Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

BBC and ITV in bidding war for Christine Bleakley

Frank Lampard's partner Christine Bleakley during Chelsea's Premier League and FA Cup celebrations atop a double decker bus during the victory parade in London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday May 16, 2010. See PA story SOCCER Chelsea Parade. Photo credit should read: Daniel Hambury/PA Wire.
Go for it, girl: Eamonn Holmes believes his good friend Christine Bleakley can be a bit hit on morning television with GMTV
Adrian Chiles

Christine Bleakley appears to be at the centre of an escalating bidding war, amid reports that the BBC has offered her a £2m deal not to jump ship to ITV.

According to reports today, the Newry-born presenter is poised to sign a £2m two-year deal to stay at the broadcaster, where she has presented tea-time magazine show The One Show for three years.

Despite entertaining the advances of ITV, Christine is now expected to accept the counter-offer from Beeb chiefs to remain as presenter of The One Show and become the face of the corporation’s 2012 Olympics coverage.

Yet two days ago it looked as if Christine had been swayed by ITV’s attractions and would be reunited with former co-host Adrian Chiles as presenters of GMTV.

Chiles (43), was reportedly lobbying for Christine to join him.

She even fired her long-term agent John Noel, who had been opposed to her jump to the commercial station.

But in an unexpected volte-face, the Newtownards girl appears to have decided to settle for the devil she knows.

A source close to the presenter told the newspaper: “Christine knows that at the BBC, she will be a major player now and will be in line to get big opportunities as well as being guaranteed to front the Olympics — which would have been Adrian’s job, alongside Sue Barker.

“At ITV, she would have gone from hosting The One Show, which regularly pulls in 4m viewers, to suffering through 4am wake-up calls on GMTV, which is lucky to get 1m viewers a day.

“Christine knew that it didn’t make much sense.”

Yet many TV people viewed a GMTV move as inevitable, with Northern Ireland-born Eamonn Holmes desribing his compatriot as the “perfect and only choice” to co-host with Adrian.

Christine is dating England and Chelsea footballer Frank Lampard, who has been warming up for the World Cup finals in South Africa while his companion has been weighing up her career options.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Nightlife Galleries


Latest Entertainment News

Latest Music News

Latest Film & TV News

Latest Eating Out News


Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant


You can communicate effectively about controversial topics like religion, politics and education. When you talk, people listen. Take this opportunity to lobby for changes to an outmoded institution. Making resources more readily available to the public will be a great use of your time. You're tired of seeing only the most privileged members of the community thrive. Promoting a more democratic approach will cause your stature to rise. Don't be surprised if a group asks you to run for office.More