ITV settle deal with Daybreak duo Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley

ITV are close to settling a deal with axed Daybreak duo Christine Bleakley and Adrian Chiles.

After the pair were sensationally cut from the struggling flagship breakfast show last week, they have been involved in “heated discussions” with network bosses who warned they could be chopped from the channel altogether.

While Christine and Adrian – who were sacked just one year into their three-year £2 million apiece deal – were originally demanding a full payout, channel chiefs claimed if a compromise was not reached the Irish beauty would be axed from her new ‘Dancing On Ice’ presenting gig and Adrian would lose his Champions League football slot.

An insider told the Daily Mirror newspaper: “There have been some heated behind-the-scenes discussions. If their agent thought he could hold the channel to ransom then he’s found that ITV actually holds the trump card. It has been quite fraught.”

However, with Christine set to co-present the launch of ITV’s new charity initiative ‘Text Santa’ alongside Phillip Schofield and Adrian continuing to front talk series ‘That Sunday Night Show’, channel bosses maintain the duo are still “key members of the ITV family”.

A spokesperson said: “Adrian and Christine are key members of the ITV family going forward. And we have an important, long-term relationship with them which we are expanding.”

Adrian has already voiced his discontent with how the broadcaster handled their firing, admitting he and Christine haven’t been allowed to leave ‘Daybreak’ in the new year with their “dignity intact” as possible.

He explained: “I’m angry, upset and acutely embarrassed. Myself and Christine were told we would be going in the New Year but we were assured we could go with our dignity intact.

“That’s obviously not happened. We were enjoying the show and we thought things were going well. We didn’t want to go.

“It was a bolt out of the blue and has come as a big blow to our careers that we’ve been dumped at this time. Dark forces have leaked it for their own ends and I am mightily unhappy about it.”

Is BBC’s One Sian Williams set to front ITV’s Daybreak?

Is Sian Walliams set to front Daybreak?

BBC Breakfast presenter Sian Williams could be set to take over from Christine Bleakley on Daybreak. ITV bosses are desperately trying to lure the 46-year-old star away from their rival broadcaster to add the “gravitas”, which they believe Christine lacked, to the morning show.

After being approached by ‘Daybreak’ chiefs, it is thought Sian is open to the suggestion of joining the in-crisis series as she isn’t keen to move to the BBC’s new studios in Salford, Manchester, when the corporation relocates next year.

A source told The Sun newspaper:” If ITV managed to lure her away, it would be a huge coup.”

Meanwhile, Sky’s ‘Sunrise’ presenter Eamonn Holmes is keen to be considered for the role of co-presenter and take over from Christine’s axed co-host Adrian Chiles.

Eamon, 51 – who also hosts ITV’s ‘This Morning’ on Fridays with his wife Ruth Langsford – told the Manchester Evening News: “I’m the longest serving breakfast presenter in the country, so I’d like to think I’d be in the frame. In this business you get enquiries and approaches all the time.”

Adrian and Christine joined ‘Daybreak’ in a multi-million-pound deal from ‘The One Show’, but failed to be as popular with viewers as they had been on the BBC evening programme.

Following the announcement that he and Christine would be leaving, Adrian launched a scathing attack on show bosses.

He said: “I’m angry, upset and acutely embarrassed. Myself and Christine were told we would be going in the new year but we were assured we could go with our dignity intact. That’s obviously not happened. We were enjoying the show and we thought things were going well. We didn’t want to go.

“It was a bolt out of the blue and has come as a big blow to our careers that we’ve been dumped at this time. Dark forces have leaked it for their own ends and I am mightily unhappy about it.”

Coldplay and Michael Buble lined up for X-Factor final

Coldplay set to appear on the X-Factor final

Coldplay and Michael Buble have been lined up to appear in the X Factor final in a move that’s sure to get middle-aged Mums up and down the land excited.

While it is not yet known who will be battling it out in the hope of being crowned winner of the ITV1 series, it is thought Irish teen Janet Devlin’s moany voice would be most suited to the Fix You hitmakers and the Canadian crooner could complement Marcus Collins’ style.

An insider told the Daily Star newspaper: “There isn’t anyone left in the show who would suit Coldplay’s music apart from Janet.

“She wowed everyone when she sang ‘Fix You’. It shows how confident everyone is that Janet will make the final.”

Although the third act has not yet been confirmed, if girl band Little Mix reach the two-part final on December 10 and 11 they are keen to sing alongside ‘Price Tag’ hitmaker Jessie J, who helped their mentor Tulisa Contostavlos select her finalists at the Judges’ House stage of the competition.

Jesy Nelson said: “It would be so cool to duet with her in the final if we make it.”

Despite Janet having potentially bagged a slot alongside Coldplay in the X Factor final, she and fellow acts Misha B and Amelia Lily are said to feel “deserted” after mentor Kelly Rowland jetted off to Paris to promote her new single.

An insider told the Daily Mirror newspaper: “It’s fair to say the girls – Janet and Amelia Lily in particular – are less than impressed. They feel like they’ve been left to go it alone and want more hands-on attention, especially when they see Tulisa being incredibly present with her group, Little Mix.

