Christine Bleakley

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Christine Bleakley
Born Christine Louise Bleakley
(1979-02-02) 2 February 1979 (age 35)
Newtownards, County Down, Northern Ireland
Education Queen's University of Belfast
Occupation Television and radio presenter
Years active 1997–present
Employer ITV (2010—)
BBC (2004–2010)
Height 5 feet 8 inches (1.73 m)
Television Presenting:
Daybreak (2010–11)
ITV Music Specials (2010–12)
Text Santa (2011—)
Dancing on Ice (2012–14)
Off The Beaten Track (2013)
Partner(s) Frank Lampard (2009—)
Parents Frederick and Mina Bleakley
Website
Official website

Christine Louise Bleakley (born 2 February 1979) is a Northern Irish broadcaster, best known for her current television work with ITV.[1][2]

Bleakley's television career began as a runner and she then trained to become a floor manager whilst studying for her A-Levels. She rose to fame when she began reading the news and on the Belfast Citybeat radio station, where she worked alongside Stephen Nolan and Stuart Robinson.

In 2006, Bleakley became the co-host on the BBC Two television series Let Me Entertain You, alongside Brian Conley. The show lasted for two series and ended on 22 June 2007, after which she became the co-presenter of the BBC One magazine-style show The One Show in 2007, alongside Adrian Chiles until their final show in 2010, when the presenting duo transferred to ITV.

Following their departure, Bleakey alongside Adrian Chiles joined the ITV Breakfast show Daybreak, which was a new programme at the time, replacing the long-running GMTV. They presented their final show on 5 December 2011 and were replaced by Dan Lobb and Kate Garraway on an interim basis.[3]

On 18 November 2011, it was announced that Bleakley was to co-host Dancing on Ice alongside Phillip Schofield as a replacement for Holly Willoughby, who had joined BBC One to co-present The Voice UK. After a decline in viewing figures, Dancing on Ice came to end after the ninth series in 2014.[4]

Since 2011, Bleakley has co-hosted the ITV telethon Text Santa alongside Phillip Schofield in 2011 and Paddy McGuinness in 2012 and 2013.[5]

Bleakley hosted one-off ITV special That Dog Can Dance in December 2012, and guest-presented the ITV daytime programme This Morning a number of times in 2013 and 2014.

In November 2013, Bleakley presented the factual ITV programme Off The Beaten Track, which aired for six episodes.

Early life[edit]

Christine Louise Bleakley (born 2 February 1979) in Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry, County Down, Northern Ireland, to mother Mina and father Frederick, a musician, and grew up in Newtownards, County Down, Northern Ireland.[6] She has a younger sister, Nicola.[7]

Bleakley started her television career as a runner and then trained to become a floor manager whilst studying for her A-Levels at Bloomfield Collegiate School in Ballyhackamore, Belfast. She continued to work at BBC NI whilst studying for a politics degree at Queen's University, Belfast. She did not complete her degree course, however, instead moving into television work full-time.[8]

Career[edit]

BBC[edit]

Bleakley moved into television with BBC Northern Ireland hosting a wide variety of shows. One of her programmes was called Sky High which saw her flying around Northern Ireland in a helicopter in 2004. A weekly entertainment show called First Stop followed, and she also hosted Would You Pass The 11+[9][10] and BBC NI coverage of Children in Need.[11] She also took part in cookery show, Spill the Beans.[12]

Outside Northern Ireland, she co-hosted the BBC Two talent show Let Me Entertain You alongside Brian Conley.[13] In July 2007, Christine became co-host of The One Show on BBC One. She replaced Nadia Sawalha as the female co-host. Adrian Chiles was Christine's co-host for the three years the duo hosted on the show.[13] On 20 January 2010, comedian Patrick Kielty was a guest on The One Show, when he revealed Bleakley's mobile number to the camera, to prove that he had her number to celebrate their double birthday celebrations. Within five minutes of Kielty's mistake, Bleakley was bombarded with calls and text messages. She has since changed her number.[14]

In March 2010, Bleakley co-hosted a segment of the Sport Relief telethon alongside Gary Lineker.

