Howards End tops great night for Beeb

The BBC’s new drama series Howards End, starring Hayley Atwell and Matthew Macfadyen and based on EM Forster’s 1910 novel, debuted with a huge audience.

A whopping 6.8 million viewers tuned in on Sunday to watch the period piece, which Matthew Macfayden described as being “about sex, money and power”.

It was part of a great night for the Beeb as the latest episode of Blue Planet 2 proved the most successful of the series so far. Sir David Attenborough’s wildlife series returned to screens on Sunday night for the third instalment, and it attracted an average audience of 11 million viewers, according to overnight figures.

Blue Planet 2 episode three David Attenborough wonder of coral reefs

The hour-long BBC One broadcast about coral reefs peaked at 11.3 million viewers, and had a 45% audience share.

The first episode of Blue Planet 2 debuted with an average of 10.3 million overnight viewers, while the second had an average of 10.8 million.

This comes after the first episode of the series was found to be the most-watched programme of 2017 with 14.01 million viewers when also accounting for those who recorded the programme and watched it up to seven days afterwards.

The BBC continued its strong night as the results programme of Strictly Come Dancing also drew in more than 10 million viewers according to overnight data.

An average of 10.7 million tuned in to watch as Ruth Langsford became the seventh celebrity to leave the show.

The 40-minute broadcast peaked at 12 million viewers and enjoyed an audience share of 44.3%. Over on ITV, The X Factor was seen by fewer than half of the Strictly audience, with an average of 4.7 million fans tuning in and a peak of 5.6 million.

The overnight ratings for The X Factor include those watching on ITV+1.