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Christine 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 then trained to become a floor manager whilst studying for her A-Levels, but rose to fame when she began reading the news and on theBelfast Citybeat radio station, where she worked alongside Stephen Nolan.

In 2006, Christine 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 recently joined BBC One to co-present The Voice UK. The show is due to end after the 2014 series.[4]

Since 2011, Christine 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 ITV daytime programme This Morning in September 2013 while regular presenter Holly Willoughby was away. In November 2013, Christine began presenting ITV programme Off The Beaten Track, which aired for six episodes.

ContentsEdit

 [hide*1 Early life

Early life[edit]Edit

Christine Louise Bleakley (born on 2 February 1979) in Daisy Hill Hospital in NewryCounty DownNorthern 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 BallyhackamoreBelfast. 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]Edit

BBC[edit]Edit

[1][2]Christine Bleakley at the BBC

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 the co-host of The One Show on BBC One. She replacedNadia Sawalha as the female co-host. Adrian Chiles was Christine's co-host for the three years the duo hosted on the show.[13]

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.[14]

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.[15] 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.[15] 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.[16]

ITV[edit]Edit

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,[17][18] and Bleakley herself was the subject of criticism.[19] On 18 November 2011 it was announced that Bleakley and copresenter Chiles would be replaced by Dan Lobb and Kate Garraway who presented on an interim basis. In September 2012, they were replaced by Aled Jonesand Lorraine Kelly.[20]

In February 2011, Christine hosted a pilot for a new ITV game show Control, however it was not picked up for a series.[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]

Christine 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 is due to end after the 2014 series.

On 11 May 2011, Christine presented The National Movie Awards on ITV.[27] On 30 September 2013, Christine stood in for Holly Willoughby on This Morning, which she co-hosted alongside Phillip Schofield.

Since 1 November 2013, Christine has presented a new ITV series Off The Beaten Track.[28]

Strictly Come Dancing[edit]Edit

Main article: Strictly Come Dancing

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.[29] Christine and Matthew 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.[30]

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 8 8 9 9 34 Safe
10 Cha Cha Cha 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]Edit

She was the voice of the Newsreader in the 1998 film Divorcing Jack.[31]

In 2010, Christine was the voice of Sandra in the film A Turtle's Tale: Sammy's Adventures.

Other work[edit]Edit

Bleakley began her career in media at Belfast Citybeat as a news reader and presenter, working alongside Stephen Nolan.[32]

In 2010 and 2011, Christine was on the judging panel for The Pride of Britain Awards, and has continued to attended the annual ceremonies.[33]

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.[34][35]

Awards[edit]Edit

In November 2010, Bleakley was awarded the title 'Top TV Host' at the 2010 Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women of the Year Awards.[36][37] The award came after an intensely negative media campaign following her switch from the BBC toITV.[38]

Personal life[edit]Edit

Bleakley dated Belfast Giants star Curtis Bowen as she started her TV career. After breaking up with Curtis in 2003 Christine dated Dublin restaurant owner Christian Stokes who she got engaged to in 2004.[39] She was then in a relationship with entrepreneur Mark Beirne for 3 years until they split in January 2009.[40][41]

After attending the Pride of Britain Awards in October 2009, she began a relationship with footballer Frank Lampard;[42][43] their engagement was announced on 15 June 2011.[44]

Charity[edit]Edit

Bleakley is a patron of the CineMagic children's film festival[45] and is Northern Ireland ambassador for The Prince's Trust.[13]

In 2010, Christine did a Water Skiing Challenge, raising £1,321,623 for Sport Relief. In the same year, Christine's co-host of The One ShowAdrian Chiles grew a beard, which was later shaved off by Bleakley for Sport Relief, raising £60,000 in the process.[46]

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

Filmography[edit]Edit

Year Title Role Notes
2006-2007 Let Me Entertain You Presenter Co-hosted with Brian Conley
2007-2010 The One Show Presenter Co-hosted with Adrian Chiles
2010-2011 Daybreak Presenter Co-hosted with Adrian Chiles and Dan Lobb
2010-2012 ITV Music Specials Presenter
2011— Text Santa Presenter Co-hosted with Phillip Schofield(2011) and Paddy McGuinness(2012—)
2012-2014 Dancing on Ice Presenter Replaced Holly Willoughby, co-host with Phillip Schofield
2012 That Dog Can Dance Presenter One-off Christmas Special
2013 This Morning Presenter One episode, cover for Holly Willoughby
2013— Off The Beaten Track Presenter Current documentary series

Guest appearances[edit]Edit

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