When Adrian Chiles left the BBC in 2010, there was a great deal of speculation on whether Bleakley would extend her BBC contract or move to ITV.[15]

After the speculation Bleakley also left The One Show to join ITV as the co-host of Daybreak following Adrian Chiles' departure from the BBC to ITV. Questions were raised in Parliament over the size and scale of the proposed £900,000 per year two-year BBC contract.[16] Shortly after she fired her long-term manager and signed with Chiles' management company, on 20 June 2010, the BBC announced that it had withdrawn an offer to extend her current contract.[16] Later that day ITV (owners of GMTV) announced she would again partner Chiles by co-hosting the revamped breakfast show with him, and also hosting prime-time entertainment shows.[1] On 8 July 2010 the BBC confirmed that Bleakley was not returning to The One Show after the programme returned from the World Cup break, from 12 July.[17]

ITV[edit]

Christine moved to ITV less than three hours after the BBC had withdrawn their £1 million offer for her to remain on the channel. She joined ITV on a four-year contract worth £4 million.

I am looking forward to a brand new experience at ITV albeit with an old friend. And it will be exciting to work alongside Peter Fincham again, who kindly gave me a break on The One Show in the first place. I have been torn between working with Adrian Chiles and remaining at the BBC

On 6 September 2010, Bleakley joined Chiles to host the new ITV Breakfast show, Daybreak. The programme suffered mixed reviews and poor viewing figures in its first weeks on air,[18][19] and Bleakley herself was the subject of criticism.[20] On 18 November 2011 it was announced that Bleakley and co-presenter Chiles would be replaced by Dan Lobb and Kate Garraway who presented on an interim basis. In September 2012, they were replaced by Aled Jones and Lorraine Kelly.[21]

Bleakley currently hosts the Christmas charity show Text Santa on ITV. In 2011, she co-hosted the launch show with Phillip Schofield and since 2012, Paddy McGuinness has been her co-presenter.[22][23]

Bleakley has hosted a number of music specials, including Simply Red: For the Last Time[24] and Duran Duran: One Night Only.[25] On Boxing Day 2012, Bleakley hosted That Dog Can Dance on ITV.[26]

In 2011, Bleakley became Phillip Schofield's co-presenter on the ITV entertainment series Dancing on Ice, replacing Holly Willoughby. The show came to an end after the ninth series on 9 March 2014. For each episode of Dancing on Ice, Christine was paid £24,163. When she was hosting the show, she was the highest paid female television star, earning around £400 per minute.[27] On the final episode of Dancing on Ice on 9 March 2014, Bleakley along with Schofield took to the ice rink for the first time and performed a short routine, after a number of secret training sessions.[28]

On 11 May 2011, Bleakley presented The National Movie Awards on ITV.[29] On 30 September 2013 and between 6–9 January 2014, Bleakley stood in for Holly Willoughby on This Morning, which she co-hosted alongside Phillip Schofield. On 17 and 18 March 2014, Christine hosted the show again, this time with Holly Willoughby, as Phillip Schofield was away filming All Star Mr & Mrs.[30][31][32]

On 1 November 2013, Bleakley began presenting a six-part series called Off The Beaten Track, a factual show which began airing on the ITV network. It was announced on 3 March 2014, that the show had been axed, despite good viewing figures.[33] Of this announcement, a spokesperson for the channel said "We're looking at several other projects to work on with Christine, who remains a big part of the ITV presenting line-up".

Strictly Come Dancing[edit]

In 2008, Bleakley took part in the sixth series of BBC One celebrity dancing show Strictly Come Dancing, in which she was partnered with professional dancer Matthew Cutler.[34] Bleakley and Cutler were eliminated on 30 November 2008, leaving the competition in 5th place, after Rachel Stevens and her partner Vincent Simone beat them in the dance-off.[35]

Week Dance/Song Judges' scores Result
Craig Revel Horwood Len Goodman Arlene Phillips Bruno Tonioli Total
2 Foxtrot / "The Way You Look Tonight" 6 6 8 7 27 Safe
4 Quickstep / "She's So Lovely" 6 6 7 7 26 Safe
5 Samba / "Baila, Baila Conmigo" 7 7 8 8 30 Safe
6 Paso Doble / "Fighter" 3 6 7 6 22 Safe
7 American Smooth / "Singin' in the Rain" 7 7 8 7 29 Safe
8 Jive / "Jailhouse Rock" 7 8 8 8 31 Safe
9 Waltz / "See the Day" 8 8 9 9 34 Safe
10 Cha Cha Cha / "I Like It Like That" 6 6 8 7 27 Safe
11 Tango 6 7 8 7 28 N/A
11 Salsa 7 7 8 8 30 Eliminated

Film[edit]

She was the voice of the Newsreader in the 1998 film Divorcing Jack[36] and the voice of Sandra in the 2010 film A Turtle's Tale: Sammy's Adventures.

