Daybreak lagging a million viewers behind rival

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The Independent Culture

ITV's relaunched Daybreak show has slipped a million viewers behind its BBC rival for the first time, figures showed today.

Yesterday's edition of the show - which replaced GMTV - drew an average of 700,000 viewers, while BBC Breakfast had 1.8 million.

Audience figures from industry body BARB show that at around 8am the BBC show had almost three times as many viewers with 2.6 million compared to Daybreak's 900,000.

Daybreak was launched in September after presenters Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley signed multi-million pound deals with ITV after falling out with BBC bosses and quitting The One Show.

The programme has seen audiences slip after an impressive start of one million viewers, to settle at around 700,000 - lower than audiences for its predecessor GMTV.

ITV bosses spent more than £1 million in rebranding and revamping the morning show with new sets and a big marketing push.

Many of the big names of GMTV lost their jobs, although Kate Garraway has continued to have a role on Daybreak as the programme's showbusiness editor.

Bookmaker Ladbrokes is already offering odds for one of the main presenters to leave the show by Christmas.

Breakfast had been drawing around 700,000 viewers more until recently. It is thought to have had an audience boost due to interest in the coverage of the Chilean miners' rescue.

A spokeswoman for ITV said: "ITV has made a long-term investment in new breakfast programming and, after over five years of decline for GMTV, Daybreak is already closing the gap in year-on-year decline after just one month, with housewives and children, male and younger audiences.

"We look forward to building on this start and welcoming new audiences to Daybreak and Lorraine."