Tony Blair drops in at 'Daybreak' show launch

ITV's new breakfast show got off to a lively start today with a mixture of serious items, features and banter between presenters Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley.

The former One Show hosts welcomed viewers to the inaugural Daybreak programme in their new South Bank studio boasting spectacular views of the London skyline.

The show, replacing long-running GMTV, featured a range of items from a live interview with former prime minister Tony Blair, to interviews with the parents of babies whose birth coincided with the launch of Daybreak.

Chiles was on light-hearted form, laughing and joking with Bleakley and commenting on their studio: "It is extremely big, I have worked in some right little shoe cupboards in my time."

"The view is simply magnificent," he added as the camera showed the view of London landmarks outside.

"For example, I get my timings from the clock on top of the Shell tower over there. If we move round, we can see St Paul's - they have got to get those cranes out of the way - can somebody have a word please? They are spoiling the view slightly.

"Then, there's the Gherkin... and finally the Oxo tower - other stock cubes are available but that is the Oxo tower. I don't know what else you can say about it."

He and Bleakley commented on a phone marked "Lift handset to call producer".

"How are we doing?" Chiles said into the phone, reporting to laughter: "We are all right."

Earlier, Chiles walked across the studio to chat with sports presenter Dan Lobb.

"See how smoothly I did this," he said as he made his way over to Lobb. "It is going terribly well, I haven't tripped up the stairs or anything."

He told Lobb: "I have always watched the women's rugby with interest because a girl I used to play kiss-chase with in the playground... she went on to play second row for England. I won't name her, because last time I did she went nuts."

"I think escaping me in kiss-chase is where she got her fitness from," he joked.

Watching a tackle from footage of the women's rugby World Cup between England and New Zealand, Chiles said: "I don't know who is married to this Kiwi lady, but I would venture to suggest they don't have many arguments, or the arguments don't last very long."

Chiles, speaking of the England women's performance, said: "We are very proud of them. Next time maybe."

The Daybreak programme featured items on the plight of victims of the Farepak Christmas hamper firm collapse who have still not received compensation, cutbacks to the schools building programme, and the diabetes drug Avandia.

The show also included a light-hearted feature where a child dubbed "Mini Driver" tested a £10,000 racing car.

"Don't worry about running the cameramen over, there is plenty more where they came from," Chiles joked to the child.

The programme also visited Forth Park Hospital in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, to meet parents of newborn babies, coinciding with the birthday of the programme.

Scotland correspondent Greg Easteal asked the father of a newborn baby called Max if he was willing to change his name to Adrian.

"I don't suppose we can get you to change little Max's name to Adrian, can we?"

"Absolutely no chance," was the father's reaction.