TELEVISION / Statistics

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The Independent Culture
For the first time in its glittering two-year history, there are signs that The Darling Buds of May (ITV Sunday) has lost some of its incredible popularity. The first episode of the first series had an audience of 16.68 million, the ratings have regularly gone above 18 million and (except for repeats) have never dipped below 17 million. The first episode of the present series, though, got only 13.81 million. This is perhaps a sign of the success of the pre-publicity for its BBC1 opponent, A Year in Provence (BBC1 Sunday), which starts half-way into Darling Buds and had an audience of 14.52 million.

Controversy followed the late change of the last episode of Casualty (BBC1 last Saturday) to a post-watershed time slot, but at the later time, this episode turned out to be the most- watched in Casualty's history. Its audience of 17.02 million made it the fourth most watched BBC programme for the week, beaten only by EastEnders (BBC1 Tuesday, Thursday) and One Foot in the Grave (BBC1 Sunday). This comedy has consistently increased its audience. The latest figure of 18.39 million, for Richard Wilson's one-man episode, is the highest rating in the programme's history.

Ratings for week ending 28 Feb

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