Newtownards belle Christine Bleakley and co-host Adrian Chiles have proved less of a hit than expected with their move to ITV. The channel’s breakfast show Daybreak has lost a fifth of its viewers since it launched last week.
One million people tuned in to see the pair present the first show and interview guests, including former Prime Minister Tony Blair. But the latest figures show only 800,000 watched the show on Monday, while its rival, BBC Breakfast, has 1.4 million viewers.
An ITV spokeswoman said: “Daybreak has made a strong start in a very competitive breakfast television market, with viewing figures for its first week up over 11% on the average for GMTV and positive feedback on the new show from our viewers.
“ITV has made a long-term investment in new breakfast programming and, after over five years of decline for GMTV, we have already halted a downward trend in viewing and look forward to building on this and welcoming new audiences to Daybreak and Lorraine.”
Reuniting Bleakley and Chiles, who became household names on The One Show on the BBC, was part of a plan to bring back viewers who switched off towards the end of GMTV's run but ITV insiders insist they did not expect to reverse viewing trends overnight.
Chiles admitted both he and co-host Bleakley were “gutted” over the way they left the BBC. Chiles announced his departure in April following the news that presenter Chris Evans would take his place on Friday’s shows.
Christine (31) followed suit in June, having released a statement saying she was “torn” over competing offers from both the two broadcasters.
The star admitted she decided to move to ITV because she “missed” working with Chiles.
Before Daybreak’s launch Chiles and Bleakley said they will not be paying attention to critics.
“I don't read any of it,” said Chiles. “I'm told I got some good Press about the World Cup football, but I swear to you I've not read a single review. If you don't read the good ones I think I've got every right not to read the bad ones — but I can't just read the good ones and avoid the bad ones.”