That’s it, then. No more wobbly triple axels, uncertain camel spins or hydrant lifts of a Sunday night.
For ITV’s sliding juggernaut has skated its last after eight shiny years. With Dancing On Ice now finished and Splash! getting a bit of a Saturday night dunking by BBC1’s The Voice UK, ITV might be fretting over future winter weekends.
Elsewhere, BBC1’s Death In Paradise ended and it was, as the professionals will probably put it in the end-of-series report, consistently stonking. And while Birds Of A Feather stick together, the final episode was cast adrift from the series by a football interruption. A recommission will have soothed any irritation.
On Monday, the second episode of BBC1’s Silk achieved 4.1 million/18% – that’s more than 500,000 short of last week’s launch. Opposite, ITV’s DCI Banks grew slightly on last week with 4.6 million/20% (336,000 +1).
On Tuesday, ITV’s repeat of Midsomer Murders at 8pm achieved 2.4 million/11% (240,000 +1) but was outstripped by BBC1’s Holby City (4.9 million/23%) and 9pm’s finale of Death In Paradise: 6.8 million/31%, up nearly 300,000 on last week.
ITV’s coverage of the England V Denmark international friendly averaged 5.5 million/25% (61,000 +1) from 7.30pm, peaking at 8.25pm with 7.1 million/32%. BBC1’s Waterloo Road mustered just 3.2 million/14%, while at 9pm, the last ever regular episode of BBC1’s Outnumbered achieved 4.3 million/18%, ahead of a repeat of Mrs Brown’s Boys (3.9 million/17%) at 9.30pm.
On Thursday at 8pm, BBC1’s Holiday Hit Squad returned with 3.2 million/14%, 500,000 short of last year’s Wednesday run. ITV’s Emmerdale (6.1 million/28%; 200,000 +1) won the slot, as did the final episode of Birds Of A Feather, returning at 8.30pm after a two-week break with a series low of 4.8 million/21% (116,000 +1).
On Friday at 9pm, ITV’s Edge Of Heaven tumbled to just 1.3 million/6% (150,000 +1), presenting Channel 4 with something of an open door to march through, which it duly did, having parachuted Gogglebox into a new prime slot, where it attracted 2.3 million/11% (438,000 +1). The winner was BBC1’s Jonathan Creek with 5.6 million/26%, though that was 700,000 short of last week’s launch.
On Saturday, ITV’s Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway edged ahead of BBC1’s The Voice UK with a little help from ITV+1. For a full 130 minutes from 7pm, the BBC talent quest averaged 6.7 million/29%, matching Takeaway’s audience from 7pm to 8.20pm. But 356,000 on ITV+1 made the winning difference: once Takeaway had finished, and for its final 50 (count ’em) minutes, The Voice UK rose to 7.6 million/33%, easily defeating ITV’s The Cube (3.7 million/16%; 297,000 +1) at 8.20pm for an hour.
ITV’s Dancing On Ice finished on Sunday with 5.9 million/23% (232,000 +1) from 7pm to 9pm, the best since January’s opener and ahead of BBC1’s Countryfile (5.7 million/25%). It also helped reduce the final episode of BBC1’s Call The Midwife to its lowest live rating of the series: 8.2 million/29% (recording will bring this back into line). At 9pm, BBC1’s The Musketeers matched last week’s 4.7 million/20%, while ITV’s Mr Selfridge clung on to its slender live lead (4.6 million/20%; 335,000 +1).