Belfast Telegraph

Christine Bleakley to make Daybreak debut with Tony Blair on sofa

Tony Blair is set to join Christine Bleakley and Adrian Chiles on the sofa today as the country wakes up to a new early morning television show.

The ex One Show hosts are reunited on Daybreak, ITV1's new breakfast programme, from 6am.

Former prime minister Mr Blair will be giving his first live UK television interview since publication of the book, A Journey.

On Saturday, he faced a barrage of abuse as he was confronted by anti-war protesters at his first book signing in Dublin.

Bleakley said she hoped her co-host's "jolly demeanour" would help her cope with the early starts.

She said: "Ignorance is bliss at this stage and a lot of people have said I should do a couple of week's trial in the period leading up to it but I thought why spoil two more weeks of your life.

"I'm sleeping as much as I can.

"Not sure if I relish 3am wake up calls but I am sure Adrian's jolly demeanour will make it all the more enjoyable."

Prince Charles will appear on the show on Friday from the new studio on London's Southbank.

Bleakley followed Chiles out of the BBC two months after he left when it emerged Chris Evans was being lined-up to take his place on The One Show on Fridays.

Chiles has hit out at the corporation and said he and Bleakley were portrayed as greedy and put under "intolerable pressure" over their decision to quit.

He said: "They are trying to portray it as a classic big money move to ITV which couldn't be further from the truth."

The new show will not be a complete departure from its predecessor, GMTV, with some familiar faces including Kate Garraway, John Stapleton and Dr Hilary Jones appearing regularly alongside new presenters like Lucy Verasamy who joins from Sky.

Daybreak will be followed by Lorraine Kelly presenting her own show from 8.30am to 9.25am.

GMTV bowed out on Friday with presenter Andrew Castle thanking the loyal viewers who watched it in its 17-year run.

He was joined on the sofa for the last time by fellow presenters Richard Arnold, Emma Crosby and guests McFly who had performed in the studio earlier.

He said: "Like all families there have been squabbles along the way, but there has been no shortage of love, effort and perseverance, and we just want to say to the viewers who have been with us loyally for a long time, thank you so much."

And he wished Bleakley and Chiles all the best and said: "Fingers crossed for them, really good luck."

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