News at Ten loses first night ratings war

The revived News at Ten has lost out on the first night ratings battle with the BBC, pulling in 3.8 million viewers to BBC 1’s Ten O’Clock News’ 4.9 million.

The ITV1 programme, which returned last night, nine years after it was last broadcast, had an average audience share of 18 per cent over 35 minutes of both national and regional news, with viewing figures peaking at 4.1 million during the national news from 10pm – 10.25pm.

Fronted by Sir Trevor McDonald with former Sky News presenter Julie Etchingham, the programme did not include an ad break during the national news.

Simon Shaps, ITV Director of Television said: ‘We are very pleased that the return of News at Ten was watched by over four million viewers last night. This is an increase of over 1.5 million viewers on the average for the previous 10.30pm ITV News bulletin and a marked improvement across the 10.00pm slot.”

‘The figures for news across both ITV and the BBC show there is a substantial appetite for news in the 10.00 o’clock slot, with a joint audience of nine million viewers in total.”

The BBC’s Ten O’Clock News, anchored by Huw Edwards, recorded an audience share of 23 per cent over the same period, according to unofficial TV overnight figures released this morning.

The BBC said in a statement: “Competition is good for the viewers and it’s good to see so many tuning in to watch news. It’s too early to say how the figures will pan out over the longer term.

“Over the last year, the BBC Ten O’ Clock News has performed extremely well, gaining 320,000 viewers – a trend that was continued last night. That reflects on the quality of the programme and that is not going to change.”

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