Audience of 7.7 million tune in to see Paralympic closing ceremony


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The Independent Online

An audience of 7.7 million tuned in to see the end of the London 2012 summer of sport with Coldplay's spectacular Paralympics closing ceremony.

The peak audience on Channel 4 was 3.5 million less than the 11.2 which saw the opening ten days earlier, but it still proved to be a huge ratings winner for the station.

The Paralympics coverage helped C4 to become the most-watched channel across the day, beating ITV1 and BBC1.

The average audience for the coverage of the closing ceremony - from 7pm to 11.10pm - was 5.9 million, and represented a quarter of the TV audience over that time. The figures peaked at 7.7 million.

The ceremony featured a concert by Coldplay who were joined by stars such as Rihanna and Jay-Z, along with hundreds of dancers, acrobats and a fleet of vehicles made from salvage.

Jay Hunt, Channel 4's chief creative officer said: "Last night's closing ceremony was a suitably spectacular end to a fantastic London 2012 Paralympic Games and I'm thrilled that, over the course of the last 11 days, Channel 4's coverage has engaged more people than ever before in disabled sport."

Channel 4 said today that its coverage of the Games reached 39.9 million people - almost 70% of the UK population. The 2008 Beijing Games reached 20.5 million.

The closing ceremony was the second most-watched moment from C4's coverage of the 2012 games, after the opening ceremony.

Sprinter Jonnie Peacock's 100m win on Thursday attracted the biggest ever UK audience for a live Paralympic sport, with a peak of 6.3 million viewers.