Olympic TV spectacular draws 26.9m home viewers
Saturday 28 July 2012
A UK TV audience of 26.9 million people watched the London 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony, according to the BBC.
The massive audience tuned in as Danny Boyle's £27 million spectacular took place at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, east London, last night.
Viewing figures peaked at 26.9 million, while the average was recorded as 22.4 million for the show - which ran from 9pm until 12.50am - with an audience share of 82 per cent.
A BBC spokesman said it was the largest television audience since the Broadcasters' Audience Research Board was introduced in 2002.
The opening ceremony of the Beijing Games four years ago attracted 5.9 million UK viewers, while 10.7 million watched the start of the Athens Olympics in 2004.
Peak viewing figures of 23.2 million were recorded for England's Euro 2012 quarter-final against Italy, while 17.1 million watched the Wimbledon final between Andy Murray and Roger Federer.
BBC1 controller Danny Cohen hailed the viewing figures, which represented the biggest audience on the station for a decade.
He said: "BBC1 is all about bringing the nation together for its biggest moments and I'm thrilled by the huge audiences who tuned in to watch last night's historic events.
"Danny Boyle's opening ceremony was an absolute triumph.
"I am very proud of the two BBC Drama films that formed part of the ceremony - the audience response to the film featuring Her Majesty the Queen and James Bond was one of my highlights."
The ceremony brought the biggest TV audience for 14 years - the BBC said - and the biggest audience on BBC1 for 16 years.
It is the highest rating since 1998's England-Argentina clash screened by ITV, which drew 23.78 million.
And Boyle's extravaganza was the biggest BBC1 show since an edition of Only Fools And Horses in 1996.
Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea top the list of the Premier League's most expensive squads
Mario Balotelli scored as many goals for AC Milan on second debut as he did for Liverpool in the Premier League last season
Cyprus vs Wales match report: Gareth Bale's bullet header has Welsh on brink of Euro 2016
Jose Mourinho: Chelsea manager has four Guinness World records hanging in his office
Sir Alex Ferguson: 'I place discipline above all else and it might have cost us several titles...' but Manchester United boss wouldn't change it
- 1 What marriage would look like if we actually followed the Bible
- 2 President Obama leaves touching comment on Humans of New York photo from Iran
- 4 The Chinese city where men have 'three girlfriends because there are so many women'
- 5 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Refugees welcome: More than 250,000 sign Independent petition calling for Britain to 'take its fair share'