It was a red-letter week for BBC2: Wednesday brought the best drama launch in a decade in Wolf Hall, while Sunday marked the return of Top Gear.
C4’s single doc Angry White And Proud beat slot average by 1 million (Weds, 9pm)
C5’s latest Celebrity Big Brother launched on Wednesday with 3.1 million/15% (179,000 +1) at 9pm
The best performer of the week was BBC2’s Christmas University Challenge with 2.7 million/ 12% on Tuesday at 7.30pm
On Monday at 9pm, the third episode of Channel 4’s Skint (1.1million/5%;267k+1) grew by 150k week-on-week
BBC2’s FA Cup Match Of The Day averaged 1.5 million/7% from 7.30pm to 10pm
BBC2 launched Posh People: Inside Tatler to 1.5 million the same - after +1 is added - as Channel 4’s second series of Skint
The best of BBC2’s MasterChef: The Professionals was Wednesday at 8pm’s 3.3 million/16%
After 18 months away, BBC2 drama The Fall returned on Thurs- day at 9pm with 2.5 million/12%
On Sunday at 8pm, BBC2’s The Mekong River With Sue Perkins began well with 2.4 million/9%.
BBC2’s stripped Strictly Come Dancing - It Takes Two was Monday’s 2.2 million/11%.
On Monday, the second episode of C5’s Gotham achieved 1.4 million/5% (125,000 +1) - that’s 500,000 short of last week’s launch
The best performer for Channel 4’s Stand Up To Cancer night on Friday was Gogglebox: Celebrity Special
On Tuesday at 8pm, BBC2’s Cat Watch 2014: The New Horizon Experiment began its stripped run with the best audience of the three days: 2.7 million/13%.
C4’s 24 Hours In Police Custody launched on Monday at 9pm for 90 minutes to 1.6 million/7% (349,000 +1)
On Thursday at 9pm, BBC2’s appropriately named drama Marvellous achieved 1.5 million/8% for 90 minutes.
On Friday at 9pm, BBC2’s The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice achieved its best rating so far (2.6 million/13%) for half an hour.
Family holidays usually involved driving along the A303, but I never remembered to look up from my pristine Beano Summer Special in time to see Stonehenge properly.
Only Connect more than doubled its final BBC4 audience (831,000) on its BBC2 transfer.
BBC2 will be pleased they took us to see India while C4 continued to lift the lid on the world of dogs to tail-wagging effect.
C5’s reality show accounts for five of the top 10 programmes in the table
C4’s Royal Marines Commando School’s solid 2 million/9% (306,000 +1) defeated BBC2’s Kate Adie’s Women Of World War One
On Monday at 9pm, BBC2’s World War 1 Remembered From Westminster Abbey netted 2.4 million/13% for two hours
On Friday, C4 launched The Singer Takes It All to 1.2 million/5.7% (incl +1) at 9pm
On Sunday, BBC2’s Dragons’ Den averaged 2.4 million, defeating C4’s drama The Mill
Channel 4 launched Royal Marines Commando School to a very healthy 2.1 million on Monday
On Thursday at 9pm, C5’s OAPs Behaving Badly performed strongly with 1.7 million
BBC2’s coverage of the British Grand Prix averaged 2.8 million on Sunday.
Benefits still had resonance for Channel 5
The Auction House launched on Tuesday ahead of C5’s CSI but behind BBC2’s Horizon
For the non-World Cup channels, it was a week of two halves.
The glamour of air travel might be extinguished but BBC2 found more mileage in it.
Every year as I settle into my ‘it may be raining persistently but summer’s here because it’s the cricket season’ mode, I am beseeched by BBC2 to watch spring.
Monday brought a clash of quintessentially British obsessions: gardening and weather.
On Channel 4 this week, a group of stranded, ravenous men of varying handiness dreamed of fine food and wine.
So that’s that then: another year’s wait until a waistcoated world champion contender vigorously chalks his cue while pondering the balls on the baize.
It probably wasn’t the plan. “So BBC2 and BBC4, if you could commission stuff together, that would be great.” “Yep, of course boss,” each would have chimed.
Given the furore over BBC1’s ‘Mumblegate’, it’s perhaps ironic that BBC2 should this week show a subtitled drama and the next night play a silent film.
Get out the cloche, pull up the radish, snip the beans and sweep the duckboards – the latest craft to master has arrived.
William G Stewart first introduced us to 15 contestants, 14 of whom were destined to be unlucky, in January 1988. More than a quarter of a century on, and 10 years off the air, his former show has had a bumpy return.
Mary Berry does a nice line in butter-wouldn’t-dare-melt demureness, but when it comes to ratings, the Queen of Buns is a killer – as all but the denizens of Weatherfield found out on Monday.
In fields around the land this week, green visors were delivered, baize tables were set up and cards dealt out, and once again the lambs had to explain, hoofs on hips, that they gambol.
This week, BBC2 launched a sort of farming version of Call The Midwife, with more bleating, less screaming and a fear of mint sauce.
BBC2’s weekly primetime share was almost 8%, helped enormously by Top Gear: Burma Special: 6.1 million/23% share is a huge audience, more than twice that of the next show in the table, and it would be foolish to argue against it.
In the summer of 1914, moustaches and frock coats roamed the corridors of power and decided that it was time for war.
Appositely, as sabres rattle in Eastern Europe, BBC2 played two programmes on the outbreak of the First World War.
The sliding-about-a-lot has ended and GB won four medals, the best return since 1924; the year Mallory and Irving were lost trying to ascend Everest for the first time.
The nation is gripped by the sliding about of athletes, often in lycra and occasionally with brooms.
If ever there was a right time to announce the relinquishing of the BBC2 Quill of Control, it would be after news like this: BBC2’s Saturday and Sunday combined all-time share (12%) beat ITV’s (9.8%).