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.”