Britain's Got Talent final thrashes The Voice in ratings war
The final of ITV's Britain's Got Talent was the most-watched TV show of 2012 so far, while viewing figures for its BBC rival The Voice collapsed.
This Saturday night's final of Britain's Got Talent (ITV1) was watched by an average audience of 11.9 million people – more than double the 5.64 million who tuned in to watch rival talent show The Voice (BBC One) earlier the same evening.
According to ITV, the final of Britain's Got Talent is the most-watched show of 2012 so far, outstripping the 11.2 million who tuned in to watch an episode of Coronation Street in January.
The final received a peak audience of 13.8 million in its last five minutes, as viewers watched Ashleigh and Pudsey the dog scoop the prize.
Meanwhile The Voice on BBC One continued to lose viewers as it drew in its lowest audience yet, hampered in part by its move to an earlier time slot of 6.10pm in order to avoid clashing with the final of its commercial rival.
Ratings for the BBC One show – for which the corporation paid a reported £22 million in an ambitious two-year deal – have fallen from a high of 11.3 million since the blind auditions rounds finished last month.
Producers have drafted in Kylie Minogue and Cheryl Cole as performers for the final two episodes, on May 26 and June 2, in an attempt to boost ratings.
But according to Telegraph critic Michael Hogan, "Once The Voice reached the live show stage, it was always going to struggle to maintain momentum. The format’s unique selling points – blind auditions, big red buttons, spinning chairs, boxing ring sing-offs – are now gone. It has instead settled into a bog-standard, slightly boring singing contest."