The fourth part of BBC1's drama series Mutual Friends struggled on just 3.3m viewers (14.8% share) last night, its lowest audience so far, as it suffered at the hands of ITV1's European football action.

The hour-long show, starring Marc Warren and Keeley Hawes, managed to hit a high of 3.5m (16.7%) in the final quarter of an hour.

The show was some way off the channel's slot average for the year so far of 5m (21.3%).

The six-part drama has largely failed to capture the public's imagination and the four episodes have only managed to attract an average audience of 3.8m (16.7%) with the opening edition managing its best performance so far of 4.6m (19.6%) in the same slot.

The show has had a strong upmarket following though with 52% of the audience over the four outings coming from the ABC1 demographic.

The corporation's Mutual Friends suffered at the hands of live Champions League football action over on ITV1 as well as Channel 4's popular The Secret Millionaire.

ITV1's coverage of the match itself between Marseille and Liverpool, kicked off at 7.45pm with 3.8m (17.8%) and managed to hit a peak of 5m (22.5%) at 8.15pm. For the entire game it managed to average 4.7m (20.9%).

Between 9pm and 10pm, when Mutual Friends aired, ITV1 averaged 3.9m (17.8%).

The entire ITV1 coverage between 7.30pm and 10pm drew 4.1m (18.5%) which was a little off the channel's slot average of 4.7m (20.9%).

Pushing BBC1 into third place at 9pm was the penultimate edition of The Secret Millionaire which gained 3.6m (16.4%) over the hour and the show interested a further 257,000 an hour later on C4+1.

Making steady headway at 9pm was Five's CSI: Miami on a respectable 2.3m (10.5%). The return of BBC2's science strand Horizon trailed the terrestrial pack with the 50-minute The President's Guide to Science on 1.3m (5.8%).

BBC1 was in a much stronger position at 8pm as its hospital drama Holby City scooped up 5.3m (23.6%), pushing it to the top of the ratings pile.

C4's The Sex Education Show bonded with 2.2m (9.7%) and it tickled the fancy of a further 202,000 on C4+1.

BBC2's airing of Tiger: Spy in the Jungle, which had previously been shown on BBC1, gained 1.9m (8.3%). Five's Mary Magadalene - Saint or Sinner? appealed to 1.1m (4.7%).

Despite the presence of some high profile musicians such as Paul McCartney and Metallica the new series of Later Live... with Jools Holland remained little more than a cult attraction as the show returned at 10pm with just 783,000 (4.2%).

The half-hour show, which also featured a performance from the French president's wife Carla Bruni, saw its audience fall from 877,0000 (4.5%) to 689,000 (3.7%), some way off the pace of the slot average of 1m (5.1%) for the year to date.

Last night's show though was above the previous series average of just 665,000 (3.4%).

The music show does bring in a much needed younger audience to the channel with 21.3% of the audience coming from the 16-34-year-old age group. The show is also a hit for upmarket viewers with ABC1 viewers making up 59.7% of the audience.

The BBC2 show trailed the other terrestrial channels at the time. Five's repeat of CSI: NY had 1.7m (9.9%) while C4's BodyShock Special: The Girl with Two Faces had 2.1m (13%).

BBC1 once again won the 10pm news battle with 4.3m (22.8%) watching the corporation's bulletin while 1.8m (10.1%) preferred the commercial network's offering.

All hours shares for Tuesday 16 September 2008: BBC1 - 21.5%, ITV1 - 17.7%, C4 - 9.5% (C4+1 - 0.8%), BBC2 - 7.4%, Five - 6.3%, multichannel - 37%.

Peaktime (6pm to 10.30pm) shares: BBC1 - 23.9%, ITV1 - 19.2%, C4 - 10.5% (C4+1 - 0.8%), BBC2 - 7.8%, Five - 6.2%, multichannel - 31.6%.

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