The Casual Vacancy ratings drop 2 million as JK Rowling story fails to cast a spell

Not even Michael Gambon (who played Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films) can work his magic with the ratings

Matilda Battersby
Monday 23 February 2015 13:53 GMT
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On a Rolls: Michael Gambon and Julia McKenzie in ‘The Casual Vacancy’
On a Rolls: Michael Gambon and Julia McKenzie in ‘The Casual Vacancy’

A television adaptation of JK Rowling’s first book for muggles, sorry adults, doesn’t appear to have cast its magic over Sunday nights having shed two million viewers.

The second instalment of The Casual Vacancy, which aired on BBC1 at 9pm Sunday night, drew a peak audience of 5.3 million, two million below the 7.3 million who watched the debut a week ago.

The drama is set in the fictional English village of Pagford and stars Michael Gambon, Rory Kinnear and Keeley Hawes.

It was watched by an average of 4.8 million viewers, compared to 6.6 million the previous week.

The drama goes head-to-head with Channel 4’s "epic" period drama Indian Summers, which stars Julie Walters.

Last week The Casual Vacancy triumphed in the ratings war and and last night it was still th most watched programme in the 9pm slot, with a 20.5% (down from 27.5%) share of viewers.

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Indian Summers, set in the foothills of the Himalayas during the decline of the British Raj and the birth of modern India, averaged 2.2 million viewers (9.5%) last night, also losing some of its audience.

It attracted an average of 2.9 million (13.4%) including viewers catching up on the plus one channel, on its debut.

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Additional reporting by PA

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