INSIDE: Seven days of TV viewing
MELISSA Doyle’s most precious nine minutes of sleep come just after 3am. Her alarm sounds and she hits the snooze button.
Just the once. Then it’s up and on her way to Channel 7’ s studios.
She’s been doing just that for 10 years – since the rebooted breakfast show became a ratings success story. And despite recent rumours she wanted to move to prime- time, ahead of her re- signing with Seven for a rumoured $ 700,000, Doyle ( pictured) says she’s sticking with Sunrise and the snooze button.
‘‘ I think every job, whatever time your alarm goes off, whether it’s 3.15am or 6.15am, you go ’ damn, this is early’,’’ Doyle says.
‘‘ I set the alarm 10 minutes earlier because my snooze button is nine minutes.
‘‘ I don’t know why, but when I go back to sleep that nine minutes is the most glorious, because it’s like ’ aww’, it’s like snatched bonus sleep.’’
Doyle says she has no plans to leave the Sunrise couch ‘‘ for the foreseeable future’’. ‘‘ The fact that every day I still really look forward to coming to work is personally a good indication that I’m in the right job so far,’’ she says. ‘‘ I’m still loving it. I love being a journalist. I love that every day is so different.’’
She’s philosophical about the rumours she wants to move.
‘‘ The only thing that upsets me about it is I have viewers coming up and saying, ’ We’re going to miss you next year’.
‘‘ I don’t know how all that happened. ‘‘ Yes, I did a Sunday Night story and I enjoyed doing it, but I’m with Sunrise for the foreseeable future.’’ It’s been a challenging year for Sunrise as rival Channel 9 show Today has narrowed the gap. Sunrise no longer enjoys the dominance it once had over its opposition and with Channel 10 set to launch a challenger Breakfast, early next year, the battle for morning viewers is set to move up another notch.
Doyle is not one to trash the opposition but says she relishes the prospect of competition. ‘‘ It keeps Sunrise sharp,’’ she says. ‘‘ I don’t want people to watch us by default. Everyone lifts their game with competition.’’
As 2011 winds down, Doyle admits she is looking forward to some downtime at Christmas after a year which has seen her cover flood, famine, the royal wedding and plenty in between.
Doyle was in New York for the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks and also travelled to Africa with World Vision, meeting her sponsored child in Ethiopia before heading to Dadaab and a heart- wrenching time at the refugee camps.
All the experiences made Doyle count her blessings and reminded her why she loves her work.
‘‘ What I like most about being a journalist is being able to show people what is actually happening,’’ she says.
‘‘ You know, you come home and you just think ’ we’ve got it so good’.’’
Doyle was reminded of the immediacy, intimacy and effectiveness of breakfast television during the floods coverage.
‘‘ In Brisbane, to put out the call for help, to say ’ I’m standing in this street, in this suburb and these guys need XYZ and please come down and help’ and see people respond . . . that’s fabulous to be a part of,’’ she grins.
Sunrise, Southern Cross, weekdays, 6am