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3.1m visit Channel 4's 'River Cottage'

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3.1m visit Channel 4's 'River Cottage'
The return of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall for River Cottage Autumn made an encouraging start in the ratings on Thursday.

According to overnight figures, the Channel 4 series, which sees the chef sampling seasonal produce such as celeriac and pumpkins, drew 3.08m (13.6%) in the 8pm hour.

It beat the BBC One competition, last-minute schedule addition Britain in the Red - Your Questions Answered, which had just 2.88m (12.8%) for the hour. ITV1 won the slot with 5.77m (25.5%) for The Bill.

2.43m (10.8%) tuned in for BBC Two's The Restaurant and Five had 745,000 (3.3%) for documentary Apollo 13.

At 9pm, Silent Witness maintained a solid 6.05m (26.8%) for BBC One and ITV1 pulled in 2.39m (10.6%) with a Real Crime special. BBC Two had 2.41m (10.5%) for Never Mind The Buzzcocks, then the audience dived to 1.08m (5.4%) for Beautiful People.

Bobski The Builder, a Cutting Edge investigation into the relative diligence of Polish workers, notched up 2.03m (9%) for Channel 4. Five's new series Danger Men, profiling the most hazardous jobs in the world, drew 1.07m (4.7%).

EastEnders was the day's top-performing show, with 8.43m (39.5%) for BBC One at 7.30pm and 660,000 (3.9%) for BBC Three. Emmerdale had 6.63m (32.9%) for second.

BBC One had an average share of 23.4% in primetime (last week: 26.8%), ahead of ITV1's 18.2% (15.9%). Channel 4 was third with 8.4% (6.4%), followed by BBC Two on 8% (8.2%) and Five on 3.9% (3.8%).

Another night of train-related programming meant another night of strong ratings for BBC Four, meanwhile. The concluding part of Steam Days had 409,000 (2.2%) at 7.30pm, then documentary Absolutely Chuffed - The Men Who Built A Steam Engine notched up 606,000 (3.2%). Railway Walks improved to 629,000 (3.2%) at 8.30pm, then Time Shift documentary The Last Days Of Steam drew a massive 721,000 (3.9%) in the 9pm hour.

ITV2 confidently won the 9pm hour, however, with a huge 1.09m (5.5%) for Katie & Peter: The Next Chapter (+1: 259,000, 1.7%). Secret Diary Of A Call Girl followed with 581,000 (3.4%) at 10pm (+1: 199,000, 2.1%). Earlier, CelebAir slipped back slightly to 235,000 (1.2%).

Also popular at 9pm were Sky1's Bones, with 601,000 (3.1%); and E4's Ugly Betty, with 378,000 (1.9%) and 184,000 (1.2%) more on timeshift.

Ratings data supplied by Attentional

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