Massive British Audiences Tune In To Two Itv Shows
Two British television shows each attracted massive audiences on Thursday and Sunday. According to preliminary ratings, a live episode marking the 50th anniversary of the primetime soap opera Coronation Street attracted 15 million viewers Thursday, and Simon Cowell's talent contest The X Factor averaged 17.2 million on Sunday (peaking at 19.4 million). Both shows are carried by commercial broadcaster ITV. The figure for X-Factor represented 60 percent of all television sets in use on Sunday night. But the figure for Coronation Street was particularly striking, given the fact that five episodes of the show are broadcast every week. The current storyline concerns a gas explosion and tram crash that killed off several of the regular characters. In reporting the ratings results, the London Daily Express commented today (Monday) that the result "is Testament to the fantastic work of a hugely talented production team and some of the nation's finest actors." A review of Thursday night's telecast appeared in the Daily Mirror, written by Ken Irwin, the newspaper's former TV critic, who commented in 1960 after the first show aired that it was "dreary and doomed from the start." Concluding his (positive) review, Irwin wrote "After all this, I've decided what I want on my headstone when I die ' Corrie [ Coronation Street ] lasted longer than me!' Because it will now probably run forever."