Other work[edit]

Bleakley began her career in media at Belfast Citybeat as a newsreader and presenter, working alongside Stephen Nolan.[37]

In 2010 and 2011, Bleakley was on the judging panel for The Pride of Britain Awards, and has continued to attended the annual ceremonies.[38]

On 20 March 2010, Bleakley made her stand-up comedy debut when she took part in Channel 4's Comedy Gala, a benefit show in aid of Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, filmed live at the O2 Arena in London.[39][40]

Awards[edit]

In November 2010, Bleakley was awarded the title 'Top TV Host' at the 2010 Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women of the Year Awards.[41][42]

Personal life[edit]

Bleakley dated Belfast Giants star Curtis Bowen as she started her TV career. After breaking up with Bowen in 2003, Bleakley dated Dublin restaurant owner Christian Stokes to whom she got engaged in 2004.[43] She was then in a relationship with entrepreneur Mark Beirne for 3 years until they split in January 2009.[44][45]

After attending the Pride of Britain Awards in October 2009, she began a relationship with footballer Frank Lampard;[46][47] their engagement was announced on 15 June 2011.[48]

Charity[edit]

Bleakley is a patron of the CineMagic children's film festival[49] and is Northern Ireland ambassador for The Prince's Trust.[13]

In 2010, Bleakley did a Water Skiing Challenge, raising £1,321,623 for Sport Relief. In the same year, Christine's co-host of The One Show, Adrian Chiles grew a beard, which was later shaved off by Bleakley for Sport Relief, raising £60,000 in the process.[50]

In 2012, Bleakley took part in a 5 km run for Cancer Research UK with Heidi Range and Roxanne Pallett. Bleakley ran through Blackheath on 1 July.[51]

Bleakley also supports the Text Santa appeal. She has hosted their telethon since 2011.

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2006-2007 Let Me Entertain You Presenter Co-hosted with Brian Conley
2007-2010 The One Show Co-hosted with Adrian Chiles
2010-2011 Daybreak Co-hosted with Adrian Chiles and Dan Lobb
2010-2012 ITV Music Specials
2011— Text Santa Co-hosted with Phillip Schofield (2011) and Paddy McGuinness (2012—)
2012-2014 Dancing on Ice Co-host with Phillip Schofield, replaced Holly Willoughby
2012 That Dog Can Dance! One-off primetime Christmas Special
2013— This Morning Stand-in presenter for 7 episodes. Maternity cover for Wiloughby
2013 Off The Beaten Track Six-part primetime documentary series

