TV Overnights: celebrities and norms mingle to secure 9pm slot for ITV1

31 Oct 2012  |  Niall Johnson 

Tuesday night saw celebrities come far and wide to pack into Grosvenor House in Park Lane to gawp at the civilians deemed worthy of 15 minutes of airtime.

For the 13th year in a row, exiled smart person and now a former Rear of the Year, Carol Vorderman pandered to the masses, bringing us tales of bravery and accomplishment against the odds.

All the while soaring choruses reminded The Pride of Britain Awards 2012 (ITV1, 8pm) audiences how they should be feeling.

Familiar faces from television and the silver screen spoke about how this was the only awards show that mattered, making you wonder how many of them will forgo the BAFTAs next year, to reflect their newfound insight. There truly was a sense that the festivities broke from the norm - even the famous people gamely posed for pictures with the sickly and non-famous alike.

Despite looking like she dressed for Halloween a day early, even Carol didn't manage to terrify the younger recipients throughout the two hour event. They were used to putting on a brave face in desperate circumstances, having survived much scarier situations before.

The manipulative and showy presentation distracted from the fact that the recipients had achieved truly remarkable feats, the sense of triumph marred by the hyped and garish execution. One award was even sponsored by Daybreak. There must be nothing like risking your life to save some poor soul from wet sand to end up being told how special you are. By Kate Garraway.

4.5 million people (a 17% share) watched as the celebrity elite sanctioned the loan of their spotlights for the normal people, if only for a little while. The second half secured the 9pm slot for ITV1.

Over on Channel 4 at 9pm another award was being handed out, with two remaining contestants fighting it out to prove just how Jewish and motherly they really were. The final task in this bizarre reality competition saw each mum create a traditional Friday night dinner, devising the menu, cooking the food, laying the table and eventually hosting their meal at a boutique North West London kosher hotel.

The title was eventually secured by 65 year old, twice-divorced granny from Leeds, Sandi. The controversial competition has seen its audience steadily decrease in the past four weeks; down from 1.2 million for the opening episode to 630,000 last night. The finale secured a 2.6% audience share - and it's safe to say that Maureen Lipman wouldn't be counted among them.

Up against the competition and awards sharing the 9pm slot was period retail drama, The Paradise (BBC One). Last night saw our heroine of Ladieswear, Denise, struggle with all her burgeoning and confusing emotions. Ever a modern lady, Denise just happened to fall for the owner of the very department store she works in, the mysterious Moray.

If TV sets had existed back then Denise would have quickly realised this was a bad idea. If soaps have taught us anything it's that boss/employee relationships rarely work out - best case scenario Sunita and Dev.

The drama in the haberdashery attracted 4.4 million viewers (an 18% share), down from the series debut six weeks ago which pulled in 5.5 million. Although there does seem to be enough confidence in the frilly lady drama - another eight part series has just been announced by the BBC.

Earlier in the evening, the soaps fared well as usual. Emmerdale (ITV1) at 7pm netted 6.7 million viewers and a 32% share while EastEnders (BBC One, 7:30pm) just stayed ahead of its rival with 7.6m viewers and a 34% share. The Walford drama attracted Tuesday night's biggest audience.

The staff of Holby City (BBC One, 8pm) juggled medical and professional concerns at 8pm with 4.5 million viewers (a 19% share) watching.

The fourth episode of Fresh Meat at 10pm on Channel 4 welcomed us into the disturbed psychological labyrinth that is JP's mind. Quite literally - the gang spent the Easter break in his large country estate. With his Daddy's ashes laying in an urn and learning that Mommy was selling up, the Old Stoic boy had a lot of growing up to do.

In perfect Fresh Meat style this equated to drinking a lot and burning all his childhood possessions. Meanwhile Sabine went several rounds of vigorous heavy petting with a house mate who was left behind.

The comedy series is a perfect example of shows excelling on catch up services. Last night only 735,000 viewers (a 4% share) watched the programme live while the first series saw 3 million requests on 4oD in November last year.

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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