,” according to Channel 4. However, some have criticized it as merely symbolic.
The Big Breakfast, which aired from 1992 to 2002 and featured hosts such as Chris Evans, Johnny Vaughan, Denise van Outen, and Zoe Ball, became a popular TV show.
On Friday, Odudu and Gilligan will welcome visitors such as former sprinter Usain Bolt, guitarist Nile Rodgers, singer Eve, and actor Idris Elba back to the original cottage.
A special episode of Hollyoaks with an all-black cast and core crew will air on the day, as will Highlife, a new reality series featuring successful British Nigerians and Ghanaians, and Unapologetic, a late-night chat show.
The day was part of Channel 4’s “ongoing commitment as an anti-racist organisation to boost black representation on and off screen and drive long-term change in the industry,” according to the broadcaster.
Kelly Webb-Lamb, the day’s deputy director of programmes, said it will leave a “lasting legacy” and “give meaningful possibilities for black talent to advance their careers and transform the next generation of creative decision-makers who will impact what we see on-screen in the future.”
Others, though, have questioned how significant it will be for black British talent and prospective programme producers. Comedian London Hughes has been one of the critics, claiming that the United States is “the only country that knows how to exhibit and celebrate black British talent properly.” However, he told the Radio Times that his appearance on the panel of The Masked Singer was likely doing more in terms of representation.
“I believe people forget it’s a chance for new talent, especially behind the camera, to have an opportunity,” he remarked of Black To Front Day.