More than 4m watch BBC television coverage of Margaret Thatcher's funeral


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The Independent Culture

More than four million people tuned in to watch live coverage of Baroness Thatcher's funeral.

BBC1's programme - anchored by David Dimbleby - drew an average of 3.2 million viewers across its three-hour duration from 9.15am, with 4.3 million watching at the peak, towards the end.

But the coverage also drew a number of complaints including those who felt the BBC showed a bias both for and against the former Tory prime minister.

In total the BBC  received 270 complaints by this morning, with 98 unhappy about the interviews during the special programme.

A further 106 felt there was a bias against Baroness Thatcher, while 76 thought the reverse was true.

The audience for the funeral dwarfed that of other channels at the same time. The Jeremy Kyle Show on ITV pulled in 1.5 million (including viewers on its catch-up +1 channel), while This Morning had 1.1 million.

The average audience for the funeral was more than three times the time slot would normally draw.

Sky News reported an additional 320,000 viewers for its coverage of Baroness Thatcher's funeral.