Richard III: The King in the Car Park proves a right royal ratings hit for Channel 4

Over 4 million tuned in for the documentary, which eclipsed the first episode of Stephen Poliakoff's new period drama Dancing on the Edge on BBC2

Richard III would no doubt have been pleased by the stir he’s causing more than 500 years after his death. The news yesterday that the remains found beneath a Leicester car park were indeed those of the former English monarch was followed by a TV audience fit for a king as Channel 4 showed its documentary about the discovery, Richard III: The King in the Car Park.


According to overnight figures, the 90-minute film drew an average of 3.7m viewers between 9pm and 10:35pm on Channel 4 and+1 (a 15.8% audience share), with 4.3m tuning in at its peak.

Stephen Poliakoff’s period drama Dancing on the Edge, which began its five-part run on BBC2 in the same slot, was watched by an average of just  2.3m (9.5%), including 134,000 on the BBC HD channel.


But even Richard III could not usurp comedy king Brendan O’Carroll, whose Mrs Brown’s Boys at 9:30pm-10pm came to the end of its third run on BBC1 with 6.4m viewers (24.9%) – a series low but still by far the biggest audience for the slot that night.