BBC trounces ITV in breakfast wars

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The Independent Online

ITV's relaunched Daybreak breakfast show has slipped a million viewers behind its BBC rival for the first time, audience figures confirmed yesterday.

Wednesday's edition of the programme, which replaced GMTV, drew an average of just 700,000 viewers, while the BBC's Breakfast attracted 1.8 million.

Figures from the Broadcasters' Audience Research Board showed that at about 8am the BBC show had almost three times as many viewers – 2.6 million compared to Daybreak's 900,000.

The revamped programme was launched in September after its presenters, Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley, signed multi-million pound deals with ITV after falling out with BBC bosses and quitting The One Show, which they presented together.

After an impressive start, Daybreak has seen its viewing figure slip from one million viewers to about 700,000 – lower than that of GMTV. ITV spent more than £1m creating and promoting the new show, and many of the big names from its previous incarnation have lost their jobs.