By Sara Nathan
Ratings flops: Daybreak hosts Christine Bleakley and Adrian Chiles
It cost ITV £10million to bring their celebrated ‘chemistry’ to its breakfast show sofa.
But just 11 months after launching Daybreak, Christine Bleakley and Adrian Chiles are being bumped down to four days a week – as ratings continue to plummet.
Chiles, who viewers are said to have found ‘grumpy’, and his co-star will now work just Monday to Thursday, although their generous pay packets are expected to remain in place.
Miss Bleakley, 32, joined ITV on a £4million, two-year deal, in June last year, shortly after her former BBC One Show co-host Chiles, 44, had signed a £6million, four-year contract.
The pair launched Daybreak amid great fanfare, but the show has not fared well with either viewers or critics.
Popular Kate Garraway – the sole presenter left from its predecessor GMTV – will step into Miss Bleakley’s place on the sofa on Fridays, while Dan Lobb will replace Chiles.
The move will take place in September after the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, during which the show will be replaced by some early morning matches.
Last night an ITV source told the Daily Mail: ‘This is symptomatic of just how difficult things are on Daybreak at the moment.
We need to recapture the warmth of GMTV and viewers adore Kate, especially when she is teamed with Dan.
They haven’t taken to Adrian so well and they are only just starting to warm to Christine.’
ITV chiefs are desperate to revamp the show after ratings slumped to just below 700,000 viewers, less than half BBC Breakfast’s average of 1.5million.
As the Mail revealed in April, ITV found through polling that viewers were fed up with ‘grumpy’ Chiles and thought Miss Bleakley – engaged to Chelsea footballer Frank Lampard – was a ‘giggling airhead’.
Editor Ian Rumsey was axed last month, and even ITV chief executive Adam Crozier has admitted: ‘Daybreak has not performed as we would have hoped.’
ITV said last night the move to a four-day week was ‘always planned’ as part of the presenters’ contracts.