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  • BBC News Presenter Count 2016: January – June: BBC Breakfast

    Crikey! Is it July already?! I type this drinking cider on a Friday night, feeling misty and in disbelief that Christmas seemed like only yesterday. Gee, OK. I’m on duty for posting these once more for, yes, it’s that time again to look at the all-important BNF half-time numbers for a new year and subject them to poetic evaluation. And what a year it has been. Regular readers will know that the editors’ main job is to keep archiving the BBC News Channel’s shifts and bulletins’ presenters and here, we begin with morning staple BBC Breakfast. The January to June 2016 count:

    (1) Naga Munchetty – 81

    (2) Louise Minchin – 78

    (3) Charlie Stayt – 40

    (4) Dan Walker – 40

    (5) Jon Kay – 35

    (6) Bill Turnbull – 15

    (7) Sally Nugent – 13

    (8) Roger Johnson – 11

    (9) Steph McGovern – 10

    (10) Ben Thompson – 9

    (11) Christian Fraser – 7

    (12) Sian Lloyd – 3

    (13) Katherine Downes – 1

    Nicky Campbell – 1

    David Dimbleby – 1

    So much to get through and already I’m light-headed enough to get dizzy by these numbers. In prime position to lead for the rest of the year, Munchetty sits comfortably with 81, a value that, if she keeps waking up for what seems like every other morning, could land her a good 160+ by December 31st, making it difficult for any female presenter to catch onto her tail. Viewers have complained over Naga’s dominance on TV screens right now – why, she’s presenting Sunday Morning Live, too! And Victoria Derbyshire in August, maybe?! – so I’m anticipating either a drop in work on the sofa or a steady sameness up till Christmastime. Minchin is trailing a little behind but, by my statistics, could overtake Munchetty anytime in the next month or so. Exciting stuff! Fun fact: Munchetty plays golf. I wouldn’t mind a game. Nor a drink.

    Notice that the “inner Breakfast circle” as I like to call it is smaller than the “anybody can present this show” schtick we had last year? Dare I jinx it, but I’m happy right now observing how across-the-board the males are scattered in this leaderboard. Stayt and Walker walk it off easy in their own respective positions, both amiable numbers to have considering Stayt’s two-month advantage over Walker. Kay trails behind the new guy by a mere 5 shows, a deficit I think will widen come the autumn, but bear in mind Kay is going to be the third-wheel on this ladder for a good few years into the future, and, on an unrelated note, he sparkles off Munchetty’s style when they share the sofa together (often). For now though, after this week’s shows, I can say that Kay and Walker are tied on 40, something worth noting since Walker’s sporting commitments at the Euros have meant he’s had to abandon his campaign to win this really important pride-rewarding trophy with his all-female co-starring team! Truly, though, I’ve been really impressed by the smoothness of the transition Walker has achieved in landing the Mon-Wed slot at Breakfast. He’s a hit with fans and viewers alike, and he’ll be comfortable on the programme for many years if I’m to be believed correctly…

    As for the rest: Nugent’s doing alright in seventh – I’d be happy for her to have more weekend shifts later in the season, rather than filling in for Minchin solely. Johnson’s making his mark on 11, McGovern wanting more, I feel, not just the Sunday rota-shift she’s consistently being assigned. A welcome surprise in tenth is Ben Thompson, the very likeable, swish host who knows his business and who I wouldn’t be surprised could tether into being the Jon Kay figure in the lineup if Stayt were to ever move onto newer pastures. Finally, I don’t feel Fraser, Lloyd or Downes are fitting into the lineup, sadly, but their mere digits are greeted for the diversity they bring to the mix.

    Nicky Campbell. David Dimbleby. It’s been an honour, I’ve loved having you both offer a referendum presence in your respective debate-moderatingness and election-nightness when it was necessary. Now… go back to where you belong. See you in the fall, Dimbleby, for the rise of Donald Trump.

    That swiftly rounds off my analysis of Breakfast’s intermission figures. For anyone interested, at this stage in the game, here’s my bet for the future: Munchetty has years ahead of her and she’ll take Minchin’s spot maybe in the next two years. Thompson and, after last Sunday, Fritz, could waltz this gig anytime in the next decade.

    Coming soon: the 2016 half-time counts for BBC Business Live and Victoria Derbyshire.

    Tom Scudamore,

    BNF’s weekend resident

    PS Still missing you, Bill Turnbull… and Mishal Husain…

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