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Brenda Blethyn's 'Vera' records its highest ever audience for ITV

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Vera Stanhope (Brenda Blethyn) from 'Vera'

© ITV

Brenda Blethyn drama Vera pulled in its best ever audience of 6.1m last night (Sunday, May 20) for its series two finale.

The Tyneside detective show, which began last month with 4.8m, won its slot with 5.68m (24.1%) between 8pm and 10pm, adding 368k on ITV1 +1.

This comes despite its run being interrupted by a Britain's Got Talent semi-final and last week's Afghanistan-themed episode being pulled following the death of two British servicemen.

BBC One's Planet Earth Live (3.92m/16.7%) and a repeat of Death in Paradise (2.16m/9.1%) struggled opposite Vera, while Indian Ocean with Simon Reeve (2.12m/9%) and Coast (2.68m/11.4%) aired to commendable audiences on BBC Two.

Back on BBC One, the latest Voice UK results show picked up 5.8m (26.2%) at 7.30pm, prior to which 5.7m (29.2%) caught Countryfile, while Who Wants to be a Millionaire? attracted 3.14m (14.7%) to ITV1 at 7pm (+1: 103k).

Katie Price's stint on Deal or No Deal was seen by 1.33m (5.6%) on Channel 4 at 8pm (+1: 226k), then the broadcaster's Comedy Gala entertained 1.76m (9.3%) from 9pm until 11.30pm and 214k on timeshift.

Returning to its 8pm slot, Once Upon a Time anchored Channel 5's schedule with 1.1m (4.7%), adding 124k on +1. A documentary on the 2011 Norway massacre, The Survivors, interested just 542k (2.3%) in the 9pm hour.

Overall, ITV1 edged BBC One in primetime with 18.4% (+1: 1.1%) versus 17.6%. BBC Two claimed third place with 8.4%, while Channel 4 finished fourth with a decent 6.5% (+1: 0.8%). BBC Three overtook Channel 5 with 3.9% against the latter's 3.4% (+1: 0.5%).

BARB ratings data supplied by Attentional

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