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Christine Bleakley a hit on Dancing On Ice first night


Christine Bleakley

Christine Bleakley

David Venni Photography Ltd

Christine Bleakley

Beginning a new job can be a daunting experience for anyone.

But when you have been publicly axed from your last position and are aware that all eyes will be on you to evaluate your performance, it must be so much more nerve-wracking.

Just weeks after her high-profile departure from ITV's breakfast show Daybreak, Northern Ireland's Christine Bleakley was back on our screens on the same channel last night, co-hosting Dancing On Ice alongside Philip Schofield.

The Co Down presenter and fiancee of England footballer Frank Lampard had already been confirmed as the new face of Dancing On Ice when both she and Adrian Chiles were let go from their Daybreak duties.

Christine replaces Holly Willoughby on DOI, after she left to front the BBC's upcoming rival to the X Factor, The Voice.

Before last night's two-hour opening show kicked off, Christine admitted that her Daybreak experience had knocked her confidence.

"I'm definitely nervous. It's such a huge set and it can be overwhelming, but it's great Philip Schofield's alongside me and there is a lovely team and crew behind the scenes," she said.

Following a spectacular opening by the show's pro-skaters and the introduction of the new-look judging panel, it was time for Christine to make her debut. There had been much speculation in the press about what type of gown she would go for but Christine kept it simple, opting for a modest, scarlet, floor-length dress by Emilia Wickstead, accessorised with bright red lipstick and her dark haired piled up.

Standing beside her new co-host as he welcomed her to the show, Christine did appear quite nervous, and at times, unsure of what to do with her hands.

But her excitement at being part of the show was infectious and her megawatt smile lit up the huge set.

As the celebrity skaters took to the ice Christine's nerves began to thaw and she relaxed into her new role.

With Philip Schofield taking on the lion's share of the presenting duties, it was left to Christine to talk to the judges.

Despite her own nerves, she was quick to reassure some of the less confident skaters and by the end of the programme seemed much more comfortable in her new surroundings.

Hopefully, as the weeks go on, viewers will get to see more of the bubbly personality that won her many fans during her time on The One Show.

But what of the public's reaction to her Dancing On Ice debut? Did they give her a warm response or freeze her out completely?

On social networking site Twitter, opinions were divided.

One viewer tweeted: "Dear ITV, Christine Bleakley just doesn't work on DOI, sorry, while another said: "Christine Bleakley, the jury is out. I miss Holly."

However there was plenty of support too, with one fan posting: "Loved the opening in the series of Dancing On Ice. Christine Bleakley is doing a great job and looks fab".

Another viewer tweeted: "Christine Bleakley looking gorgeous. Love the hair."

Belfast Telegraph