When BBC2 announced back in January that Only Connect, the famously fiendish quiz hosted by Victoria Coren Mitchell, would be migrating from its traditional Monday night slot to Fridays, many viewers were less than impressed, threatening to vote with their feet – and it appears they have done just that.
The last series, in autumn 2016, pulled in an average consolidated audience of 2.57 million, while the current run (based on figures until 3rd March 2017) is managing just 1.85 million – down by almost a third.
Complaints about the move have included the fact that it breaks up the Monday night quizzing double bill that only Connect shared with University Challenge, that on Fridays it clashes with other viewing, and that it is simply not the right style of show for the end of the week.
As Radio Times TV editor Alison Graham put it, “On Monday we need our quizzes because we need a bit of a clip round the ear to shake off our start-of-the-week sluggishness. Fridays are feet-up wine box open, a microwave curry and Have I Got News for You or some such daft panel game.
“Only Connect isn’t a daft panel game, it’s fun and happy but you have to think, hard… OC doesn’t fit on Fridays, it’s for giving our minds an electric shock at the start of the week, it wakes us up. We want to wind down on Fridays, not wind up.”
On a Fridays, it seems, TV’s most challenging quiz show just doesn’t connect with its audience like it used to.