Another tug of war between BBC and ITV as Sian Williams prepares to jump ship
Beeb chiefs are doing all they can to try to stop Sian Williams jumping ship from their morning show Breakfast to join ITV rival Daybreak as the replacement for Christine Bleakley.
No doubt that is why she was named as one of the early morning presenters of the BBC’s Olympic coverage next year.
Replacement: Sian Williams (left) is in ITV”s sights to succeed Christine Bleakley (right) on Daybreak… but only if she leaves BBC Breakfast
, which was controversially relaunched this year with Claudia Winkleman, pictured, as host in place of Jonathan Ross.
Trouble: Claudia Winkleman has been banned from screenings of new movies from the UK”s leading film distributor
The Strictly Come Dancing presenter and her co-host Danny Leigh have been banned from screenings of new movies by the UK’s leading independent film distributor Entertainment.
Embarrassingly for the Corporation, that meant they were unable to review Martin Scorsese’s new blockbuster Hugo 3D. Instead, sheepish Claudia could only utter: ‘The trailer looks brilliant.’
The serious fallout came after the show’s review of Johnny Depp’s latest film The Rum Diary, which the hosts described as ‘mild’ and ‘disappointing’.
Claudia offered a light-hearted apology on the most recent episode but movie insiders I’ve spoken to say it will take much more to resolve the issue.
Industry figures appear to be making a point about the BBC’s hiring of Claudia, who many considered a ‘lightweight movie novice’.
Most wanted the popular Radio 5 Live reviewer Mark Kermode to be handed the show after Wossy. BBC Breakfast film pundit Jason Solomons was another contender.
In hindsight, it appears to have been a nonsensical decision to bypass the likes of Kermode and Solomons, who are able to skilfully keep the industry’s biggest directors and stars on side, despite their often scathing critiques of high-profile movies.
Channel 4 chiefs are acutely aware of the risk they are taking by handing over three hours of their Christmas Day schedule to Gordon Ramsay.
The famously foul-mouthed chef came up with the idea of broadcasting a live ‘cook-along’ from his house while viewers prepare their festive feast.
The broadcaster’s chief creative officer Jay Hunt concedes nervously: ‘We don’t want him swearing on the Lord’s birthday.’
Gordon’s wife Tana and their children will not be featured on the show. They will move out two days before Christmas so the cameras and lighting rigs can be set up. He will join them to celebrate after the show.
A Channel 4 source says: ‘This show was absolutely his idea. It’s something he’s been very passionate about doing.’