London: The marriage of Prince William and Kate has won the war of TV ratings as 26 million viewers tuned in to watch the pomp, pageantry and plain old-fashioned romance.
Prince William and Duchess Kate’s marriage was watched by 26.2 million television viewers across BBC1, ITV1, BBC News channel and Sky, which was the biggest audience of 2011, the Daily Mail reported.
It was the BBC’s coverage of the Royal affair that won the biggest share of viewers on the day with 13.4 million, more than three times that of ITV.
The total figure for the wedding is thought to be the tenth biggest audience in history, although it is still well behind the 28.4 million who watched Prince Charles and Lady Diana’s wedding in 1981.
‘The X Factor’ final was the most watched show on a single channel with 13.7 million seeing Little Mix win the contest on ITV, taking into account those watching on catch-up television such as time-shifted channels or digital recorders.
The finals of ITV’s other big reality shows ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ and ‘I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!’ were also in the top five, with audiences of 12.5 million and 12.2 million respectively.
Finals for ‘The Apprentice’, ‘Dancing on Ice’, ‘Downtown Abbey’ and ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ as well as one-off shows such as the ‘Eurovision Song Contest’, ‘Comic Relief’ and ‘Children In Need’ also made the top 20.
The 20 biggest audiences of 2011 were
The Royal Wedding –13.44 million
The X Factor Final – 13.10 million
Britain’s Got Talent Final – 12.45 million
Coronation Street – 12.20 million
I``m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here Final – 12.18 million
Strictly Come Dancing Final – 12.17 million
Downton Abbey – 10.96 million
EastEnders – 10.81 million
BBC News (Royal Wedding coverage) – 10.76 million
Children in Need – 10.00 million
Comic Relief – 9.87 million
Dancing on Ice – 9.64 million
Eurovision Song Contest – 9.56 million
Doc Martin – 9.44 million
Emmerdale – 9.24 million
The Apprentice Final – 9.08 million
New Tricks – 8.77 million
My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding – 8.50 million
Scott and Bailey – 8.35 million
UEFA Champions League Live – 8.26 million