Endemol UK chairman Peter Bazalgette has moved to defend the performance of Big Brother 4 as
Endemol UK chairman Peter Bazalgette has moved to defend the performance of Big Brother 4 as figures revealed that both viewer and voting numbers have dropped.Despite outperforming series one and two, BB4 attracted an average of 4.8 million (24%) in its weekday slot at 22.00, down by a fifth on last year's run, which took an average of 5.5 million (28%).Votes for the series were down by 10 million on the previous year. Last year the series received 22 million, while this year just under 13 million votes were cast. Bazalgette told Broadcast that the format "was very healthy" and that he was "heartily relieved" with its performance. "I shall be extremely pleased if next year's show does as well as this year," he said."With any long-running show, audience figures can go up and down."Defending accusations that BB4 contestants were boring, he reiterated that it had been a deliberate policy to have "less provocative" people in the house this year. He added: "You can't out-Jade Jade every year."However, Bazalgette admitted that next year's show would be different but denied reports of crisis talks.The final show at 22.00 last Friday night (25 July), when Cameron Stout claimed the title, proved to be the second most watched programme for the channel this year with 6.6 million (34%), reaching a peak of 7.4 million (42%) at 22.45. Only the opening edition of the reality TV show has brought in a higher audience with 6.9 million (29.3%) watching the contestants enter the house back on Friday 23 May.Figures were down by 3 million compared to the final last year, when 10 million (51%) watched Kate Lawler walk off with the£70,000 prize.Even the earlier edition at 20.30 impressed 8.3 million (38.6%).The 20.30 edition of the show this year when Steph left the house was down by over 2 million, with 6.1 million (28%) tuning in. Last year, 8.3 million (38.6%) tuned in to watch the final night's 20.30 instalment.Friday night's final still managed to win in its slots against all other channels. ITV1's repeat of A Touch of Frost managed 4.8 million (22.6%) over two hours from 20.30, while BBC1's sitcom My Family attracted 5.3 million (25%) at 20.30. BIG BROTHER DOWN THE YEARS AVERAGE FIRST SHOW FINAL SHOW (weekdays) BB1 4.6m (25%) 3.6m (17%) 9m (46.5%) BB2 4.5m (25%) 3.3m (16.5%) 7.5m (46%) BB3 5.9m (28%) 5.9m (25.9%) 10m (50.6%) BB4 4.9m (24%) 6.9m (29.3%) 6.6m (34%) Audience figures used are unofficial overnights