9.9m watched TV election debate
Friday 16 April 2010
An audience of 9.9 million viewers watched last night's historic election debate between the three party leaders, figures showed today.
An average of 9.4 million people tuned in to see Nick Clegg, David Cameron and Gordon Brown go head to head, making it the most-watched show of the day - beating even Coronation Street which immediately preceded it.
It had more viewers than the other four terrestrial channels combined at that time.
The audience peaked at around 9pm when 9.9 million tuned in.
The debate - screened by ITV1 - began with an audience of 8.8 million at 8.30pm, building to its peak half an hour later.
The audience slid slightly to finish at 9.3 million who watched the final half hour of the debate, which was hosted by Alastair Stewart.
All in all the programme had a 37% share of the audience - which means more than a third of TV viewers were watching the programme during its 90-minute duration.
The debate was the first of three, with others over the next fortnight to be screened by Sky and BBC1.
However, despite the historic nature of the event, it proved to be less of a crowd-puller than the live episode of EastEnders earlier this year which drew nearly six million more, with an average of 15.3 million.
One of the most popular alternatives to the debate was a chance to see the party leaders pilloried on BBC1's Have I Got News For You, which had 4.3 million viewers.
Despite having a politically keen audience, the show saw only a slight drop in its usual 5 million audience despite going up against a live debate.
The other big audience was for BBC1's Outnumbered which began at 9.30pm and drew 4.6 million viewers.
The leaders' appearances also proved a boon for the news programmes with a huge audience of 7.1 tuning in to the ITV news at 10pm. BBC1's bulletin managed to draw 4.2 million.
BBC2's Welcome To Lagos, screened during the debate, had an audience of 1.2 million, while Channel 4's How The Other Half Live had 5.3 million and Five's movie Welcome To The Jungle had 1 million.
The audience breakdown for each 15-minute segment of the show was as follows:
8.30pm - 8.8 million
8.45pm - 9.5 million
9.00pm - 9.9 million
9.15pm - 9.6 million
9.30pm - 9.3 million
9.45pm - 9.3 million
10.00pm (the start of ITV1's news bulletin) - 7.8 million.
- 1 Rihanna 'nude photos' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 2 Frank Lampard equalises for Manchester City against Chelsea: how the internet reacted
- 3 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 4 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned PR disaster
Rihanna 'nude photos' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
Jennifer Lawrence leaked 4Chan sex video branded 'fake' by forum users
Gabrielle Union contacts FBI over nude 4Chan pictures leaked by 'vultures'
Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked next, threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
£25000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are cur...
£45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsf...
£100 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Nottingham: Randstad Education are cur...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Infrastructure Ana...