Morning sun smiles on Mr and Mrs Average
THEY are always there, made- up, coiffured ( except for Kochie, who has no quiff to coif), well- dressed, alert and smiling when most of us wake. The happy- go- lucky weekday Sunrise team put out three hours of live television into the breakfasting homes of the nation, every Monday to Friday, 52 weeks of the year, with only Christmas Day off ( should it fall on a weekday). And they don’t do too badly at all.
When it comes to ratings, they are outright winners over the main opposition, Nine’s Today . Sunrise has been Australia’s No 1 breakfast show for 181 consecutive weeks. According to new OzTAM figures, early Sunrise ( 6am to 7am) is up 58 per cent on early Today , and the rest of Sunrise is up 49 per cent on the rest of Today.
But as Julius Sumner Miller was fond of saying: ‘‘ Why is it so?’’ Though supported by a decent team of all- rounders ( news people, sports people, entertainment people, weather people, Hollywood gossip guy, gadget guy and so on) Melissa Doyle and David Koch ( Mel and Kochie to you, their mates) carry the can, and two more ordinary presenters you will not meet. Perversely, this seems to be the crux of their appeal. They are us on TV.
This can be endearing, but it has its limitations. For example, the team was pretty down on Germaine Greer following her attacks on Steve Irwin and the adjectives used to describe her at the time, if I recall correctly, were not at all flattering.
Cut to last Tuesday, when Germs appeared on the show, and it would be hard to find two more intimidated presenters. Kochie stumbled around with the clumsiest questions I’ve seen put to Greer. ‘‘ Do you like men?’’ he asked. ‘‘ Do you mean as food or companions?’’ a perplexed Greer replied.
‘‘ As a race,’’ the genius replied.
Undeterred by some chastening Greer displeasure, he persisted: ‘‘ You always seem a bit grumpy. Does that do your cause any good?’’
Greer misunderstood his intentions and replied: ‘‘ Well, of course I’m in a show called Grumpy Old Women, but the main purpose of that is to make people laugh.’’
Did Kochie pursue Greer or clarify his question? Did Mel say or interject anything that a suburban mum wouldn’t have? No way, Jose. We were back, as always, in the smooth hands of Mr and Mrs Average.
But even I can’t argue with success, and there is no doubt Sunrise will keep on keeping on. New weather guy David Brown, an experienced meteorologist, has proved a winner with viewers and producers will be hoping new entertainment reporter James Tobin will continue the established pattern of success.
Just like us: New entertainment reporter James Tobin, left, with Sunrise stalwarts Mel and Kochie