My Life In Media: The One Show's Christine Bleakley

'You have a split second to get tone, questions and all the rest of it right. You can't redo live performances'

Christine Bleakley, 28, is Adrian Chiles's co-presenter on The One Show, the BBC lunchtime magazine show. She was born and raised near Belfast and gave up a politics degree to take a position with BBC Northern Ireland. Performing runs in the family; her father is a drummer who has worked with Van Morrison and was managed by Louis Walsh. She is taking part in the new series of Strictly Come Dancing and has been partnered with Matthew Cutler, who won last year's show with Alesha Dixon.

What inspired you to embark upon a career in the media?

I have no idea, but from a very young age all my make-believe games revolved around pretend television programmes. I was never in front of the camera. I was always the one in control behind the scenes. I asked for a video camera for Christmas one year so I could record my "programmes" and I'm not in any of them. You can just hear me bossing my sister about or whoever else I'd coerced into playing TV with me.

When you were 15 years old, which newspaper did your family get, and did you read it?

There were always loads of newspapers round the house. The Belfast Telegraph was always one of them and The Newtownards Chronicle. They actually phoned me for an interview just now – a very proud moment for me. I always read them. Our politics in Northern Ireland were very full on at that time and I was fascinated with who was saying what.

What were your favourite TV/radio programmes?

I've always loved comedy. Billy Connolly was a favourite. As a kid I loved Kenny Everett. That thing where he swung his legs around made me howl. I hated most kids' programmes, actually, though I loved Anne of Green Gables and I can still recite long sections of it. The radio was all about music and was mainly on Radio One.

What are the media sources you turn to first in the morning?

Television. I'm addicted to rolling news. I switch between BBC Breakfast, Sky News and GMTV.

Describe your job.

I present The One Show with Adrian Chiles. We get in at lunchtime and go through the script, looking at whatever VTs we'll be running and the biogs of whichever guest we have on. It's nerve-wracking, but incredibly exciting for me. Adrian is prone to slipping into very dark moods as transmission approaches and I consider it part of my job to get him out of it before he drags everyone else down with him. It doesn't help with West Brom being back in the Premier League and losing most weekends!

Do you consult any media sources during the day?

I flick through most papers and the television's on BBC News 24 in our office.

What do you tune into when you get home?

E4, mainly. It's the best way of tuning out of what I've had to be tuned into all day.

What is the best thing about your job?

The excitement of doing a live show never pales and the people I work with are great. I hardly knew anybody in London when I came over a year ago and my colleagues are now almost family to me.

And the worst?

I love long lunches and lost afternoons. When you're live on the telly at 7pm five nights a week, they're a thing of the past.

How do you feel you influence the media?

I don't think I influence anything personally, although I suppose the unexpected success of The One Show must have had some effect on the industry's thinking.

Name the one career ambition you want to realise before you retire?

At the moment all I want to do is get through Strictly without making a complete fool of myself. I'm so scared. A repeat of the Children in Need near-calamity is a real possibility.

What is your Sunday paper? And do you have a favourite magazine?

I pick up the The Sunday Times, The Observer and The News of the World. I also really love Grazia and I'm partial to a bit of Hello! and Heat. And I think some of the writing in Vanity Fair is excellent.

What's the proudest achievement in your working life?

Just doing what I'm doing on The One Show, but if I can nail the salsa on Strictly, that will come a very close second.

And what's your most embarrassing moment?

Sparing you the details, I very nearly did a Paula Radcliffe in the London Marathon at Children in Need Northern Ireland a few years ago. I might have entered television history that night, but I doubt it would have done my career much good.

What would you do if you didn't work in the media?

I'd like to fly helicopters. Air ambulance or air-sea rescue or something like that.

Who in the media do you most admire and why?

Gloria Hunniford. She came from a relatively humble background in Northern Ireland and quickly established herself here and, despite everything life's thrown at her, she's still going strong at the top of her game. And, to my delight, on the couple of occasions I've met her, she's turned out to be a really decent person too.

The CV

2000: Takes a position as a BBC floor manager

2001: After turning down presenting work twice, agrees to try her hand in front of the camera on a trial basis

2002: Begins presenting the Children in Need show with Eamonn Holmes, which she has now done six times

2003: Begins weekly entertainment show First Stop, interviewing celebrities such as Tom Cruise and Angelina Jolie

2004: Gets her own show Skyhigh, which she presents from a helicopter

2005: Co-hosts reality show Looking for Love

2007: Gets The One Show

2008: Takes part in Strictly Come Dancing

News
Alan Bennett has criticised the “repellent” reality shows which dominate our screens
tvBut he does like Stewart Lee
Life and Style
The Google Doodle celebrating the start of the first day of autumn, 2014.
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
i100
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
News
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Life and Style
food + drink
News
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
News
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
news
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Senior Account Executive / Account Executive

£25 - 30k (DOE) + Bonus & Benefits: Guru Careers: We are looking for an Accoun...

Account Manager / Sales Account Manager / Recruitment Account Manager

£25k Basic (DOE) – (£30k year 1 OTE) : Guru Careers: We are seeking a bright A...

Resourcer / Junior Recruiter

£15-20k (DOE) + Benefits / Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a bright R...

Web Designer / Digital Designer

£25 - 40k (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Web Desig...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits