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'Britain's Best Sitcom' is huge for BBC Two

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'Britain's Best Sitcom' is huge for BBC Two
Almost six million viewers tuned in to see Only Fools and Horses crowned 'Britain's Best Sitcom' on BBC Two last night (March 27).

Fronted by Jonathan Ross and featuring a panel of celebrities including David Dickinson, Johnny Vaughan and Carol Vorderman, the live final drew an average of 5.37 million viewers and 29.79% share over 90 minutes from 9.55pm. Ratings peaked at 10pm with 5.88m (29.79%). In the three hours preceding the final, a repeat of Britain's Best Sitcom: The Top 50 held a 3.64m (15.97%) average, peaking at 5.51m (24.49%).

ITV1 had a less impressive night than usual for a Saturday, beginning at 6pm with 5.63m (29.93%) for Stars in their Eyes Kids. At 7pm, Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway was up almost 1 million viewers to an average of 7.56m (34.53%), peaking in the final quarter hour with 8.60m (38.09%). Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? had 5.88m (24.82%) at 8.10pm, while Murder In Suburbia sank to just 4.29m (19.02%) in the following hour.

On BBC One, the one-week shunting of Casualty to an earlier slot seemed to take viewers by surprise at 7pm. The medical drama was down on its usual 8 million average to just 5.63m (26.12%), although ratings rose steadily over the 50 minutes from 4.55m at the start to 6.32m by its close. Coverage of the Six Nations game between France and England dominated the channel's peaktime schedule in a Grandstand special. The match, which ultimately saw France take a 24-21 victory, averaged 6.83 million and a 29.20% share. At the later time of 9.55pm, National Lottery Jet Set drew 4.83m (23.20%).

Overall during peaktime, BBC One managed to sneak a victory from ITV1 with an average peaktime share of 27.49% (last week: 28.74%) against the latter's 25.65% (27.58%). BBC Two was third again with a hefty 17.79% (11.00%). Fourth place was closely fought, but Five took a marginal 6.65% (8.00%) over Channel 4's 6.27% (4.77%).

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