British Breakfast on Air: TV-am and the Construction of a Postmodern Space, Dr Léa-Catherine Szacka

  • 5:15pm - 6:30pm

  • Minto House, Elliot Room
    20-22 Chambers Street
    EH1 1JZ

On 28 December 1980, the UK’s Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) awarded a ‘national breakfast-time’ franchise to TV-am, a television company part of the commercial network ITV. From its television studio located in Camden Town and design by architect Terry Farrell, TV-am aired Daybreak, followed by Good Morning Britain, between 6.00am and 9.25am, seven days a week, from 1st February 1983 to 31 December 1992.

Using the frame of mass communications and technological development, and looking at the cultural and technological history of television in its intersection with architecture, this paper argues that not only did the TV-am studio building become the “very image of the brash television station” (Furman 2016) but that shows like Good morning Britain contributed to the construction and diffusion, during Britain’s core years of neoliberalism, of a distinctive postmodern space, through architecture and the moving image. This paper mobilises notions of display, performativeness and spectatorship to question the role of 1980s Britain popular cultural industry, in shaping new conceptions of time and space.


Part of the Architectural History and Theory Seminar Series 2018