“To them, it feels as though Kelly is prioritising her solo career over theirs.”

Doctor Who costume raises £50,000 for Children in Need

Matt Smith and Pudsey bear

Matt Smith’s Doctor Who costume has sold for £50,000.

Final bidding on the outfit – which included a tweed jacket, shirt, black jeans, black boots, braces, bow-tie and a watch worn in the episode The Doctor’s Wife – and a script signed by the actor closed at the staggering sum on Monday (22.11.11), with proceeds going to Children In Need.

Of the auction, Matt said: “I’d say the tweed jacket or the bow tie are the most iconic – although the boots are my personal favourite. I hope people donate generously for BBC Children in Need because it’s a wonderful cause.”

In the episode in which he wore the attire, the Doctor’s TARDIS was transported into the body of a woman, portrayed by Suranne Jones.

The auction of the Doctor’s clothes, and a copy of the script written by showrunner Stephen Moffat were part of BBC Children in Need’s Once in a Lifetime online auction being held at www.bbc.co.uk/Pudsey.

Craig Colton voted off The X Factor after voting deadlock

X Factor 2011: Craig Colton is the latest contestant to get voted off

Craig Colton was voted off  The X Factor last night (20.11.11).

The 22-year-old hopeful – who landed in the bottom two alongside Amelia Lily – fought back tears as judges Gary Barlow, Kelly Rowland, Tulisa Contostavlos and Louis Walsh took the decision to deadlock after giving the acts two votes apiece.

Following a sing-off which saw Craig perform the Shirelles’ Will You Love Me Tomorrow and Amelia – who only re-entered the ITV1 competition last week in the wake of Frankie Cocozza’s axe – belt out a rendition of Lady Gaga’s You and I, Tulisa and Craig’s mentor Gary voted to save the Liverpool-based singer.

Criticising Amelia’s performance, Gary said: “Amelia I feel like you shouted your way through that, while Craig was understated and gorgeous.

Tulisa added: “I don’t think I’ve ever been so torn before in a sing-off. Based on tonight’s performance, I’ll send home Amelia.”

However, Louis – the only judge left with no acts left in the show – claimed the 17-year-old wannabe was a “ready-made” pop star, sending the decision to deadlock.

He said: “I’ve loved you from day one, Craig, but I think Amelia is a ready-made pop star.”

Kelly – who is mentoring Amelia, as well as Janet Devlin and Misha B- explained: “Craig, I love you. I think you are a beautiful vocalist. I’m saving Amelia.”

After learning he would be leaving the competition, Craig told Dermot he had the time of his life on the show.

He said: “I’ve had the time of my life the last few months. I’ve done myself proud.”

ALL PICTURES: ITV.COM/XFACTOR

 

BBC2 axes Shooting Stars – for the second time

Reeves and Mortimer’s Shooting Stars: axed by BBC2

BBC Two has pulled the plug on the quiz show – presented by Bob Mortimer and Vic Reeves – for the second time after it first aired from 1995-1997, followed by a second run from 2008.

A BBC spokeswoman said: “In future there will be less space on BBC Two for comedy and entertainment panel shows so sadly Shooting Stars won’t be returning.

“We’d like to thank Vic and Bob for everything they’ve brought to the channel over the years.”

Shooting Stars’ boss Lisa Clark added: “There isn’t enough money. It’s a real shame because Vic and Bob are unique.”

Bob wrote on his twitter page: “BBC have just cancelled shooting stars.”

Fans reacted angrily to the news on twitter with The Times critic Caitlin Moran writing: “A genuine outrage. I hope some other channel snaps up Shooting Stars immediately: it’s one of the best comedy shows of the last 20 years.”

Former Fast Show star Simon Day added: “Shooting Stars: funniest show on telly. Great idea to drop it, from people who care.”

Earlier this year Bob admitted he was thrilled with how the show was being received, claiming the public needed a show that was a “bit stupid”.

He explained: “It’s had the best critical acclaim in years so maybe the time’s come round again. There’s a feeling in the air that maybe things have got a bit dreary again. There’s a need for something a bit stupid – a bit Milligan, a bit Cooper.”

X-Factor 2011: Lady Gaga prayed for Kitty Brucknell – thankfully he didn’t listen

Lady Gaga and Kitty during last weekend’s X Factor

Lady Gaga prayed for Kitty Brucknell after they met on Sunday night’s (13.11.11) X Factor results show.

The Edge Of Glory hitmaker – who ran on stage to console the sobbing hopeful when she learned she had been eliminated from the ITV1 series – asked the Lord to “help and guide Kitty in her future career”, and even told the eccentric blonde there could be an opportunity for the pair to work together in the future.

A source told The Sun newspaper: “Kitty was still emotional so Gaga poured her a glass of wine and asked her to join her in prayer. She stooped on the floor, putting her hands in a prayer position.”

“Gaga went on to say how she’d be on the road a lot next year and thinks there could be an opportunity for them to collaborate.”

After being booted off the family show, Kitty has now vowed her routines will be “sex, sex, sex” and credited the pop megastar with handing her advice on how to “blow everyone away” with her career.

