The initial idea seems to have been to combine zoo TV with an emphasis on "young and sexy" presenters. Original presenters included: Mark Durden-Smith, Colin Murray, Kirsty Gallacher, Edith Bowman, Chris Rogers, Liz Bonnin, and Henry Bonsu.
Its viewing figures did not meet the initial expectations, and a variety of format changes were made to try to boost ratings. The programme began to model itself after The Big Breakfast, with the presenters sitting as a couple in front of French doors, games, competitions, crew involvement and outside broadcasts, with the likes of Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins drafted in.
The show was presented by the hyperactive Iain Lee alongside the 2002 winner of Big Brother, Kate Lawler, with half-hourly news updates provided by Zora Suleman. Dougie Anderson also provided reports (often from a record shop near the studio); filled in when another presenter was off; and helped with the daily television review. The programme gave extensive coverage to reality TV programmes such as Big Brother, Pop Idol and The Salon. In the summer of 2003, RI:SE launched a contest in which a member of the public could become the RI:SE reality correspondent. The competition was won by Kitty, who stayed on the show until the final episode.
Big Brother monitor James joined Iain and Kate who would give live updates of what was going on in the house as well as hold live interviews with the latest evictees. One episode featured PJ who joined Iain and Kate after Anouska was the first to be evicted from the Big Brother 4 house. James also accompanied Kitty on the final show.
The last episode was shown on 19 December 2003, and had the most popular guests from the previous months including Jon Tickle and Shaun Dooley. Its Whiteley's studio is now used to broadcast The Wright Stuff on Five. The show ended with a giant 'pile on' which had been organised by Iain and Kate during the weeks before the last episode.
Since then, the show's morning slot has been taken up by re-runs of sitcoms such as Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond and Just Shoot Me. In January 2006, Channel 4 launched its first new breakfast show since RI:SE, called Morning Glory, which was presented by Dermot O'Leary. It broadcast between 8.30am and 9.00am, Monday to Friday for a three-week spell during Channel 4's 2006 run of Celebrity Big Brother, but was not renewed due to poor viewing figures. In more recent times, Freshly Squeezed, a live music show has been shown between 07:00 and 07:30 since the end of Big Brother 7 in 2006.