Guest appearances[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Christine Bleakley joins GMTV". GMTV. Retrieved 20 June 2010. 
  2. ^ Daybreak Press Pack ITV, 31 August 2010
  3. ^ 'Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley axed from Daybreak' Digital Spy 19 November 2011
  4. ^ Percival, Ashley (18 November 2011). "Holly Willoughby quits Dancing on Ice for The Voice". AOL. Retrieved 18 November 2011. 
  5. ^ http://www.itv.com/presscentre/press-releases/itv%E2%80%99s-star-line-bigger-and-better-text-santa#.Un0O5HDwlLc
  6. ^ How old are you Christine Bleakley? One Show star claims to be 29 but her birth certificate says she's 30 Mail Online, 15 September 2009
  7. ^ "Meet Christine Bleakley's little sister". Belfast Telegraph. 5 June 2010. Retrieved 20 June 2010. 
  8. ^ "Get work in NI – Real lives, real jobs". BBC Northern Ireland. Retrieved 8 September 2008. 
  9. ^ Would You Pass The 11+ BBC Northern Ireland, December 2004
  10. ^ Wild programmes Wild Rover Productions
  11. ^ Christine Bleakley rejoins Adrian Chiles on GMTV, but could it all go very badly wrong? Belfast Telegraph, 22 June 2010
  12. ^ How Christine (31) ruined Grainne's (36) hopes for the GMTV hot seat Herald.ie, 22 June 2010
  13. ^ a b c "Christine Bleakley's profile". The One Show. BBC. Retrieved 24 November 2009. 
  14. ^ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1245275/Patrick-Kielty-accidentally-gives-Christine-Bleakleys-number-appearance-The-One-Show.html
  15. ^ "Bleakley 'torn' over TV offers". BBC News. 13 June 2010. Retrieved 20 June 2010. 
  16. ^ a b "BBC withdraws Christine Bleakley TV offer". BBC News. 21 June 2010. Retrieved 20 June 2010. 
  17. ^ "Christine Bleakley will not return to The One Show". BBC News. 8 July 2010. Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  18. ^ Daybreak fails to ignite early morning ratings as it loses viewers battle to BBC Breakfast Mail Online, 8 September 2010
  19. ^ Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley's Daybreak loses viewers Belfast Telegraph, 16 September 2010
  20. ^ Daybreak: What has gone wrong for Chiles and Bleakely dream team? Belfast Telegraph, 28 October 2010
  21. ^ Methven, Nicola (19 November 2011). "Christine Bleakley and Adrian Chiles axed as hosts of ITV flop Daybreak". Daily Record. 
  22. ^ Christine Bleakley takes Control STV, 10 February 2011
  23. ^ Bleakley takes Control of quiz show Belfast Telegraph, 10 February 2011
  24. ^ Simply Red: For The Last Time ITV Press Centre, 15 September 2010
  25. ^ Duran Duran: For One Night Only ITV Press Centre, 10 March 2011
  26. ^ [1]
  27. ^ http://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/morning-christine-bleakley-co-star-alongside-3113467
  28. ^ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2576719/The-Phillip-Schofield-Christine-Bleakley-debut-skating-skills-Dancing-Ice-bows-out.html
  29. ^ The King's Speech wins three National Movie Awards BBC News, 11 May 2011
  30. ^ http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/tv/news/a548987/christine-bleakley-to-co-host-this-morning-with-holly-willoughby.html
  31. ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/02/05/holly-willoughby-christine-bleakley-this-morning_n_4728695.html
  32. ^ http://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/morning-christine-bleakley-co-star-alongside-3113467
  33. ^ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2571349/Christine-Bleakleys-Off-The-Beaten-Track-axed-just-Dancing-On-Ice-set-end.html
  34. ^ "Strictly celebrities are unveiled". BBC News. 28 August 2008. Retrieved 28 August 2008. 
  35. ^ TV's Bleakley performs last tango BBC News, 30 November 2008
  36. ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0088052/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
  37. ^ Christine Bleakley moving to ITV – joining Adrian Chiles on the GMTV sofa Belfast Telegraph, 21 June 2010
  38. ^ http://prideofbritain.com/contentPages/judges/2010/default.aspx
  39. ^ Hear the one about Bleakley's funny turn The Sun, 30 March 2010
  40. ^ Stars turn out for charity comedy gala Newsbeat, BBC, 31 March 2010
  41. ^ Cosmo’s Ultimate Women of the Year Awards Cosmopolitan, 3 November 2010
  42. ^ Christine Bleakley crowned top TV host despite Daybreak's flagging ratings Telegraph, 3 November 2010
  43. ^ http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-121051209.html
  44. ^ Looks like Mark wasn't the one! Sunday Life, 1 February 2009
  45. ^ One Show co-stars' friendship back under the spotlight as Christine Bleakley is ditched by her boyfriend Mail Online, 30 January 2009
  46. ^ 'Christine Bleakley is brainy, funny and very pretty, and so way too good for a Chelsea player,' I told Frank Lampard Mail Online, 23 November 2009
  47. ^ Who's that girl Irish Independent, 31 July 2010
  48. ^ Christine Bleakley and Frank Lampard get engaged in L.A. after enjoying romantic trip to Las Vegas, MailOnline, 15 June 2011
  49. ^ CineMagic[dead link]
  50. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/7112068/Adrian-Chiless-beard-is-sign-of-new-trend.html
  51. ^ http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/showbiz/news/a389313/heidi-range-roxanne-pallett-on-race-for-life-its-a-celebration.html
  52. ^ Shooting Stars BBC Two
  53. ^ Would I Lie To You? BBC One

External links[edit]