Following a successful guest presenter spot on
SM:tv in December 2001, the 5th January 2002 saw Brian’s first
appearance as a fully-fledged co-presenter on the show.
His first appearance was a somewhat low-key affair,
with the spotlight being given to another new starter, James Redmond.
Brian and Tess Daly were introduced as co-presenters without the
fanfare given to James, but their effervescent charm and natural
rapport with the audience, young and old, ensured that they were
not sidelined for long.
the time of James Redmond’s sudden departure in March, Brian
and Tess had proved themselves more than capable of filling Ant
& Dec’s shoes. The show immediately following the dramatic
sacking saw Brian and Tess take the reins firmly in both hands,
and with a little help from Dane Bowers the 16th March show signalled
the start of a fantastic new era for SM:tv. On Cat Deeley’s
return the following week a wonderful chemistry between the three
presenters started to grow, and it was Cat’s experience and
warmth, which enabled Tess and Brian to build on their initial success.
quickly proved to be an asset to the show. Brian’s Brain,
in which he answered questions set by a child contestant, was an
immediate hit with the viewers. He also made his mark in many of
the sketches … who could forget Clinky the Trolley Dolly Android
in SMTV2099, and Roger the Ambulance Man in Casually?
Brian’s friendly, personable (and dare I say
cheeky!) style enchants the celebrities he interviews, none more
so than Britney Spears who seemed beguiled by our little love, even
when, during a belly-dancing demonstration, he ordered her to sit
down while he carried on!
Among the other stars lucky enough to experience
an audience with Brian were The Rock, Beyonce Knowles, Sir Michael
Caine, Kirsten Dunst, Toby Maguire, Mike Myers, Will Young, and
Deeley’s departure at the end of March saw former Steps stars
H and Claire join the show. Fans of Brian expressed trepidation
at the introduction of the hyperactive singer, and many predicted
tension as Brian and H fought for the limelight. Thankfully, our
fears were ungrounded, as the two appeared to immediately hit it
off, and established a mischievous partnership in front of the cameras.
The arrival of H and Claire brought more fantastic new sketches,
such as Table Footballers Wives, and the hilarious Big Brother spoof,
Big Bother. Both of these sketches gave Claire chance to shine,
and show her marvellous comedy talents, but as usual it was Brian
who stole the show!
at SM:tv hasn’t always been plain sailing for our Bri. He
was staggered during Brian’s Brain in August 2002 to find
that the contestants were none other than five of his six sisters!
The prize for that week was unveiled and to his horror it was his
beloved Christian Dior saddle bag, which he promptly lost. The star
of the film Anita & Me, Chandeep Uppal famously turned the tables
on him and demanded SHE be allowed to interview HIM, much to his
embarrassment! Not forgetting the unfortunate incident during the
“Busted or Custard” item, when a pie in the face led
to poor Brian sporting a very fetching plaster on his cut forehead
for the rest of the morning!
15th 2003 saw a major revamp for SM:tv, with a new set, a new title
sequence, and thankfully for most of us, new advertisements from
the sponsors, Walkers. Two fun new presenters were introduced at
the same time, resulting in a host of new sketches and running gags
for the show. Des Clarke, a 21 year old Scot with a fast-paced delivery
and quirky presenting style burst onto our screens, accompanied
by pretty Shavaughn Ruakere, previously a children’s TV presenter
in her native New Zealand. This led to Brian and Tess taking a step
back to allow the new presenters time to “bed in”, and
also giving them time to concentrate on their new projects outside
2003 brought a major bombshell with the news that Brian would be
leaving SM:tv in August. Whilst happy for Brian to be moving on
to pastures new, and enjoying his more adult TV appearances, all
genuine fans were sad to see his time at SM:tv come to an end. It
has been a joy to watch him develop as a presenter, from his first
nervous links, to becoming the lynchpin of the show and taking everything
in his stride - not to mention a guaranteed dose of Brian every
Saturday morning for 50 weeks of the year! Conor Macanally and Blaze
gave Brian the best possible grounding for his future career, both
at SM:tv and his own record-breaking show, Brian's Boyfriends. Shortly
after the shocking but not necessarily surprising news of Brian's
departure, it was announced that SM:tv would end in December. "A
source" at SM:tv told the Daily Star "Without Brian, it
has no chance."
Just when we thought we were all prepared for the
worst, the SM:tv website broke the stunning news that Brian was
to leave SM:tv earlier than planned due to other commitments. So
that was it, no time to prepare a farewell gift and wish him good
luck, just a couple of days to email our good wishes before our
Saturday morning treat came to an end!
July 5th saw Brian front his last SM:tv, amidst
tears and sadness from presenters, celebrity guests and fans in
the studio and at home. He was presented with a gold disc by Misteeq
inscribed with the words “Brian you’re so so so Scandalous!!”
He managed to keep his composure well during a montage of his best
moments on SM:tv, and also throughout the messages from his celebrity
friends, but when the music suddenly changed to Billy Joel’s
“Just the way you are” it all became too much for Brian.
He broke down into the most heart-rending sobs, sending fans all
over the country reaching for the tissues!! How many of us would
have given anything to be in Tess’ place at that moment, offering
him a sympathetic shoulder?
there it was. The End. Brian's time at SM:tv was over, and the future
of the show looked uncertain. One thing, however, is certain, Brian
can feel justifiably proud of his time at SM:tv. He took on an almost
impossible task with very little experience, made the show his own,
and succeeded in keeping the ratings on an even keel where many
others would have failed. His natural rapport with everyone he meets,
his humour, his sweetness and his sheer talent kept us enthralled
for 19 months, and Saturday mornings would never be the same again.
SM:tv Live continued after Brian's final show with
CITV stalwart Stephen Mulhern as the presenter. It appeared to be
doing quite well, but soon the news came that it would not continue
past December 2003. The final few weeks were devoted to SM:tv Gold,
in which clips from old programmes were shown, and the final show
on 27th December featured all the presenters performing various
songs and sketches. Although a sad occasion, the general feel from
die-hard fans of the show was that it was something of a damp squib.
The overall feel was disjointed as the two sets of presenters never
actually appeared all together on screen, and despite the presence
of the much-missed Ant & Dec, the atmosphere was one of anti-climax
rather than nostalgic celebration. The most emotional moment came
right at the end, as a solitary figure was shown sweeping the studio
floor, and turning out the lights. This rare glimpse of Conor McAnally
(minus the trademark baseball cap and bike leathers!) provided a
fitting end to a fantastic few years, followed by a poignant last
shot of "SM:tv 1998 - 2003" spelled out in fireworks.
Goodbye SM:tv - we miss you!