Record audience of 9.6m watch the return of Call the Midwife

The return of BBC1’s period drama Call the Midwife was watched by its biggest ever audience – 9.6 million – on Sunday night.

Series three of the drama about midwives in the East End in the 1950s was watched by 36 per cent of the total TV audience, according to The Guardian.

Straight after it on BBC1, new swashbuckler series The Musketeers was watched by 7.4 million (29 per cent of the total audience).

By contrast, the return of Mr Selfridge on ITV was watched by an average 5.3 million (19 per cent share).

ITV’s final series of Dancing on Ice continued its downward trajectory compared to previous series. It drew 5.8 million between 6.15pm and 7.45pm, while the results show fared even worse, dropping 700,000 viewers week on week.

These totals are based on unofficial overnight figures and do not include catch-up or recorded viewings.