Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Christine Bleakley considers This Morning offer

Christine Bleakley

Northern Ireland’s TV glamour girl Christine Bleakley could be bringing her winning smile to daytime television as co-host of hit show This Morning.

Christine, who is currently joint host of the BBC’s The One Show, is understood to be considering a lucrative offer from ITV — believed to be £200,000 — to replace Fern Britton on the popular morning programme.

Bosses from This Morning are understood to have been pursuing the 29-year-old Newtownards girl after Britton announced last month that she was quitting the show after 10 years.

Sources have said that Christine will be meeting with her agent this week to discuss the offer, believed to be double what she is paid by the BBC. However the huge pay rise would still fall short of the £750,000 a year which Britton has been receiving for co-hosting This Morning alongside PhillipSchofield.

Christine, who recently lit up Saturday night screens with her performances on Strictly Come Dancing, has been up against other top TV names who are vying for the coveted job.

These are understood to include fellow Northern Ireland beauty Zoe Salmon, who last month said she would “love it, if they asked me to do it”.

Other well-known names reported to be interested included Myleene Klass, Natasha Kaplinsky and Fiona Phillips.

Christine, a former Bloomfield Collegiate head girl, has become one of the UK’s most popular television presenters in recent years.

Her rapport with The One Show co-presenter Adrian Chiles since August 2007 has also endeared her to teatime audiences.

Although she would not talk specifically about a possible move, Christine told our sister paper the Sunday Life yesterday: “This Morning is something which has come completely out of the ether.

“But I have to say that, more than anything else, it is incredibly flattering to even have my name in the frame for the job.”

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