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'The Apprentice' hit by Pride Awards

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The Apprentice Contestants 2010: Alex Epstein

© BBC

The Apprentice saw its audience share drop on Wednesday evening due to the The Pride of Britain Awards, overnight data has revealed.

Alex Epstein's exit from the show averaged 6.42m (24%) for BBC One in the 9pm hour, down 880k week-on-week.

The programme was hit by coverage of The Pride Of Britain Awards 2010, which pulled in 6.23m (24.7%) on ITV1 between 8pm and 10pm, while 105k (0.4%) watched in HD.

Prior to the awards, special tribute programme Farewell Jack appealed to 6.9m (30.7%) from 7.30pm and 120k (0.5%) in HD.

Earlier, The One Show grabbed 4.48m (20.4%) on BBC One from 7.30pm, before new series Wallace & Gromit's World Of Inventions continued to 3.63m (16.2%), down by more than 2m week-on-week.

Jimmy's Food Factory and Nigel Slater's Simple Suppers cooked up respective audiences of 3.25m (14%) and 3.1m (12.7%) on BBC One from 8pm. A mid-week edition of Match of the Day entertained 2.75m (25.5%) from 10.45pm.

Channel 4's Celebrity Coach Trip continued to 1.94m from 5.30pm, while 306k (1.4%) watched on timeshift. Later, Animal House grabbed 880k (3.7%) from 8pm and 87k (0.3%) on Channel 4 +1.

Grand Designs dropped to a series low of 1.67m (6.3%) on Channel 4 in the 9pm hour and 217k (1.1%) on timeshift, before Rude Tube: Rude Tunes amused 1.29m (7%) and 127k (1.4%) an hour later.

Over at BBC Two, Escape To The Country took 1.68m (7.6%) in the 7pm hour, before Edwardian Farm captivated 2.53m (10.6%). Ancient Worlds then educated 1.73m (6.5%) in the 9pm hour.

After The Apprentice, spinoff show The Apprentice: You're Fired! pulled in 2.55m (11.8%) on BBC Two from 10pm.

Channel Five's Highland Emergency attracted 575k (2.6%) from 7.30pm. It was followed by Battle Of Arnhem: Tour of Duty, which brought in 527k (2.2%). NCIS and Law & Order: Criminal Intent then secured respective audiences of 758k (2.8%) and 970k (5%) from 10pm.

Overall, ITV1 owned primetime with 23.9% (HD: 0.5%) against BBC One's 19.1%. BBC Two came in third with 8.5%, followed by Channel 4 with 5.1% (+1: 0.6%) and Channel Five with 2.8%.

Elsewhere, the biggest multichannel audience of the night went to The Only Way Is Essex, which had 661k (3.5%) on ITV2 in the 10pm hour and 101k (1%) on timeshift.

BARB ratings data supplied by Attentional

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