Bleakley backlash begins at ITV

Christine Bleakley‘s three-year deal to host GMTV alongside Adrian Chiles has apparently upset some of the staff at ITV.

Presenters Kate Garraway and Emma Crosby are said to be devastated over the former One Show host’s sudden signing – with others questioning her inflated salary and journalistic ability, according to The Mirror.

The revamped GMTV will have a new set, new name and a news-focused agenda with more journalism and fewer celebrity chats.

But rumours abound that ITV’s director of television Peter Fincham appointed Christine for her good looks and that her journalism skills are not up to the role.

And, after months of redundancies at the channel, staff are said to be furious that a ‘spare’ £10 million has been found for Adrian and Christine, due to start in September.

One source said: “We were told they want more journalistic focus to GMTV but then why give hard-working, down-to-earth reporters like Penny Smith and John Stapleton the boot, and effectively kick out Kate Garraway and Emma Crosby. Christine may be able to temper Adrian Chiles – but what is in question is her credentials as a journalist.”

Another added: “There is a big difference between asking a celebrity about their latest TV show and grilling the Prime Minister over budget cuts.”

An ITV spokesman said: “Christine and Adrian have a breadth and depth of presenting abilities and we have a hugely talented production team. We are very confident of their abilities to deliver top-level journalism and entertainment.”

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