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Six Nations clashes a ratings hit

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A peak of more than 6 million viewers tuned in for the Six Nations clashes on Saturday, according to early ratings figures.

The first game, which saw Wales triumph 32-20 over Ireland, pulled in an average of 4.7 million viewers - a 47% share of the audience - between 3.30pm and 5.15pm on BBC One.

The later match between England and Scotland was seen by 4.81 million (26%) from 5.45pm. None of the figures take into account the millions who were potentially watching the coverage in pubs and clubs around the country.

Later in the evening, ITV's Saturday Night Takeaway topped the ratings chart with an average of 8.25 million (38.5%) at 7.05pm. BBC One medical drama Casualty came a close second with 7.87 million (34.4%) in the following hour.

Chris Tarrant's Millionaire put in a reliable 5.83 million (25.5%), as did BBC One's National Lottery Jet Set with 5.59 million (25.2%).

An Audience With Al Murray fared surprisingly well, meanwhile, with an average audience of 5.57 million (26.6%) from 9.15pm. BBC One's new history drama Archangel had 5 million (24%) in the same slot.

Multichannel's biggest draw was a Simpsons repeat on Sky One, which had 589,000 (4.8%) at 6.30pm.

ITV3 had an exceptionally strong night, with a top audience of 422,000 (3.3%) for Midsomer Murders between 9.15pm and 11.15pm. An earlier Hornblower repeat had 265,000 (1.8%).

Sister channel ITV2 also held up strongly with an audience of 388,000 (3.1%) for Bruce Willis movie The Siege.

Elsewhere, the lunchtime PPV fixture between Blackburn and Arsenal had 240,000 (4.6%) while at 8pm, the Sky Movies premiere of Something's Gotta Give interested 235,000 (1.6%) and an extra 234,000 (1.8%) an hour later.

Ratings data supplied by ViewingFigures.com

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