Daybreak, ITV’s new flagship breakfast programme, was launched today with pug faced presenter Adrian Chiles not being allowed to appear in front of the camera until 8:00 am following an Ofcom ruling which imposed a watershed on his face appearing on screen for fear of frightening young children and animals.
In a statement Ofcom said they had acted after receiving a number of calls from parents concerned that their toddlers may be ‘traumatised by the sight of Mr Chiles if they were to inadvertently switch on Daybreak instead of CBBC at a time when adults may be busy.’ It is understood the RSPCA have also been in touch with the communications regulator.
The news that Adrian Chiles, once described as the ‘unacceptable face of faces’, was not appearing until 8 o’clock was announced to viewers from an off camera Chiles. Then, relying heavily on Christine Bleakley, the show progressed through its much vaunted all-new format of news bulletins, weather reports and shameless plugs with Ms Bleakley assisted in interviews from the invisible Chiles.
Reviewing the programme, Sunday Times TV critic AA Gill blogged, ‘The late appearance of the key presenter created an air of suspense rarely experienced on sofa based television.’ Tension in the studio increased when a health report was shown featuring Dr Hilary Jones interviewing Isabelle Dinoir, the recipient of the world's first face transplant. The awkward pause when the film finished provided the off-screen Chiles an opportunity to show off his famed wit when he quipped ‘I reckon you could do with one of those, Christine.’
Daybreak producers believe Chiles will soon be back in front of the cameras full time. ‘We are already exploring solutions with Ofcom,’ said one executive. ‘We’re pretty sure we can sort this, but it may mean Adrian having to wear a Phantom of the Opera style mask.’