To the delight of fans, the deal reunited her with engaging former colleague Adrian Chiles; the two were given ITV's prime early morning slot. Their programme, hookily christened Daybreak, launched in September.
Yesterday's edition of the show - which replaced GMTV - drew around 700,000 viewers, while BBC's Breakfast had 1.8 million. Audience figures show that at around 8am the BBC show had almost three times as many viewers with 2.6 million, compared with Daybreak's 900,000.
Last night, a friend close to the Nothern Irish brunette said: ‘Christine is extremely frustrated that Daybreak’s ratings aren’t improving. The biggest problem is that if she did drop Daybreak, ITV can’t just conjure a hit prime-time show for her out of thin air."