Viewers wondered what happened to Expresso this morning, SABC3's weekday morning breakfast show, which didn't start at 06:00 as usual this morning, as technical crew and the SABC frantically tried to get the show on the air.
Six o clock came but Expresso was nowhere, prompting shocked viewers to wonder why Expresso hasn't started and where exactly the problem is. Instead viewers saw sad music for about half an hour.
The cardinal sin of a morning show is to start late. Crew and presenters for morning shows wake up super early and the Expresso team, as well as Morning Live on SABC2, and Sunrise on e.tv adhere to an insane early morning routine to get their respective breakfast shows starting on time as viewers wake up.
I can reveal that according to SABC insiders, major technical difficulties on the SABC side kept Expresso from being broadcast, as the Tswelopele Production in Cape Town remained on standby. Expresso eventually started. I've asked SABC3 for exactly what happened with the channel's breakfast show, and when there's an answer I'll tell. [See the update below]
"Where ARE you guys?" wondered viewer Yvonne Laubser. "What is wrong with my TV set? I can't watch Expresso because it is not broadcasting," said Blice Masetlha. "Are you guys running late today!" wondered Raksha Ramdin.
"By the time the show comes back on I'll be at work.What a way to start my day. I feel incomplete," lamented Roxanne Chatburn. "Did Bob chew the wires? asked Reyno Momberg as well as John Hawkins, referring to Expresso's in-house dog.
Update Thursday 10:15 - Expresso just issued a press statement to me, explaining what happened this morning.
"The breakfast show Expresso got off to a late start this morning - and not because the presenters overslept - but rather due to a technical gremlin creeping in".
Expresso producer Paul van Deventer says that 10 minutes before Expresso was due to go live, "the final control room had not yet received sound due to a technical error, which meant the show was only able to go live at 06:26."
"While this has never happened before, this is live TV and issues can occur from time to time."
"Our apologies to our loyal viewers - we hope the rest of the show made up for the delay," he says.
"To add a bit of humour to the situation, when the show did go live it started with the presenters in the bed on set pretending they had overslept."