New research shows that TV viewing reached an all-time high in the UK last year.

The average person watched 26 hours and 18 minutes of broadcast TV each week in 2008, 48 minutes more than in 2007, according to industry figures.

BBC News reports that popular shows like The X Factor have helped to boost viewing figures for ITV in 2008.

Thinkbox, an organisation which represents ITV, Channel 4 and Sky, said that digital recorders such as Freeview+ and Sky+ has also had a positive effect on viewing figures.

Its research found that 78 per cent of viewers used online services like BBC iPlayer, ITV Player and 4oD to catch up with programmes they would normally watch on television.

“TV remains people’s favourite form of entertainment, whatever technology delivers it,” Thinkbox chief executive Tess Alps said.

“These figures show that people rely on channels and schedules to help them find the TV they want to watch.”

Get exclusive access to your favourite stars. Subscribe to TV Times magazine