She said: “It’s all sex, sex, sex from now on! You haven’t seen anything yet! I am going to put on the raunchiest, sexiest routines ever. I couldn’t do what I really wanted on ‘The X Factor’ because it’s a family show and there’s also a time limit. Now I can do what I really want.

“I’m going to work my arse off now. I’ve got loads of great ideas. I am going to come back with a great, f**k-off album that will blow everyone away.

“It was a really emotional experience with Gaga. I am so grateful to her. She talked to me about my career and my music. She gave me a big pep talk. And she gave me a lot of great advice about how to break the music industry.”

Following their meeting, Gaga tweeted Kitty, saying: “Go get it!”

I’m A Celebrity Freddie Starr hospital dash down to dodgy egg?

I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here’s Freddie Starr (right) was rushed to hospital yesterday (14.11.11) after eating a dodgy egg.

The 68-year-old comedian – who underwent a quadruple bypass following a heart attack last year – was struck down with suspected food poisoning after consuming a fermented egg during a head-to-head eating competition with The Only Way Is Essex’s Mark Wright.

After being ambulanced to Tweed Heads Hospital in New South Wales, medical experts diagnosed the funnyman with an extreme allergic reaction after he swallowed the revolting egg – as well as a pig’s anus, turkey testicle and a cockroach milkshake – in the gruesome Bushtucker Trial.

An insider told the Daily Mirror newspaper: “Mark is fine, which suggests that this isn’t down to anything Freddie ate. Then again, Mark didn’t eat the cockroaches, the turkey balls or the fermented egg.

“The unpredictability of the jungle is what sets this programme apart from other shows. The element of jeopardy is always there. However, the celebs are watched 24 hours a day.”

Freddie easily beat Mark in the trial, who physically balked when he was faced with the testicle and the milkshake, but the pair returned to camp to tell their fellow contestants they would be eating well as a result of their top performance in the challenge.

Mark told Freddie: “You are a lunatic! You would never have stopped.”

EastEnders’ Billy Mitchell to carry Olympic torch

EastEnders’ Billy Mitchell

EastEnders’ Billy Mitchell is to carry the Olympic torch on the BBC One soap. The hapless video shop worker – played by Perry Fenwick – will find out on tonight’s (15.11.11) show that he has been successful in his application to carry the flame for the London 2012 games in a storyline that will see the soap merge with reality.

On July 23 next year, live footage will show Billy carrying the flame through the fictional London borough of Walford – on its way to the real Olympic Park in Stratford, East London, for the opening ceremony of the summer games on July 27.

Perry said: “When we first discussed the storyline, my initial thought was that I’ll now have to get fit.

“While this may be a fictional one-off for Billy Mitchell, it’s a real once in a lifetime opportunity for me and I am thrilled that Walford and Albert Square will be part of this amazing event.”

Perry, 49, will be one of 8,000 people from the UK to carry the iconic torch, as it crosses all over the country, visiting over 1,000 cities, towns and villages in the UK, starting on May 19, 2012 at Land’s End in Cornwall.

Sebastian Coe, chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, said: “The announcement is a great addition to the Olympic Torch Relay Route. I’m sure the people of Walford will now start planning their celebrations.

“Along with people right round the UK, the residents of Albert Square will be getting involved to make this their moment to shine.”

X Factor 2011: Kitty Brucknell’s nine lives run out, Misha B stays in competition

ALL PICTURES: ITV.com

Kitty Brucknell was voted off The X Factor last night (13.11.11). The controversial hopeful – who landed in the bottom two alongside Misha B – took on head judge Gary Barlow’s advice and stripped everything back with her sing-off performance of ‘Over The Rainbow’ following Saturday night’s Lady Gaga and Queen-themed episode.

However, after failing to connect with the public throughout the competition, only Kitty’s own mentor, Louis Walsh, voted to keep her in the ITV1 show over Misha, who performed a rendition of Jessie J’s ‘Who You Are’.

Tulisa Contostavlos told the pair: “I think you are both amazingly talented, but I would rather buy Misha’s albums.”

Gary added: “Can I just say first? What an amazing sing-off. If you were to ask me two people who wanted this the most, it would be Misha and Kitty.

“Kitty, it’s got to be the likeability factor, because you sing and perform incredibly. Misha, if I took all the acts to a record label, you would be the first to be signed. The act I’m sending home is Kitty.”

However, the blow of leaving the competition was perhaps softened for former Lady Gaga impersonator Kitty after her idol – who performed her new track ‘Marry The Night’ on the results show – rushed on stage for an emotional embrace with the hopeful while she was being interviewed by Olly Murs and Caroline Flack on ‘The Xtra Factor’.

After comforting Kitty – who burst into a rendition of Gaga’s Born This Way when she heard she would be leaving the competition – the 25-year-old pop superstar took her backstage to her dressing room to hand her some career advice.

An insider told The Sun newspaper: “Gaga couldn’t believe Kitty had been axed and thought she was one of the most talented and exciting acts in the competition.

“She thought that Kitty had been misunderstood and it reminded her of her own struggles to be accepted.”