Britain’s Got Talent pulls in biggest TV audience of the year

BGT proves talent shows are still going strong, peaking at 11.6 million during Saturday's second episode

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Britain’s Got Talent can give itself four yeses after scoring the highest TV ratings of the year so far. 

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Viewing figures for Saturday night’s second episode of the talent hunt peaked at a mighty 11.6 million, with an average of 10.3 million people watching throughout for a 48% share – almost half the viewing audience in its 8pm-9:20pm slot. 

It should be noted that this figure includes ITV, ITV HD and ITV +1. They’re very much throwing the kitchen sink at the figures to get a rating’s win. But hey, it’s eyeballs on their show so you would, wouldn’t you?

It’s a second triumph for the returning BGT: its debut episode the previous week had already chalked up ITV’s highest rating of the year with a peak of 9.6 million viewers.

Reality shows are often lambasted for having ‘had their day’ but, by way of comparison, March’s series finale of BBC1 drama Call the Midwife was the channel’s most-watched show of the year so far, drawing an average of 9.2 million viewers. And that’s a show that certainly never hears any talk of being ‘rested’. 

This win could offer some hope for the upcoming series of The X Factor on ITV, which has some work to do to get its figures back to the glory days. Although Cowell too will have no doubt noted that this year’s BGT figures, good as they are, are still down on 2014’s – its opening average then tipping over 11 million. 

But catch-up figures over the next week are sure to bring in an extra boost of viewers for Got Talent. If only to see singer Wayne Woodward’s over-excited dad cheer so enthusiastically he broke his chair… 

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Britain’s Got Talent continues Saturdays on ITV