Chiles and Bleakley set to leave Daybreak
After weeks of speculation, ITV has confirmed that Daybreak presenters Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley are to leave the show. The presenters who joined ITV from the BBC last year on deals reported at £10m between them are now believed to be in talks with the broadcaster to sort out their future.
ITV said that mutual agreements with Chiles and Bleakley have been reached and they will see out their roles until later this year. The broadcaster, however, has said that they will fulfil their contractual obligations on other “peak-time commitments with ITV1”.
Adrian Chiles will concentrate on his football coverage for the channel which shows the FA Cup and Champions League. He will also carry on with the satirical programme That Sunday Night Show which will return for a third series. Bleakly has been confirmed as the new co-host of Dancing on Ice, replacing Holly Willoughby who has left to host BBC’s The Voice.
Peter Fincham, the director of television at ITV, who oversaw the replacement of GMTV with Daybreak described Chiles and Bleakley as “superb presenters”. He said:
"They have worked tirelessly to help establish Daybreak on ITV1 and they leave the show at a point when ratings have recently seen their biggest year-on-year increase."
Contenders have been lined up for replacing Chiles and Bleakley. However, heavily tipped contender Eamonn Holmes signed a new three year deal with Sky News on Thursday to continue his role there. Also, Natasha Kaplinsky has ruled herself out of the role citing the “anti-social work hours” as a reason.
Names such as BBC Breakfast sports presenter Chris Simmons, Channel 5 News host Matt Barbet and BBC1 Breakfast presenter Sian Williams have been linked with the vacancy. Simmons has stood in for Chiles on occasions for Daybreak, Barbet has previously worked with incoming editor David Kermode and Williams is not moving to BBC Breakfast’s new home at MediaCity, Salford.
The Guardian said:
“One newspaper report earlier this week speculated that ITV was looking for unknown presenters as replacements in the hope of re-creating the hit pairing of then unknowns Anne Diamond and Nick Owen on TV-am in the 1980s, a strategy that would see the broadcaster slash the reported salary of £10m paid to Bleakley and Chiles.”
You can read the full report by The Guardian here or you can see Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley in action on Daybreak here