TV Times talks to Christine Bleakley and Adrian Chiles about their new breakfast show and Christine’s party trick on the back of a motorbike…
So, what are you both like in the mornings?
ADRIAN: “I think chirpy is going to be a problem…”
CHRISTINE: “I’ve thought about this long and hard, and I’m guessing that at 3am Adrian will be his usual self, but maybe less jolly. I see part of my job description as trying to be the jolly one, and hopefully some of that will rub off on him a little bit.”
ADRIAN: “On The One Show, the actual show was always great. All the angst was during the preparation, that’s when I tend to get stroppy. There is no time for that with Daybreak. I’ll put my contact lenses in, brush my teeth and then do it!”
CHRISTINE: “My brother-in-law is a firefighter, I have friends who are doctors, and they do shift work constantly, they work all night saving lives.:
ADRIAN: “This is more important, Christine!”
How will you handle the lack of sleep?
CHRISTINE: “I’m not a person to go to bed at 7pm, that would depress me. I like going out and enjoying myself. I’ve got a plan that I believe worked for Penny Smith for years. I will be in bed by half ten, sleep, get up, and once the show is over, go home for another sleep. I’m going to do it in two sleeps!”
ADRIAN: “When you are doing this shift, everyone asks you about sleep patterns, and an hour later you are still talking about it and you’ve put them to sleep! The key is being able to sleep any time. And I know Christine can do it. She is like Bagpuss, mid-conversation, she’s off.”
CHRISTINE: [giggles]”I know what you’re going to say now! With the bike?”
ADRIAN: “Often when we are in a hurry, she’ll come on the back of my motorbike. So I’m going along on the North Circular, hanging on for grim death, and I feel a clunk on the back of my head.”
CHRISTINE: [still giggling]”And I’ve fallen asleep on the back of his motorbike.”
ADRIAN: “Nobody nods off on the back of a motorbike! If she can’t get to sleep I’ll pop round to her place, take her for a couple of laps of the M25. That should get her off…”
How will Daybreak differ from GMTV?
ADRIAN: “All programmes need relaunching from time to time, and as I understand it, it is just being simplified a bit. So you have us two and the team of presenters, and it will be a grown-up news programme with some showbiz, sports, the weather obviously and a bit of fun thrown in to the mix as well. There is no miracle trick there.”
Has breakfast telly always been an ambition?
ADRIAN: “I had always wanted to do breakfast telly. I’ve said to Christine from the beginning, that I felt we could make a really good job of it. I’m getting quite excited about it all now.”
CHRISTINE: “I look back at going to school in the morning, and I loved breakfast telly. Whether it is The Big Breakfast or BBC Breakfast those shows were part of my life. I’d like to think Daybreak will have that place in people’s hearts.”
Is it awkward to be the star signings coming into an established team?
ADRIAN: “I think it would be weird if we came wheeled in on a pair of thrones. But ask around in six months time. If there are too many people saying: ‘Who do they think they are?!’ then I’d be very disappointed with myself.”
How instrumental were you in getting Christine on board, Adrian?
ADRIAN: “At its most basic, it is better the devil you know…”
CHRISTINE: “That’s charming!”
ADRIAN: “But looking from the other way, I thought if it is not Christine, then who? The kind of relationship we have, they don’t just grow on trees in television and picking somebody else is like pinning the tail on the donkey. The best example of that is how we found Christine for The One Show. There were eight people and I would say Christine was probably about my fifth choice!”
CHRISTINE: “I didn’t like him much either, to be honest with you.”
ADRIAN: “On her audition tape, my complete contempt for her is plain to see. I was having a bad day, I didn’t like her shoes. But the point is that it was sheer luck that we got this great relationship. The reality is that if Myleene Klass hadn’t happened to be pregnant, Christine wouldn’t be here now.”
CHRISTINE:“With live television, there is a certain telepathy needed. It takes a bit of time to get that, and I missed it when Adrian left the One Show. We are a team.”
Are you ready for a new level of scrutiny and expectation?
ADRIAN: “This was done with a big fanfare. Now if I had my way, we would just stagger in, under cover of night, and start doing the show. We have been built up, and I’m not saying people want to see us fail, but you know that football chant where Man City has signed someone for millions, and the opposition fans start chanting: ‘What a waste of money’? That is playing in my head.”
What did you make of the comparisons between Christine and new One Show host Alex Jones?
ADRIAN: “Alex is nicer looking, to be fair!”
CHRISTINE: “I had a few male friends say to me: ‘Oh, you’re doing all right being compared to Alex!’ I haven’t spoken to her about it yet, but I have spoken to Jason Manford. I’m very flattered, I don’t mind the comparisons at all!”
ADRIAN: “There seems to be some idea that there is a feud going, but nothing could be further from the truth. We will always have it on our CV that we launched it and got it off to a pretty cracking start. We want it to go from strength to strength. When the dust settles a bit, I’d like us all to go out and have a good laugh about it all. We’ll have a late night – about half nine!”
Will you be smartening up for the new show?
CHRISTINE: “I’ve tried to get Adrian excited about that kind of thing, because the girly side of me is enjoying the new look set. It does look beautiful, and I’ve been saying how he could look very smart…”
ADRIAN: “And as you can imagine, I couldn’t be less interested. I’ll do it in my pyjamas…”
Daybreak begins on Monday September 6 at 6am on ITV1.