The Big Breakfast: Tragedy and trauma of the original stars

13 Aug 2022, 09:01
13 Aug 2022, 15:39

Channel 4, Johnny Vaughan, Paula Yates, Richard Bacon, The Big Breakfast, Zoe Ball

TV show The Big Breakfast spawned a string of famous presenters, but many fell victim to tragedy and traumatic events.

It’s one-off reboot was a massive success last year.

Now Mo Gilligan and AJ Odudu will front a new version for the next four Saturdays.

The chaotic and colourful Channel 4 hit show ran from 1992 to 2002.

The Big Breakfast was originally hosted by Chris Evans and Gaby Roslin, who went on to enjoy lucrative careers.

So what happened to the some of the other stars who became household names?

Paula Yates on The Big Breakfast (Credit YouTube)

The Big Breakfast star Paula Yates

As the presenter of The Tube, Paula Yates was already a rising star when The Big Breakfast launched.

She was married to pop star Bob Geldof, with whom she had three children.

Her On The Bed With interviews became infamous, along with her flirtatious nature.

But the most notorious interview of all was with INXS singer Michael Hutchence, with her legs draped over him.

Paula left Bob just four months after it aired, having started an affair with the Australian heartthrob.

The couple had a daughter, but tragically, when the child was just 16 months, Michael was found dead in his hotel room.

Just three years later Paula was found at her London home having taken a heroin overdose.

Zoe Ball

Zoe Ball took over from Gaby Roslin but was only with The Big Breakfast a short time before she jumped ship to Live and Kicking with Jamie Theakston.

She was married to Norman Cook, aka Fatboy Slim, and has a son called Woody.

After seven years together, the couple split in 2006.

The bubbly presenter appeared on Strictly Come Dancing in 2005.

The presenter and DJ currently appears on Gogglebox with son Woody, who recently came out as bisexual.

Tragically, Zoe’s cameraman boyfriend Billy Yates took his own life in May 2017.

Later the 51-year-old admitted: “I was in shock for two years”.

Richard Bacon

Richard Bacon was already a household name when he joined the show – but for the wrong reasons.

I’ve been through some ups and downs and caused chaos and difficulty and uncertainty.

He was sacked from Blue Peter for allegedly taking cocaine in 1998.

Richard was one of The Big Breakfast presenters remaining when the show aired its final episode in 2002.

Presenter Richard Bacon after his brush with death in 2019 (Credit: YouTube)

Richard went on to host radio shows and had regular presenting work, but had a brush with death in 2019.

After being diagnosed with pneumonia, he was in a coma for weeks and almost died.

He’s made a full recovery and opened up about his alcohol addiction later that year.

The GMB stand-in presenter said: “I’ve been through some ups and downs and caused chaos and difficulty and uncertainty.

“And the odd night when I’ve gone missing which obviously wives don’t enjoy.

“I do have the odd drink now and again, I try to manage it. It’s delusional to think that’s sustainable,” he admitted.

Johnny Vaughan

Johny Vaughan famously double-acted with Denise Van Outen on the show.

The pair had an energy viewers couldn’t get enough of.

Unlike his fellow hosts, Johnny’s traumatic time was in his past.

After leaving school Johnny moved to London to become a writer.

But when he was 21 he was arrested for trying to sell £15,000 worth of cocaine to undercover police officers.

He served four years in prison but turned his life around after training to be a journalist and getting a lucky break from a mate in a TV production company.

Since then he’s had a successful career on TV and on radio, hosting a string of shows, including one on Radio X.

The Big Breakfast stars: Denise Van Outen

Denise found an amazing on-screen chemistry with Johnny in the late 1990s.

But she was devastated when she found out he had allegedly “gone behind her back” and renegotiated his contract.

The pair fell out and didn’t speak until the COVID pandemic.

Actress Denise was embroiled in a sexting scandal this year.

Denise Van Outen earlier this year (Credit

She allegedly found messages on the devices belonging to her then-fiancé Eddie Boxshall.

She announced their split after seven years in January this year, but didn’t give a reason.

Read more: Denise Van Outen teases return to The Big Breakfast for 30th anniversary after reboot is announced

Later, she admitted she had found pictures allegedly amounting to phone sex on his iPad and phone.

The Big Breakfast is on Channel 4, Saturday (August 13) at 10am.

Who was your favourite host of The Big Breakfast? Let is know over on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.

About the Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.