herald

Thursday 14 December 2017

Grainne's Daybreak show loses a million viewers

GRAINNE Seoige's ITV show is being trounced in the ratings wars by its rival BBC.

Daybreak, which is fronted by Christine Bleakley (31) and Adrian Chiles (43), is now attracting one million fewer UK viewers a week.

This week, BBC Breakfast's coverage of the rescue pulled in 1.8 million -- compared to just 700,000 for Daybreak.

This is the biggest ratings gap since Daybreak launched after it replaced GMTV last month.

GMTV finished its run on 900,000 viewers while BBC Breakfast has been averaging 1.4 million. Daybreak is now getting less viewers than its predecessor.



FRUSTRATED

RTE star Grainne Seoige is features editor on the programme while Sian Williams (45) and Charlie Stayt (48) front the early morning BBC programme.

Insiders believe that Bleakley, who signed up from the BBC on a £4m deal, may quit the show or be replaced by Lorraine Kelly (50).

"Christine is frustrated that the show hasn't taken off," one source said. However, an ITV representative dismissed the claims and said that it has no plans to reconsider its star line up.

"Daybreak has a first class presenting team," the spokeswoman said. "Any suggestion that it will be changing is completely untrue."

The spokeswoman said that ITV had made a long-term investment in new breakfast programming.

"After over five years of decline for GMTV, Daybreak is already closing the gap in year-on-year decline after just one month, with housewives and children, male and younger audiences," they added.

"We look forward to building on this start and welcoming new audiences to Daybreak and Lorraine."

Bookmaker Ladbrokes is already offering odds for one of the main Daybreak presenters to leave the show by Christmas.



MASTERMIND

Earlier this week it was revealed that Christine, who is dating Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard, had been told she would take over from Dermot O'Leary if he accepted an offer to host X Factor USA.

The breakfast TV star would become one of the highest-paid women on TV and is being masterminded by ITV controller Peter Fincham, who helped launch Christine's career at the BBC.

It is believed that the move has been given the all-clear by X Factor boss Simon Cowell.

Former children's TV host O'Leary (37) was being lined up by Cowell for the coveted US job. He has until February to make up his mind and has already flown to LA for talks about the multimillion-pound move.

clairemurphy@herald.ie

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