Peaky Blinders returns with a -30% year on year fall

Peaky Blinders returns with a -30% year on year fall

Thursday night saw the welcome return of BBC Two’s critically acclaimed gangster drama Peaky Blinders (9pm) as Cillian Murphy’s gangland boss welcomed in the 1920s with the usual visual flourish.

Telling the story of a real-life Birmingham-based criminal gang, the first series attracted a lot of attention when it kicked off in September last year, although the praise didn’t exactly translate into ratings gold.

The first series, which saw ambitious gangster Tommy Shelby bring on the wrath of the Royal Irish Constabulary, opened with a promising audience of 2.4 million viewers but fell to 1.7 million for the final episode six weeks later.

Last night saw Shelby and his gang of razorblade-capped hoodlums set their sights on the great metropolis of London, with the series two début bringing in an audience of 1.7 million viewers and an 8% share.

At the same time, BBC One was also looking back into the past as 71 year old comedian Billy Connolly readied his sad face to embark upon his trans-Atlantic odyssey on Who Do You Think You Are? (9pm).

The classiest of all the many shows with the simple premise of making famous people cry for entertainment value, the genealogical programme has remained a firm favourite throughout its 11 series run with viewing figures usually dependant on word-of-mouth twists or the pulling power of the guest star.

Last night’s trip to India, in which Connolly discovered for the first time that a distant grandmother was actually Indian, netted 4.8 million viewers, a 23% share and the 9pm slot’s biggest audience.

The nostalgia kept on pouring in over on ITV as plummy Downton Abbey scribe Julian Fellowes wandered around the Earl of Marlborough’s fancy gaff and tried to pass it off as prime time entertainment.

The exciting 60 minute tour of Blenheim Palace: Great War House (9pm) intrigued an audience of just 1.4 million viewers and a 7% share.

Channel 4 was also getting into the informative game at 9pm with the latest episode of Educating the East End detailing the extreme struggle of enlightening young minds. 1.3 million viewers caught up with the latest series, netting a 7% share and Channel 4’s biggest audience of the day.

Channel 5 returned to the iffy-titled documentary zone at 9pm with the bizarrely named No Foreigners Here – 100% British (9pm) detailing life in the UK’s most ethnically-diverse areas.

782,000 tuned in to see the trials and tribulations of the diverse residents, translating to a 4% share.

Earlier, a double dose of Emmerdale secured  Thursday’s second and third spots on ITV. 5.7 million (a 33% share) tuned in at 7pm to see Dingle matriarch Lisa lose her job and suffer a heart attack. The audience increased slightly to 5.8 million viewers an hour later, resulting in a 29% share.

But it was BBC One’s EastEnders that took the day’s top spot, as the sound of Chekov’s gun going off could finally be heard around the square. After heavily foreshadowing some kind of tragic incident for a few weeks now, 7:30pm saw Sharon and Shirley wrestle for control of a pistol.

6.7 million viewers tuned in for the resurging soap, only to be left clueless of the victim. That latest fun from Albert Square netted a 35% share for BBC One.

The Social TV Analytics report is a daily leaderboard displaying the latest social TV analytics Twitter data from SecondSync. The table shows the top UK TV shows as they are mentioned on Twitter, which MediaTel has correlated with the BARB overnight programme ratings for those shows (only viewable to BARB subscribers).

Overnight data is available each morning in mediatel.co.uk’s TV Database, with all BARB registered subscribers able to view reports for terrestrial networks and key multi-channel stations. Overnight data supplied by TRP are based on 15 minute slot averages. This may differ from tape checked figures, which are based on a programme’s actual start and end time.

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