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Christine Louise Bleakley (born 2 February 1979) is a Northern Irish broadcaster, currently employed by ITV. She has presented shows such as Daybreak and Dancing on Ice on ITV, as well as shows such as The One Show on BBC One. She annually presents Christmas entertainment show Text Santa.

In 2007, Bleakley became a co-presenter of The One Show alongside Adrian Chiles until their final show in 2010. Following her departure she and Chiles joined ITV Breakfast programme Daybreak until their final show on 5 December 2011. On 18 November 2011 it was announced that Bleakley was to host Dancing On Ice alongside Phillip Schofield after Holly Willoughbyleft due to her role on The Voice UK. Since 2011, she has hosted Text Santa on ITV.

Early life [edit]Edit

Christine Bleakley was 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. She has a younger sister, Nicola.

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.

Broadcasting career [edit]Edit

Radio [edit]Edit

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

BBC [edit]Edit

Bleakley then moved into television with BBC Northern Ireland hosting a wide variety of shows. One of her programmmes 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+ and BBC NI coverage of Children in Need. She also took part in cookery show, "Spill the Beans".

Outside Northern Ireland, she co-hosted the BBC Two talent show Let Me Entertain You and in July 2007 she became the co-host of The One Show on BBC One.

ITV [edit]Edit

In 2010 Bleakley left The One Show to join ITV1 as the co-host of Daybreak following Adrian Chiles' departure from the BBC to ITV. When Chiles left the BBC, there was a great deal of speculation on whether Bleakley would extend her BBC contract or move to ITV. Questions were raised in Parliament over the size and scale of the proposed £900,000 per year two year BBC contract. 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. 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. 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. In September 2010 Bleakley stated she would like to return to The One Show as a guest.

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, and Bleakley herself was the subject of criticism. On 18 November 2011 it was announced that Bleakley and copresenter Chiles would be replaced. In September 2012, they were replaced by Aled Jones and Lorraine Kelly.

Bleakley currently hosts the Christmas charity show Text Santa on ITV1, and a number of music specials, including Simply Red: For the Last Time and Duran Duran: One Night Only. On Boxing Day 2012, Bleakley hostedThat Dog Can Dance on ITV1.

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