Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice UK increase audiences in week two

BBC once again win the head-to-head, but ITV close the gap and both talent shows add 600,000 viewers from last week

Both Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice recorded large and increased audiences last night, according to overnight ratings data.


Once again, it was BGT that won overall, attracting an average audience of 9.9 million viewers to ITV1 and ITV1 HD (a 40 per cent share) from 8pm – 600,000 up on last week’s opening episode. Last night’s numbers rose to 10.4 million (a 42 per cent share) when ITV1 +1 is included.

BBC1’s The Voice UK also increased its audience by 600,000 compared to last week as 9 million (a 39 per cent share) tuned in for the second instalment of the talent show between 7pm and 8:20pm.

BGT peaked with an enormous 12 million viewers (inc HD/ exc +1) and The Voice peaked at 10.2 million viewers.

And so to the 20-minute head-to-head… who took the spoils this week?

Well, once again, The Voice can claim victory there. Between 8pm and 8:20pm BBC1 (inc HD) averaged a mammoth 9.625 million viewers, and although just over a million viewers left Jessie J, Tom Jones and company during that period, the average audience never fell below 9 million.

Meanwhile BGT and ITV1 (inc HD) gained 3.8 million viewers from 8pm to 8:20pm but could still only manage an average audience of 7.6m for the 20-minutes – meaning the BBC show attracted just over 2 million more viewers in the head-to-head.

Last week The Voice won the 20-minute overlap by 2.3 million viewers, so BGT has managed to claw back some of the BBC’s early advantage in this area.

Once again, there’s much for both channels to be pleased about in these numbers.

Danny Cohen and the BBC team will be delighted that The Voice’s early success appears not to have just been the first-week-novelty-factor. The fact that show has increased its audience and continued to outdo BGT in the head-to-head will go some way to justifying the huge gamble they have taken in spending big money on a bought in format at a time of budget cuts elsewhere at the BBC.

Likewise, ITV and Simon Cowell will be pleased to see that Britain’s Got Talent retains a large and loyal fanbase five series in. And despite the challenge of a new (and albeit different) talent show kid on the block, they can still attract huge audiences on Saturday night.


And so, from these early exchanges – despite reports to the contrary – it looks like there’s a desire, and plenty of room, for two big talent shows in the spring schedules.