Bodyguard SLAMS Vanity Fair in big Sunday night ratings war

ITV's new costume drama was no match for the chemistry between Richard Madden's Bodyguard and Keeley Hawes' Home Secretary in the BBC1 thriller

The Beeb has won the first big ratings battle of the autumn with their much talked about thriller Bodyguard easily beating ITV’s new costume drama Vanity Fair.

Bodyguard, penned by Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio, captured a massive audience of 6.7 million viewers, reports Broadcast, as people continued to be enthralled by the relationship between Sgt David Budd (Game of Thrones actor Richard Madden) and Home Secretary Julia Montague (Durrells actress  Keeley Hawes).

Meanwhile, Vanity Fair, starring Olivia Cooke, scored a respectable audience of three million – but that’s less than half the amount of people watching the political thriller.

Vanity Fair star Olivia Cooke: 'Period dramas are a faff!'

Vanity Fair continues tonight

Vanity Fair, whose figures will improve once catch-up viewing is taken into account, boasts a stellar cast including Suranne Jones, Martin Clunes and Claire Skinner, but that didn’t put a dent in the numbers for Bodyguard.

The lavish adaptation of the William Thackeray novel faced the significant disadvantage that Bodyguard started a week earlier, hooking viewers with its opening episode, which is the most-watched new drama launch of 2018.

ITV will no doubt be hoping that the second episode of Vanity Fair, which is on at 9pm this evening, will perform well. And at least it won’t be facing Bodyguard, which isn’t on tonight…