Daybreak audience shrinks again

ITV's troubled Daybreak has seen its audience sink to a new low - drawing just half a million viewers.

The morning show was left trailing in the wake of its BBC rival Breakfast, which had three times as many people watching as 1.5 million tuned in.

The latest figures for yesterday's show are a fresh blow for the programme, which has been battling to match the audience of its predecessor GMTV.

Tuesday's show was fronted by Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley who were back after a week's holiday, and guests included Hollywood actress Julianne Moore.

But the show did not at any point hit a peak of a million viewers, a first since it launched at the start of September. And it had an average of 500,000 viewers.

Daybreak replaced the axed GMTV, making way for a rebrand, new studio and change of presenters.

Yesterday's programme was followed by Lorraine. which saw its audience climb to one million.

Little over a week ago Daybreak hit a new low when it dropped to just 600,000 viewers. It launched with a million viewers but its audience soon fell and has continued to drop.

It has led to speculation that ITV bosses may need to step in to save the show as it becomes less enticing to advertisers.

Last night's edition of BBC1's The One Show - which Chiles and Bleakley quit - drew an audience almost ten times greater than Daybreak's, with 4.8 million viewers.

ITV bosses are understood to have put the low viewing figure down to the school half-term.

A spokeswoman said: "ITV has made a long-term investment in breakfast programming."

It was reported today that another ITV production wing wants to turn the show around. However the show spokeswoman dismissed this as "speculation".