Christine Bleakley's move shocks ITV staff

Christine Bleakley

Christine Bleakley

'GMTV' staff were only aware Christine Bleakley would be joining the show's presenting team when they read about it in the paper, and have slammed bosses for handling the situation ''poorly''.

'GMTV' staff first heard Christine Bleakley would be joining them when they read about it in newspapers.

Those working on the ITV1 show - which has reportedly shelled out over £10 million to lure the brunette and her former 'The One Show' co-host Adrian Chiles to the network - have criticised 'GMTV' bosses for handling the situation "poorly".

One executive told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "The first we heard Christine was coming was when it was in the papers. It was handled very poorly but unfortunately that was no surprise.

"It seems odd to bring in someone with almost no journalistic background to a role which we've heard will be extremely news focused."

The show's current presenters Kate Garraway and Emma Crosby are now reportedly in crisis talks with 'GMTV's executives, ahead of the autumn overhaul the show is set to undergo, with a new style, name and presenters hoping to make the daytime programme more news focused.

However, a senior source revealed managers are concerned about Christine's lack of reporting experience.

They said: "There is a big difference between asking a celebrity about their latest TV show and grilling the Prime Minister over budget cuts.

"It's very frustrating. We are being told to take on the BBC but bosses seem intent on turning us into a carbon copy."

Penny Smith, Andrew Castle and Ben Shephard have already resigned since the dramatic changes to the show's format were announced, but Lorraine Kelly is expected to sign a new contract this week.

She said: "It is very unsettling for everyone. It's a tough time as no one knows what is going to happen. All we can do is pull together and hope for the best."


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