While Jonnie Peacock spent last night celebrating his win in the T44 men’s 100m final, Channel 4’s number crunchers could be forgiven for cracking open the bubbly this morning, as over six million viewers tuned in to Channel 4 and HD yesterday evening to see the super-fast Brit’s record-breaking dash for the gold.
More than a quarter of last night’s total TV audience was made up of armchair spectators cheering on Peacock’s efforts, and the audience peaked at 6.3m viewers when the race took place at 9:24pm, a figure which rises to 6.7m when taking into account people watching via C4’s Paralympic Extra streams.
In fact last night’s audience resoundingly trumped the broadcaster’s previous peak Paralympic audience, which came on Sunday evening when 4.4m viewers saw Alan Oliveira beat Oscar Pistorius to the gold in the T44 men’s 200m sprint.
It wasn’t just Peakcock who triumphed last night though, as fellow Brit David Weir came first in the T54 men’s 800m wheelchair race at 9:15pm, a feat seen by 5.6m (24% share) sports fans. Hannah Cockroft also won gold for Paralympics GB yesterday in the T34 200m final at 7:45pm, which attracted an audience of 4.1m viewers.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live after the event, Peacock said he’d been overwhelmed by the experience of racing in front of 80,000 spectators at Stratford’s Olympic Stadium. He said: “This is absolutely amazing. To go in front of so many people here was crazy. I hadn’t been able to sleep in the three nights before this.”
I wonder what he’ll think now he knows that a tenth of Britain’s population was also watching his moment of glory…