Simon Mayo Breakfast Show

The Simon Mayo Breakfast Show was the weekday breakfast show on BBC Radio 1 between 23 May 1988[1] and 3 September 1993. The programme was broadcast on weekdays, apart from on bank holidays, and had three broadcast slots. Originally on air between 7 am and 9.30 am, it gained an extra 30 minutes on 3 April 1989 to coincide with an earlier start to Radio 1’s day.[2] Finally, when Radio 1 began 24-hour transmissions on 1 May 1991, the programme was broadcast between 6 am and 9 am.[3] The programme ended as part of the major shake-up of BBC Radio 1 schedule by Matthew Bannister, which saw Mayo move to the station’s mid-morning slot.[4]

Simon Mayo
GenreMusic, Talk
Running time3 hours
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Home stationBBC Radio 1
Hosted bySimon Mayo
Produced byRic Blaxill
Original release23 May 1988 –
3 September 1993
Audio format97-99 FM, 1053, 1089 MW



The programme, which was based on a "zoo" format, saw Mayo being joined by The Breakfast Crew consisting of news anchor Rod McKenzie and a weather/travel presenter, of which there were four regular presenters throughout the show's run - Carol Dooley (1988), Sybil Ruscoe (1988–89), Jackie Brambles (8 Jan - 14 Sep 1990)[5] and the late Dianne Oxberry (October 1990[6] until the programme ended three years later). Weather and travel presenter stand-ins included Lynn Parsons, Caron Keating and Philippa Forrester.

News headlines were broadcast every 20 minutes. 30-second headline bulletins aired at 10 to and 10 past, alongside the full bulletin at half past the hour. The weather forecast was broadcast at 5 and 35 past, travel news at 25 and 55 past and a brief sports update, read by Mayo, was broadcast at around 20 past.



The programme became known for various features, including On This Day In History, the cryptic game The Identik-Hit Quiz, where Mayo and his co hosts would 'act' a short scene which cryptically led listeners to the title of a hit song, and in August 1990 he launched his Confessions feature where members of the public sought absolution for their (often frivolous or humorous) "sins", and it moved to a television series in later years.

Monday's programme featured a rundown of the new UK Top 40 singles chart which was followed by a playing of that week's number one. This was broadcast at approximately 7.45am.[7]

Break-out Hits


Due to frequent plays from Mayo, several unlikely hit singles reached the UK charts, including "Kinky Boots" by Patrick Macnee and Honor Blackman[8] "Donald Where's Yer Troosers?" by Andy Stewart; and "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life", sung and written by Eric Idle.[9] For helping Monty Python have a hit with the latter 13 years after it first appeared on the soundtrack to The Life of Brian, Idle presented Mayo with a model bare foot, in the style of the animated version which used to end the opening titles to the TV show.


  1. ^ "Simon Mayo – BBC Radio 1 England – 23 May 1988 – BBC Programme Index". Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  2. ^ BBC Programme Index - Radio 1 3 April 1990
  3. ^ BBC Programme Index - Radio 1 2 May 1991
  4. ^ BBC Programme Index - Radio 1 23 October 1993
  5. ^ BBC Programme Index - Radio 1 8 January 1990
  6. ^ BBC Programme Index - Radio 1 1 October 1990
  7. ^ BBC Programme Index - BBC Radio 1 26 November 1990
  8. ^ Chapman, James (2002). Saints and Avengers: British Adventure Series of the 1960s. I.B.Tauris. p. 253. ISBN 9781860647543. Retrieved 23 November 2010.
  9. ^ Idle, Eric (2018). Always Look on the Bright Side of Life – A Sortabiography. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. p. 147.