The Verve were right, it seems: the drugs don’t work, at least as far as TV ratings are concerned. The second part of Channel 4’s Drugs Live attracted barely more than three quarters of a million viewers last night between 10-11:05pm.
While viewing figures for Wednesday’s edition of The Ecstasy Trial (1.6m) halved while the programme was on air, last night’s instalment continued the ratings comedown, attracting an average audience of only 769,000 viewers and earning a 5% audience share.
A peak of 839,000 viewers saw the show’s opening moments, but come 10:15pm that number had dwindled to 776,000, and only 752,000 people stuck around to see the credits roll.
Even taking into account the 102,000 who tuned in to the programme an hour later on Channel 4+1, Drugs Live’s second episode still fell well short of a million viewers.
But while last night’s display of viewer apathy won’t bring much joy to Channel 4’s number crunchers, it’s bound to give peace of mind to the government’s chief drugs advisor Professor Les Iverson, who wrote to The Daily Telegraph today, saying: “The dressing up of the Channel 4 project as ‘research’ is flimsy, and there is a danger that such programmes may glamorise drug-taking as a form of entertainment.”
Chin up, Professor. You’ve not got too much to worry about: on the evidence of last night’s viewing figures, drug-taking isn’t really all that entertaining…