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Ricky Gervais's 'An Idiot Abroad' tops 'X Factor' USA

By and Paul Millar
Karl Pilkington, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant in An Idiot Abroad

© NBC Universal

Ricky Gervais comedy An Idiot Abroad returned on Sky1 with a big audience last night, beating the show's 2010 opener by 500k.

The Karl Pilkington-orientated show took a hefty multichannel rating of 1.33m (2.3%) in the 9pm hour.

An Idiot Abroad pipped ITV2's X Factor USA, which came in slightly lower with 1.22m (2.1%) in the same timeslot, adding 142k in the 10pm hour on +1.

On the terrestrial channels, Big Brother's ratings continued their gradual decline last night, as 1.49m (6.5%) tuned in to see Rebeckah Vaughan evicted from the house - some 300k fewer than the number who saw Tashie get the boot last week.

The interview show grabbed 1.1m (8.8%), and Big Brother's Bit On The Side halved Channel 5's audience to 603k (7%). Sandwiched between the Big Brother instalments, Gavin Henson's The Bachelor stayed steady with 1.09m (6%).

BBC One's primetime schedule began with The One Show (7pm) and Nigel Slater's Simple Suppers (7.30pm) attracting 3.89m (20.8%) and 3.24m (16.1%) respectively. Competing against the second episode in Coronation Street's double bill, Celebrity Masterchef scored 2.28m (10%), but the channel's fortunes improved with the comedy fare that followed: Outnumbered and Would I Lie To You? hit audiences of 4.67m (19.9%) and 3.49m (15.3%).

Opening with programmes on the natural world, BBC Two's offering began with Highlands on Film at 7pm, which pulled in 1.12m (5.9%). Coast, Gardeners' World and Digging For Britain followed with 1.66m (7.9%), 2.33m (10.2%) and 1.61m (7.0%). QI rounded off the evening with 3.02m (15.1%).

On ITV1, Love Your Garden relaxed 3m (14%) at 8pm, after which DCI Banks logged 4.17m (18%) at 9pm, increasing the +1 audience to 170k (0.9%).

Channel 4's Come Dine With Me cooked up 1.31m (5.9%) from 8pm (+1: 213k, 0.9%) and The Million Pound Drop excited 1.6m (7.3%) an hour later (+1: 225k, 1.4%). Jimmy Carr panel show 8 Out Of 10 Cats amused 1.46m (9.2%) from 10.30pm, and a further 127k (1.4%) one hour later.

Overall, ITV1 led primetime with 21.4% (+1: 0.6%), followed by BBC One with 18.2%. BBC Two, Channel 4 and Channel 5 followed with 8.5% (+1: 0.9%), 6% and 4.1% respectively.

BARB ratings data supplied by Attentional

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