Christine Bleakley to leave BBC

One Show presenter Christine Bleakley is to leave the BBC and move to ITV, it has been confirmed.

The 30-year-old has agreed a three-year deal with the channel to present ITV’s new morning breakfast show with her former co-host Adrian Chiles, as well as front new entertainment shows.

The news was announced on Sunday evening, shortly after it was revealed that the corporation had withdrawn an offer for the 30-year-old to stay, saying she had been ‘unable to make a decision’.

It ends months of speculation that Christine would follow Adrian to ITV, after he left The One Show in April.

He is currently presenting ITV’s World Cup coverage and will host their new-look breakfast show – which will replace GMTV – in the autumn.

Christine said on Sunday evening, “It is with regret that this experience is coming to an end.

“I have been torn between working with Adrian Chiles and remaining at the BBC. I fully understand the BBC had to move more swiftly than I could, and as a result they’ve managed to help make my mind up for me.”

ITV’s director of television Peter Fincham said he was ‘thrilled’ that Christine would be joining the network.

“It’s great that she’ll be reunited with Adrian Chiles and their unique and brilliant partnership will be at the heart of our new-look breakfast show from this autumn,” he said.

“Christine will also become a familiar face to ITV peak-time audiences. We can’t wait to get started.”

Earlier the BBC said it had been in negotiations with Christine about her new contract ever since Adrian Chiles left The One Show. At the time she told the BBC she wanted to be part of the show, which is due to be relaunched.

“With that in mind we made a full and final offer to her several weeks ago and made it clear we would not be entering into a bidding war with other channels,” the BBC said.

Christine said this week that she was ‘torn’ between the offer from ITV and the deal to remain at the BBC.

And she admitted that while she had been offered the chance to work with Chiles again on ITV’s new breakfast show she had reservations about the early starts.

“We have a brilliant relationship on and off screen, although I can’t say I’d particularly relish the idea of dealing with him at 5am every morning,” she said.

“On the other hand the BBC is incredibly good to me and I’m very close to everyone on The One Show, which I love presenting. The BBC’s plans for The One Show are very exciting.”

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