The Rolling Stones at Glastonbury set to be bigger than Usain Bolt and Margaret Thatcher on iPlayer

The ageing rockers' festival appearance is heading for the 1m request mark on the BBC's catch-up service

The Rolling Stones’ Glastonbury appearance is poised to attract nearly 1m iPlayer requests and has already overtaken Usain Bolt in his 100m final dash from the 2012 Olympics.


The ageing rockers’ set had notched up more than 700,000 catch-up and live viewing requests by Tuesday at 11:30am and is on course to top 1 million, according to figures released by the BBC.

This would see it outstrip Mrs Thatcher’s funeral in April – which attracted 823,000 live viewing requests and almost 1 million total requests – replacing it as the most viewed single live event in iPlayer history (excluding whole days of last year’s Olympics).

Popular dramas often attract more viewers, with the series seven finale of Doctor Who in May garnering 1.9 million viewings. But the figures for the Stones appearance are huge for a live event, which is already dwarfing Bolt’s run last year which drew 429,000 total requests, and will still be available on the watch-again service until Saturday.

Highlights of the performance by Sir Mick Jagger’s band, who closed their slot with You Can’t Always Get What You Want and (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, were easily the most popular from the BBC’s Glastonbury coverage.

They remain streets ahead of 379,681 for Friday’s headline band the Arctic Monkeys and 163,650 for Mumford and Sons, who performed on Sunday.

The BBC said Glastonbury was its first truly digital coverage of a music festival, with 120 live performances and more than 250 hours of live coverage across multiple screens.

A total of 1.5 million viewers saw the BBC’s digital coverage of Glastonbury, with 42% watching from smart phones and tablets.


Bob Shennan, the BBC’s controller of popular music, said the coverage “has been outstanding” adding: “Record-breaking numbers of people tuned in to what has been our most comprehensive digital Glastonbury offering to date.”