Morn­ing sun smiles on Mr and Mrs Av­er­age

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Tv - Ian Cuth­bert­son

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

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