ITV's 9.25 shows

Good morning from Central!

For a little bit more than a decade, and then again for seven weeks, the 9.25am slot on Britain's main commercial network was pretty much guaranteed to be filled with one glorified parlour game or another.

Although the 9.25am slot was established in 1987, its seeds were sown as early as 1972, when on 16 October of that year ITV's schools programmes - which had started in 1957 and initially aired during late mornings and early afternoons - were moved to between 9.30am and midday. Breakfast television arrived on ITV on 1 February 1983, in the form of TV-am, whose hours were originally 6am to 9.15am - the 15 minutes before ITV's schools programmes gave British Telecom time to manually switch the broadcast signals from TV-am to the regional ITV companies. After this switching process became automated, TV-am's hours were extended to 9.25am from the end of May 1983.

On 7 September 1987, ITV transferred its schools programmes to Channel 4, and introduced a new morning schedule (which also included talk show The Time, The Place and, from 3 October 1988, This Morning). For the next ten-and-a-half years, the 9.25am slot was the natural home for cheap 'n' cheerful tat, encompassing word games, singing, Pictionary, trolley dashes and more.

At a time when the ITV schedules were dominated by the "Big Five" companies - Thames, LWT, Central, Granada and Yorkshire - the 9.25am slot offered a chance for the smaller companies to show themselves off on the network, with Tyne Tees providing Chain Letters and Crosswits, Anglia providing Lucky Ladders, HTV West providing Keynotes (in association with Grundy), and even Ulster getting in on the act with their version of Password. By 1995, however, the ITV Network Centre had been set up, Thames and TV-am had given way to Carlton and GMTV respectively, and the slot was occupied by just three shows - Scottish's Win, Lose or Draw, Central's Supermarket Sweep, and Chain Letters, which had returned after several years away and displaced Tyne Tees stablemate Crosswits to afternoons.

There now follows a list of game shows which filled this nearly-hallowed slot. Dates are of course series start dates. Weeks do not necessarily add up to 52 as the game show slot would usually be replaced with cartoons during the school summer holidays and would also take two or three weeks' break over Christmas and New Year.

7 Sep Chain Letters (5 weeks)
12 Oct Runway (10 weeks)
4 Jan Give Us a Clue (11 weeks)
21 Mar Lucky Ladders (5 weeks)
25 Apr Crosswits (8 weeks)
20 June Password (6 weeks)
1 Aug Whose Baby? (2 weeks)
15 Aug What's My Line? (3 weeks)
5 Sep Runway (8 weeks)
31 Oct Lucky Ladders (8 weeks)
9 Jan The Pyramid Game (9 weeks)
13 Mar Keynotes (9 weeks)
15 May Crosswits (9 weeks)
4 Sep Runway (7 weeks)
23 Oct Keynotes (7 weeks)
11 Dec Born Lucky (2 weeks)
8 Jan Lucky Ladders (6 weeks)
19 Feb The Pyramid Game (7 weeks)
9 Apr Crosswits (7 weeks)
29 May Chain Letters (6 weeks and 2 days)
3 Sep Jeopardy! (8 weeks)
29 Oct Keynotes (8 weeks)
7 Jan Runway (1 week and 3 days) (a)
11 Mar Lucky Ladders (7 weeks)
29 Apr Crosswits (8 weeks)
24 Jun All Clued Up (4 weeks)
29 Aug Runway (2 days and 6 weeks) (a)
14 Oct Jeopardy! (10 weeks)
6 Jan Keynotes (7 weeks)
24 Feb Lucky Ladders (7 weeks)
13 Apr Crosswits (11 weeks)
29 Jun Your Number Please (4 weeks)
27 Jul Jumble (6 weeks)
7 Sep Win, Lose or Draw (5 weeks)
12 Oct Keynotes (10 weeks)
4 Jan Runway (7 weeks)
22 Feb Jeopardy! (7 weeks)
12 Apr Lucky Ladders (5 weeks)
17 May Crosswits (5 weeks)
21 Jun Talkabout (5 weeks)
6 Sep Supermarket Sweep (15 weeks)
3 Jan Win, Lose or Draw (13 weeks)
4 Apr Crosswits (14 weeks)
5 Sep Supermarket Sweep (15 weeks)
2 Jan Chain Letters (17 weeks)
1 May Win, Lose or Draw (10 weeks)
4 Sep Supermarket Sweep (15 weeks)
1 Jan Win, Lose or Draw (17 weeks)
29 April Supermarket Sweep (repeats, 10 weeks)
2 Sep Supermarket Sweep (new, 15 weeks)
7 Jan Win, Lose or Draw (7 weeks)
4 Mar Chain Letters (8 weeks)
28 April Supermarket Sweep (repeats, 10 weeks)
7 Jul Win, Lose or Draw (repeats, 8 weeks)
1 Sep Supermarket Sweep (new, 16 weeks)
6 Jan Win, Lose or Draw (8 weeks)
2 March Supermarket Sweep (repeats, 3 weeks)
13 May Dickinson's Real Deal (repeats, 4 weeks)
10 June Tenable (repeats, 3 weeks)
  • (a) Series 4 of Runway was meant to run for 8 weeks (as Richard Madeley said at the start of the first show of the run) but it was pulled from the schedules after 8 days due to news coverage of the Gulf War. It returned on 29 August.

By early 1998, ITV had decided on an even cheaper show in the 9.25am slot, in the form of Vanessa Feltz's American-style talk show. The show had started in 1994 as a half-hour affair at afternoons, and would now run for 50 minutes (thus also replacing The Time, The Place). A repeat of Supermarket Sweep aired on Friday 20 March 1998 to bring the curtain down on the game show era, before Vanessa moved into the slot the following Monday. (Supermarket Sweep was the only one of the remaining game shows to survive, moving in the opposite direction to Vanessa and airing at afternoons until finally ending in 2001.)

When Vanessa took her show to the BBC, Trisha Goddard took over the slot with a very similar talk show. This began on 21 September 1998 and aired, with few breaks, for six years. Trisha moved to Channel Five from January 2005, but repeats of the ITV version carried on until 15 April 2005. From 18 April to 27 May 2005, ITV aired The People's Court, their version of the American courtroom show. During half term, ITV showed a week of the US Supernanny copycat "Nanny 911", then from 6 June to 1 July 2005 (and from 5 to 16 September 2005), ITV aired a UK version of Jerry Springer. From 4 July 2005, Jeremy Kyle took over, which was on the same set as the UK version of Jerry Springer and went on for fourteen years.

Early morning games made a brief return to the slot following the unfortunate death that brought an abrupt end to the Jeremy Kyle show, but after seven weeks it was back to talk as Judge Rinder took over the slot. In January 2020, the 9.25 slot effectively disappeared as the extension of Good Morning Britain to three hours caused Lorraine to shift up and fill the hour from 9 to 10.

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