Christine Bleakley’s ex-boyfriend Mark Beirne has spoken for the first time about his split with the TV beauty, stressing nobody else was involved.
Businessman Beirne said the decision to end the three-year relationship was a mutual one and that the pair would remain friends.
And he hit out at reports in weekend newspapers, which claimed he had blamed Christine’s One Show co-host Adrian Chiles for the break-up.
Speaking exclusively to the Belfast Telegraph, Beirne said he wanted to set the record straight about the split and that he had never pointed the finger of blame at Chiles.
The News of the World said Beirne had told friends he believed the Birmingham presenter — who split from his wife Jane Garvey last year — was the “third person” involved in the split.
But Beirne said: “At no stage have I ever pointed the finger of blame at Adrian. Never for one moment did I ever think there was something going on between him and Christine.
“In fact I’ve been out in Adrian’s company on several occasions.
“It wasn’t a case of me dumping Christine or her dumping me. It was a joint decision and it was based on our massive work commitments.
“Throughout our three-year relationship we kept it low-key. We never wanted it to be in the spotlight. As far as myself and Christine were concerned, our private lives were exactly that, private. And we would ask people to respect that that is still the way we feel.”
Beirne, who owns the House bar on the Stranmillis Road, dismissed the weekend reports as “utter nonsense” and also denied claims that the home he shared with Christine was up for sale now.
“We’re not selling our home. I’m going to continue to live there,” he said. “This is a personal matter between us and that’s all there is to it. “Christine and I will remain friends.”
Christine, 29, who was back in Northern Ireland at the weekend to help launch Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day, also denied the reports.
“It is a sad and personal matter between Mark and I. No-one else was involved. Some people love a scandal and there simply isn’t one,” she said.
Beirne began dating the Strictly Come Dancing star three years ago, before her move to London.
Christine, who had worked as a presenter for BBC NI on such shows as Sky High and First Stop, became a household name when she took over from Myleen Klass as One Show co-host.
Her profile was raised when she took part in the last series of Strictly Come Dancing.
Last year she hit the headlines when Chiles split from his wife, Radio 4 presenter Jane Garvey. Rumours began to surface of a relationship between the two, but both have always laughed off the claims.
Gail Walker, Page 19