A Panorama special on the BBC Jimmy Savile scandal was watched by an average of 5.09m becoming the highest rating programme in the strand for the last two years.

Jimmy Savile – What the BBC Knew (BBC1) 10.35pm – 11.35pm
5.09m (38.9%)

The special dropped into the schedule last week following the unfolding Jimmy Savile crisis and is the highest rating Panorama for the last two years, according to overnight Barb figures supplied by Attentional.

The film more than doubled the slot average of 2.27m (17.55%) for the last 12 months and easily won the slot, beating BBC2’s Newsnight and The Agenda on ITV1.

It peaked with 5.4m in the five minutes from 11.10pm (43.4%) and due to its later time slot, attracted its best ever share of audience.

The one hour special highlighted the extent of the accusations levied at Savile. Reporter Shelly Jofre interviewed women and men who had allege they were abused by Savile, some while on BBC premises. She also probed why the Newsnight investigation was dropped.

Madeleine: The Last Hope? is the second highest rating Panorama this year with 4.9m (22.92%) and was first broadcast in April.

Newsnight (BBC2) 10.35pm-11.20pm
390k (2.7%)

The magazine programme fronted by Jeremy Paxman struggled against the Panorama special falling significantly below the 12-month slot average of 753k (5.22%).

The Agenda (ITV1) 10.35pm-11.50pm
703k (4.52%)/ 52k (0.71%)

Tom Bradby’s show featuring the Prime Minister David Cameron, Rebecca Front, Stella Rimington and Julian Fellowes came second in the late night current affairs rankings.

Earlier in the evening Little England, a series looking at the lives of British expats in France, returned to the channel. It attracted 3.5m (14.39%) across the 8pm hour and an additional 162.6k (0.67%) on time-shifted ITV1+1. It beat the overnight audience premiere of the first series on 12 September 2011.

Prehistoric Autopsy (BBC2) 9pm-10pm
1.54m (6.3%) / 82.6k (0.34%) HD

The first of three-part stripped natural history series matched the slot average of 1.58m (6.43%).  Fronted by Professor Alice Roberts and Dr George McGavin, an international team of experts started rebuilding a Neanderthal from scratch.

999: What’s Your Emergency? (C4) 9pm-10pm
2.14m (8.8%)/ 367k (2%) +1

The blue light series following the emergency services in Blackpool secured its highest audience of the series.

Classic Car Rescue (C5) 8pm-9pm
1.17m (4.8%)/ 85k (0.35%) +1

The penultimate episode of the series scored its highest audience to date with an episode which saw the experts salvaging a 1950s Cadillac in Canada.