Gaby Roslin: TV has become 'very safe' and isn't like her 'Big Breakfast' days

·7-min read
THE BIG BREAKFAST PRESENTER GABY ROSLIN GIVES HER CO-HOST CHRIS EVANS A LARGE KISS AFTER HE PRESENTED HIS AWARD TO HER AT THE BRITISH COMEDY AWARDS 1993 IN LONDON. HE TOLD THE CELEBRITY AUDIENCE
Chris Evans and Gaby Roslin, the co-presenters of The Big Breakfast, in 1993 (Getty)

TV and radio presenter Gaby Roslin has spoken about her early career working alongside Chris Evans, saying television seems 'safe' now in comparison.

The former Children in Need host spoke to Kate Thornton on White Wine Question Time about her respect for Evans, and says Big Breakfast was something completely new when they started it.

She said: "I think that television misses fun happy risky stuff. And I wish there was more of it, I would do it like a shot. I don't mean necessarily breakfast or anything. 

"I think that television has become a little safe. And even though I'm obviously slightly older than 33 (I tell everyone I'm 33 I'm sticking to that), there's no way that somebody is going to make me sit behind a desk and go: 'Good afternoon. Welcome.'

WATCH: Gaby Roslin on bumping into stars on The Big Breakfast, the maternity ward and the podcast scene

"I still want to be crazy and a bit mad and I think you can be at any age. We did get a lot of people getting in touch, especially over the pandemic, I think people wanted to escape and have a bit of craziness and madness. 

"That's what I do on my Sunday afternoon radio show. It's great to be able to sit in for Chris [on Virgin Radio]. I have a great laugh with that. I'm so touched that Chris left his baby in my hands, I take it as a huge compliment and and I love him very much."

She continued: "What I learned about myself in lockdown is I always used to say, I'm addicted to my job. I I'm obsessed with my job. Rubbish. I wish I could ever scratch out anytime I've ever said that. 

Listen to the full episode to hear Gaby Roslin talk about her friendship with Terry Wogan

"Because it's not that. I love my job. I love it with a deep love. And I respect the the job for the work. I respect television, I respect radio and podcasting. And, and it's a deep, deep love. And that's what Chris has. 

"But I love it when it's not safe. I love it. I really don't want to do safe and I don't think I've ever really done safe. Even when I started out. My very first TV show was a show called Hippo. I kept telling everyone I was a TV presenter. I'd never been a TV presenter! And then I had my own daily kids show. 

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 1: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK TABLOID NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Gaby Roslin and Chris Evans attend Chris Evans book launch party, held at the Groucho Club, Soho, on October 1 2009 in London, England.  (Photo by Dave M. Benett/Getty Images)
Gaby Roslin and Chris Evans attend Chris Evans book launch party in 2009. (Photo by Dave M. Benett/Getty Images)

"And we just went with it. And we just did things that people wouldn't [do]. They would say: 'Nobody does this. So let's just do it.'

Roslin worked on Saturday morning kids' TV show Motormouth for three years. She said journalists would ask her what she wanted to move on to next, and talked about what doing Big Breakfast was like.

She explained: "I said: 'I don't know, Saturday morning telly every morning of the week! I didn't know there was a possibility of it ever happening. So for me, [Big Breakfast] was just like the same thing, I suppose. 

"It was always about the the viewer. We were having a good time. Chris and I would say do you think they're gonna like this or, I hope the viewer gets this. I hope the viewer likes it. And when they started using catchphrases to us in the street, we'd just say: 'How do they know that?!' 

English television presenter Gaby Roslin on the set of 'The Big Breakfast' in London, December 1993. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
English television presenter Gaby Roslin on the set of 'The Big Breakfast' in London, December 1993. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

"It really was very innocent. And like I said, we drove ourselves in. There was no showbiz, there were no dressing rooms. We had a curtain. 

"There was one makeup room where we all sat together, Chris and Paula, wonderful Paula Yates, and I used to have our makeup done together. There was a curtain in another room and there was a rail with some clothes on and we'd quickly get dressed and we'd run downstairs and we'd help with our mics. 

Gaby Roslin and Paula Yates outside the Big Breakfast studio in north east London.  The Big Breakfast is the new channel 4 breakfast programme.  *  17/9/2000: 41 year old Yates has died, her solicitor Anthony Burton confirmed Sunday September 17 2000. Scotland Yard said officers were called to an address in St Luke's Mews, Notting Hill, west London, this morning by an ambulance crew. The spokesman said a body was found in a bedroom and the cause of death will not be known until the post mortem.   (Photo by Neil Munns - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
Gaby Roslin and Paula Yates outside the Big Breakfast studio (Neil Munns - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

"It did change after we left because it became sort of a huge machine, but in our day, there wasn't any of that.

"Chris and I still remember that there were times often that we'd look at each other just before going on air and just say: 'How lucky are we? This is unbelievable.' And we also didn't get carried away with all of the showbiz fluff around it. 

"We were at the opening of Planet Hollywood. We had to be out very early in the morning, Chris and I stood there and went: 'Look who's over there, there's Sylvester Stallone, there's Bruce WIllis', we couldn't believe it. 

Library filer dated 1/12/96 of winner Chris Evans (Top C4/BBC2 Entertainment Presenter) being hugged by award presenters Gaby Roslin (left) and Zoe Ball at the British Comedy Awards 1996 at the London Television Centre. It was announced today (Thur), that Evans is to leave Radio One on March 27, the BBC said. Evans wanted to have every Friday off from presenting his Breakfast Show but BBC Radio 1 controller Matthew Bannister refused.  Mr Bannister told Evans it did not fit in with his plans for the station's schedule. See PA story SHOWBIZ Evans. Photo by David Cheskin/PA.   (Photo by David Cheskin - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
Chris Evans being hugged by award presenters Gaby Roslin and Zoe Ball at the British Comedy Awards 1996. (Photo by David Cheskin - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

"We didn't sleep that night because we were so excited that we'd seen all of these people and and then they were all coming on the show, we were gonna get to meet them. And I'm still a bit like that. And I think Chris is too. We get excited!"

Roslin told Thornton about Big Breakfast being unscripted and that they liked to push themselves to always do new things.

She said: "When it started, Chris and I were very lucky that there were no scripts. So there were flag posts, we knew that at the top of the hour and at 20-past, and 20-to there was news. There was a producer and an assistant producer, and an editor in our ear. 

Gaby Roslin is a presenter on BBC London 94.9  (BBC/Rolf Marriott)
Gaby Roslin is a presenter on BBC London 94.9 (BBC/Rolf Marriott)

"The assistant producer and the producer would put the show together, would do the clock and would say: 'Right, we're going to do an item about dinosaurs. We're going to do the family of the week we're going to do this...' 

Read more: 'Big Breakfast' fans call for full comeback after one-off Black to Front return

"And and they're now very important people in telly! But there was an assistant producer, who now is one of the bosses at the BBC, and she was watching the show knowing that her show was Friday show and this was Tuesday show. And I said live on air, to this couple who were family of the week who wanted to get married. 

"So I said: 'Oh, let's do it live on air!' And they just said: 'What?' I went: 'We'll do it, we will fix it. We will do it, you'll have a wedding live on air. Because nobody had ever done that on telly before. And and the assistant producer, she looked at the television and just said: 'Oh my God!'

"And we did, in four days we put together the first ever live wedding on television. And so that's how I love to roll!"

WATCH: Gaby Roslin opens up about her friendship with the late, great Terry Wogan

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