Over eight million people watched the opening night of Big Brother 8 equalling the highest viewing figures for a launch night show.

An average of 6.2 million people were watching at the start of the programme, but that figure peaked at 10pm as final housemates Nicky and Carole were being introduced.

According to Channel 4, nearly half of all 16-34 year-olds watching TV at that time were tuned into Big Brother.

And 1.1 million viewers stayed with the show even after the live launch was over, switching over to E4 to watch live action from the house as the new arrivals settled in.

Of those, around 572,000 continued watching until 12.45am.

Around 1.2 million, meanwhile, tuned in to the first edition of Big Brother’s Big Mouth, which was shown on Channel 4 at 11.15pm.

Channel 4 Commissioning Editor for Big Brother and Head of E4, Angela Jain said, “This heralds a fantastic start to Big Brother. We remain as committed as ever to making this year’s series the most entertaining yet.”

CLICK here for all the latest Big Brother news, pictures, profiles, features and fans’ thoughts