BBC Breakfast format shakeup: Famous sofa taken from the studio


BBC Breakfast’s format change was significant this week. The red sofa was moved to Cornwall.

The show was filmed in Salford, Greater Manchester at MediaCity. But on Tuesday April 26, the couch moved to St Austell as a poignant tribute for a war hero.

Dan Walker and Sally Nugent were the presenters from the studio. Sally’s occasional cohost Jon Kay was to host the Cornwall portion of the programme. Show bosses sent a replica of that couch to the harbour.

It is a fitting tribute to Harry Billinge (D-Day veteran), who tragically died earlier in the month after tirelessly fundraising for war memorials.

He made an impression on Breakfast’s cast and crew by appearing on Breakfast in a Normandy segment.

Cornwall saw the famous sofa move to Cornwall

Fans were shocked to see Jon and Dan interact on the program, which is rare for the pair.

Jon is often asked to fill in for Dan on holidays or during periods of absence and so is used at sitting with Nina Warhurst and Sally Nugent on the show.

Sally started the segment with this statement: “Now, today we say goodbye to Harry Billinge, the D-Day veteran and friend of this programme, who died earlier this month aged 96.”

Dan explained: “His funeral is going to take place in his hometown of St Austell in Cornwall – Jon Kay is there for us today and we’ll say good morning to Jon. It’s a sad day, Jon, isn’t it, but also a chance to celebrate what was an incredible life.”

Jon presented the sunrise

Jon replied: “Absolutely – that is precisely the tone that people here are hoping for today, Dan and Sally.”

The couch can be seen in the morning sun, at the harbour’s edge, where the path to the harbour was temporarily blocked by cordons.

Jon was busy interviewing Richard Palusinski of the Spirit of Normandy Trust who was headed to Cornwall for Harry’s funeral.

This is not the first time that the red sofa has been moved. A replica was even seen at the Strictly come Dancing ballroom last season to perform one of Dan’s routines.

The view was spectacular

The red couch, a staple of the show for almost four decades is easily recognisable by BBC fans across the country.

After the studio moved to Salford, one version of the couch was shipped to Ramallah. The BBC donated the old couch to furnish new TV sets in Palestinian Territories via its Jerusalem bureau.

The exact couch was used by Voices from Palestine, and Free to Speak in 2017.

BBC Breakfast is broadcast every day at 6am on BBC One.

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