Victoria Derbyshire has described website traffic to her new daily BBC discussion show as "astonishing", despite reports that the broadcast version has achieved a "zero rating" according to The Guardian.
The Victoria Derbyshire programme, which launched on 7 April, was described by BBC News chief James Harding as the “centrepiece of domestic daytime TV news”.
The show is broadcast simultaneously on BBC Two, the news channel and online.
According to The Guardian, it drew 39,000 viewers on BBC Two on Thursday morning, which they said is rounded down to zero in the official overnight ratings.
But Derbyshire told Press Gazette that these figures ignore those watching on the BBC News channel and online.
She claimed that in its first week the programme attracted 2m viewers on TV and 7.4m online.
@pressgazette guardian piece ignores BBC News Channel & online figs on that 1 day. Wk 1 TV figs = 2m people & online figs = 7.4 million.
— Victoria Derbyshire (@vicderbyshire) April 27, 2015
Derbyshire also told the Telegraph the programme has been making an impact online.
She said: “We are the first digital-first news TV programme. We are putting all our films or clips or extracts of films online first, the day before [we broadcast]. Audience habits are changing dramatically.
"People are not going to sit around for 9.15 [the start of the show] or the One O’clock News, or the Six O’clock News. It doesn’t work like that any more. The number of hits we are getting is astonishing. The clip of the very first story we did on day one [on transgender children], which we put up the night before, has been seen 2.6 million times.”
According to The Guardian, the programme has yet to top 100,000 viewers on BBC Two, launching with an audience of 61,000, which peaked with 99,000 viewers on 13 April.
Talking about the election, she told the Telegraph: “It’s more difficult to get answers from the politicians this time. They don’t want to put a foot wrong because the polls are so close. But it does feel stale. Access is harder. They are doing fewer walkabouts. Those television debates are incredibly sterile. There is so little interaction with voters. We need some electricity, some real life and energy."
Derbyshire began hosting the show after leaving her 16-year role as a presenter on BBC Radio 5 Live.