The smooth presenting charm of Des Lynam looks to have been an instant hit with the Countdown viewers as his debut on the gameshow drew a strong 1.8 million (21.8%) at 3.30pm.
The smooth presenting charm of Des Lynam looks to have been an instant hit with the Countdown viewers as his debut on the gameshow drew a strong 1.8 million (21.8%) at 3.30pm.

When the series last aired between January and July this year it averaged 1.2 million (17%) with the slot since then attracting 1.1 million (16.6%).

The 45-minute daytime show yesterday, which saw the former sports presenter fill the shoes of the much admired Richard Whiteley, held a steady audience throughout and claimed the top spot at the time.

BBC2's 60-minute repeat of Flog It! at 3.30pm had 1.6 million (18.9%) while Five's re-run of Columbo, also at 3.30pm had 1.2 million (12.3%).

BBC1 and ITV1 were rather out of contention due to airing their children's shows. BBC1's Lazytown at 3.25pm had 500,000 (7.4%) while Pinky and the Brain at 3.50pm got 700,000 (8.1%). ITV1's Engie Benjy took 300,000 (3.5%) at 3.35pm while 300,000 (3.7%) saw Art Attack: Mini Makes at 3.50pm.

C4 kept up the pressure at 4.15pm with its new Noel Edmunds-fronted gameshow Deal or No Deal. The 45-minute show averaged 1.9 million (17.8%) with a peak audience of 2.2 million (19.3%) in the final 15-minutes. The channel's current slot average for that time is 1.4 milion (16.7%).

BBC2's repeat of Ready Steady Cook at 4.30pm had 2.1 million (18.3%). BBC1's kids cartoon The Batman at 4.40pm appealed to 900,000 (7.9%) while CITV's My Parents are Aliens, at 4.30pm, took 700,000 (6.5%).

The prospect of Les and Cilla's wedding in ITV1's Coronation Street drew viewers to the double helping of the soap. The initial 30-minute episode at 7.30pm gained 11.8 million (52.6%) while an hour later 11.7 million (47.2%) watched the second.

BBC1's EastEnders at 8pm, which continued to feature the Mitchell brothers, won over 11.3 million (47.9%).

ITV1 dwarfed its nearest rival at 9pm with the final episode of its drama Vincent gaining 6.2 million (28.2%) over 90-minutes. The opening episode of BBC1's returning series One Life, managed to draw just 2.8 million (12.4%).

BBC2's comedy slots continued to move around the schedules with the schedulers now returning to the old Monday night line-up. The latest series of Never Mind the Buzzcocks at 9pm had 2.1 million (9%) while the satrical Broken News, which poked fun at the various rolling news services, managed 1.7 million (7.5%). A re-run of Have I Got News for You, at 10pm, had 1.9 million (9.2%).

Five managed to hold up strongly with the 60-minute Old Enough to Be His Mother: Hidden Lives at 9pm managing 2 million (8.6%) while Danniella Westbrook: EastEnders, Drugs and My New Nose at 10pm found 1.6 million (9.5%).

The final part of the current series of C4's Wife Swap won over 2.3 million (10.1%) but Without a Trace, at 10pm, interested only 1.5 million (8.2%).

All-hours share for Monday 31 October 2005: ITV1 - 25%, BBC1 - 21.5%, BBC2 - 9.4%, C4 - 8.4%, Five - 6.5%, multichannel - 29.1%.

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