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The BBC has announced that Sunday night period drama Poldark will return for a second series to BBC1.

The reboot of the classic 1970s series, based on the Winston Graham novels, has attracted an average audience of 8.1 million.

BBC1 controller Charlotte Moore referred to the ‘Sunday night phenomenon’ and said: “Aidan Turner will return as Ross Poldark and Eleanor Tomlinson as Demelza in a new eight-part series written by Debbie Horsfield that will cover books three and four of Winston Graham’s series.”

As well, Moore said BBC1 has recently recorded its highest audience shares in a decade, with a 23.3 per cent share in all hours and 25.2 per cent in peak, and pointed out the channel’s success stories, from EastEnders live week to mark the 30th Anniversary to the return of the FA Cup on the channel, plus Comic Relief, The Voice UK, Still Open All Hours and the Six Nations.

She added that returning drama series have also contributed to the ratings, led by Last Tango In Halifax, Silent Witness and Death In Paradise, which all recorded their most successful series ever to date, while Call the Midwife is the most watched drama series of the year across all channels.

Moore said BBC1 aimed ‘to maintain that momentum and continue to move with the times and bring audiences a range of distinctive, high-quality programmes that feel relevant and reflect the diversity of modern Britain’.