Red or Black? beaten in the ratings by Watchdog

ITV1’s big money gameshow Red Or Black? was hammered in the ratings by BBC1 consumer show Watchdog as it continues to lose viewers.

The main hour-long programme on ITV1 pulled in an average audience of just 3.9 million, while 5.2 million tuned into BBC1’s Watchdog.

The live final – in which a contestant walked away with a £1 million prize – pulled in just 4.1 million but did win its time slot beating BBC1’s Torchwood as well as the final of Celebrity Big Brother on Channel 5.

This marks a new low for the big-budget game show, created by Simon Cowell, which has been losing viewers throughout the week.

It launched last Saturday with 6.6 million viewers for its first slot of the evening and 7.2 million for the later results show.

And it has been mired in controversy after it emerged that the first millionaire it created had been jailed for attacking a woman, thought to be his ex-girlfriend.

Show bosses were criticised for allowing him to keep the cash and then three more contestants were dropped from the show after producers reviewed their background checks.

This week Simon predicted his programme – which is fronted by Ant and Dec – would be recommissioned. He said: “ITV are happy – I think there will be a second series.”

An ITV spokesman said: “Red or Black? has made fantastic start with three contestants winning £1 million and the show launching as the most popular new entertainment programme on UK television this year.”

But the network would not confirm any future plans.

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