TV Overnights: William Roache's rummage through time nets 4.3m for BBC One

27 Sep 2012  |  Niall Johnson 

Last night's secrets-makes-people-cry programme Who Do You Think You Are? (9pm) featured the one and only Ken Barlow, who knows one or two things about covering up past dodgy family behaviour.

William Roache defected to BBC One for a whole hour of soul searching (both internal and external) proving once and for all that the actor is not the legal property of Granada Studios.

Although nothing revealed could ever be as exciting as delving through the tumultuous Barlow family history, the serial womaniser (his words) found an extremely strong heroin in his grandmother. The ambitious business entrepreneur ran a large eatery in Alton Towers (before the queues and mechanical monsters arrived) and was a champion of powering on regardless, facing her fair share of problems.

The current series of the show, that hacks away at the family tree until something foul falls out, has been averaging around 4.5 million viewers each week, with last night's adventure through time pulling in 4.3 million viewers and securing a 19% share. You do have to wonder why William Roache's genealogy hasn't been traced before now - whoever cracks the code to the 80 year old's ever youthful appearance is going to be worth billions.

Sky Sports 2 brought us up to Old Trafford for the Capital One Cup match between Manchester United and Newcastle, which pulled in an average audience of 1.2 million (a 5% share) for the entire programme. Kick off was at 7:45pm but it was a whole 44 minutes later that Oliveira Anderson managed to score the first goal of the night for the home team.

Tom Cleverley waltzed along fifteen minutes later, bringing the score up to 2-0. It wasn't until the 62nd minute that Newcastle's Cisse made his presence felt, managing to score the team's only goal. A peak audience of 1.6 million viewers watched the end of the game as United made their way to the fourth round.

It was then down to Coronation Street (ITV1, 7:30pm) to scoop up the rest of the straggling and unsuspecting viewers, resulting in the biggest audience of the night. Viewers were in for a treat as Tyrone's life became even more stressful. Living with the female equivalent of Bruce Banner (a She-Hulk analogy just doesn't cut it) and a new born is tricky enough but last night Weatherfield's unluckiest man had to welcome in his frantic mother-in-law.

A few minutes later and Kirsty's angry dad was beating down the door. Will this trigger another meltdown from Kirsty? Will Tyrone ever have a quiet evening in, were nothing much happens? The high-drama from the cobbles pulled in 7.5 million users, resulting in a 35% share.

Anne Robinson, legislator of all that is fair and good, continued on her quest to earn the little people's ratings as Watchdog (8pm) once again claimed BBC One's biggest audience of the night. Somehow 4.9 million people tuned in to watch the Guardian of the Citizen point out that some saving accounts are financially rubbish, similarly getting your mobile phone robbed is also bad for the wallet. The must-watch consumer show pulled in an average audience share of 22%.

ITV1 brought us the penultimate episode of Mrs Biggs at 9pm and life wasn't getting easier for poor old Charmian. After relocating her family to Melbourne (which is currently number one in the world's most liveable cities survey) Ronnie only went and bumped in to some old dodgy friends. As Ronnie himself should have known, criminals can never be trusted and it's not long before he's ratted out to the police.

This results in the great train robber making a dash for Rio de Janeiro (not currently on the shortlist for most liveable cities), while Charmian familiarises herself with the confines of a police cell. The drama series has been pulling in around 4 million viewers the last three weeks, with last night being no exception.

3.9 million viewers (a 17% share) caught up with the latest goings on with the fairly unconventional Biggs family, waiting to see how it will all end next week. Although, they could just Wiki that.

Over on Channel 4 at 9pm was another aspirational building project that made its owners feel very important on Grand Designs. This week Kevin McCloud was bothering a couple who dumped the contents of the USS Enterprise's cargo bay onto a tight plot in between traditional Victorian houses in Brixton.

Ticking every box in the 'what not to do' cliché list, the building essentially ended up looking like a couple of containers stacked together. But at least they stood out from the neighbours. And at the end of the day, isn't that the most important thing? The third episode of the new series secured 2.3 million viewers and a 10% audience share, Channel 4's biggest audience of the night.

This was followed at 10pm by Drugs: The Ecstasy Trial which promised us that 25 volunteers would take a pharmaceutically prepared dose of MDMA for our entertainment educational benefit. In fact only one person appeared live in the study while everyone else was pre-recorded.

Attention-needy actors, authors and a vicar lined up to take a hit and jump into the fun tunnel of colours (an MRI scanner to the more sober). 1.6 million viewers tuned in for the first part, resulting in a 10% audience share.

Tonight will take a look at the long term effects of the drug, which will hopefully involve prodding Keith Allen with a big stick.

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.

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