Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley: 'We are lost without each other'
Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley quit the BBC because they were placed under "intolerable pressure", the pair claimed today as they insisted it was not about the money.
Chiles left The One Show in April after it emerged that Chris Evans had been approached to replace him on Friday nights. Bleakley followed suit two months later.
Both defected to ITV - Chiles on a £6m (€7.2m) deal and Bleakley for around £4m (€4.8m) - and will reunite as the presenters of Daybreak, the replacement for morning show GMTV.
In a trailer for the show, Chiles appears in his boxer shorts asking Bleakley for fashion advice.
Speaking at the programme's launch, Chiles said he could not imagine working with anyone else.
"At all costs I felt we had to be together again," he said, claiming the pair share a telepathic bond. "We are lost without each other."
He added: "We have the same three arguments like most couples. We bicker about the same stuff. But the minute we get in the studio and sit next to each other I feel very strongly that everything is going to be fine."
Asked about leaving the BBC, Chiles said: "The past has been rewritten which I'm slightly annoyed about. They are just trying to portray it as a classic, big money move to ITV. Nothing could be further from the truth.
"We were both very happy to stay there. We didn't want any more money, we just wanted to carry on doing a successful programme exactly like we had. Nothing needed to change. But obviously change was suggested on The One Show that I couldn't live with and that's why I left.
"There was no suitcase of money offered here. I resent it for being portrayed like that because it makes you look money-motivated and greedy, and neither of us are any of those things."
Bleakley said she missed Chiles desperately when he quit the show. "The first day he left I thought, I've lost my right arm here. It was just strange." She denied stringing the BBC along in contract negotiations: "That's absolute nonsense. My contract was running until October so there was no hurry. And suddenly everything that I knew and loved changed overnight.
"A lot of people assumed I was just with the BBC for a matter of months - I worked for the BBC for 14 years of my life. So it was a massive decision."
The new show begins next week and Bleakley admitted she had no idea how she would cope with the early starts.
"Ignorance is bliss at this stage," she said. "Ask me in a month's time, but at this stage I can be relatively selfish with my time. I don't have little babies to go home and worry about."
Bleakley's replacement on The One Show, Alex Jones, bears an uncanny resemblance to her. Bleakley, who is dating Chelsea footballer Frank Lampard, said: "I think she does - and I have lots of male friends who, when they read about her, said, 'You're lucky to be compared with her!'"
Chiles has a doppelganger of his own - Ray Mears, the bushcraft expert. "I got asked for his autograph yesterday at Teddington services," Chiles said. "I've signed my name 'Ray Mears' before because I don't want to let them down.
"It doesn't work the other way round. I had this idea of him being spotted in the jungle and asked how West Brom are gettting on, but it doesn't happen to him."