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'Apprentice' finale peaks with 10.6m

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'Apprentice' finale peaks with 10.6m
Last night's Apprentice finale peaked with 10.62m (40.8%) for BBC One, overnight figures suggest.

The episode, which aired on a Sunday to avoid a clash with ITV1's coverage of an England World Cup qualifier, averaged 9.82m (37.9%) during the 9pm hour, beating last week's series record. The peak audience came as Sir Alan's verdict was revealed in the final five minutes.

A strong 7.66m (36.1%) then watched The Apprentice: You're Hired, featuring this year's winner, Yasmina Siadatan, at 10pm.

The figure is the highest for an Apprentice finale to date. Last year, the series four finale averaged 8.91m (36.6%) on Wednesday, June 11, while 6.82m (27.4%) tuned in to see Simon Ambrose win series three on Wednesday, June 13, 2007.

The return of Kingdom - starring Stephen Fry and Karl Davies - was dented by the clash, managing 4.95m (19.1%) for ITV1.

Channel 4's repeat of The Secret Millionaire put in 1.07m (4.1%), Empire Of Cricket interested 660k (2.5%) for BBC Two, and Five's thriller Hard Luck, starring Wesley Snipes, averaged 1.01m (4.2%) between 9pm and 10.55pm.

Earlier, at 8pm, new BBC One drama Hope Springs, starring Alex Kingston as an ex-con planning to live life on a Barbados beach, pulled in a strong 6.01m (25.8%). The penultimate episode of BBC Two's South Pacific was seen by 2.01m (8.7%) at the same time.

A new episode of Celebrity Wife Swap delivered 1.95m (8.4%) for Channel 4, while the opener of Stephen Tompkinson's African Balloon Adventure grabbed 3.44m (14.9%) for ITV.

Five's action thriller Jackie Chan's First Strike logged 980k (4.4%) between 7.15pm and 9pm.

Channel 4's live Big Brother show, which saw Beinazir evicted from the house after failing to become an official housemate, averaged 1.78m (9.9%) between 10pm and 11.45pm.

Overall, BBC One dominated primetime with an average share of 30.7% to ITV1's 16.5%. Channel 4 was third with 6.5% (+1: 0.7%), followed by BBC Two with 5.9% and Five's 4.3%.

Elsewhere, episodes three and four of House had 563k (2.4%) and 516k (2.6%) for Sky1 at 9pm and 10pm respectively, and ITV2's Supernatural attracted 488k (2%) during the 9pm hour.

Ratings data supplied by Attentional

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