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Niall Johnson 

TV Overnights: Broadchurch walks away with 9pm slot netting 6.9m for ITV


Monday night saw small town crime thriller Broadchurch (ITV, 9pm) continue its confident stride through Monday's prime time slot as the European-influenced slow-burning drama reached the halfway mark.

The fourth episode saw the media wield its power to various degrees as distraught parents, Mark and Beth, get into bed with the unscrupulous national press in an effort to bring more attention to the small town murder of their son.

On the flip side of the coin was regional journalist Jack who, instead of using his skills in a public relations exercise, made some headway into the investigation of young Danny's death.

6.9 million viewers tuned in to see the latest pieces fall together, easily beating off rivals and securing the 9pm slot. The latest trip to the transfixing sea side town attracted a 28% audience share, all this despite the presence of Two Pints' Will Mellor.

At the same time on Channel 4 was the latest 'must-see' episode of Embarrassing Bodies (9pm). But if you haven't seen it before you really need to start with the first series, otherwise you won't have a clue what's going on.  Considering the location of Dr Christian's latest guerrilla 'educational awareness campaign' there was a missed opportunity for a Broadchurch crossover, as the smug purveyor of knob rot pictures disrupted life in a picturesque costal Dorset town.

The licensed medical practitioner and his minions of wrong met some truly brave survivors of serious illnesses but, as usual, it was all about the freaky factor.  1.7 million viewers (a 7% share) gawped and shrieked at real people showing us their sensitive private medical issues all in the name of entertainment, resulting in Channel 4's biggest hit of the day. The mind boggles.

BBC One had schedule-filler Motorway Cops at 9pm which followed various traffic police simply doing their jobs. The third episode of the seventh series still managed to attract an impressive 2.7 million viewers and an 11% share.

Over on its sister channel BBC Two, it was clear the London mayoral propaganda machine infiltrated the service broadcaster as well-proper journalist Michael Cockerell swooned over his object of obsession Boris Johnson.

Boris Johnson: The Irresistible Rise covered everything you didn't want to know about the London mayor's privileged life and contrived buffoonery.  Even old rivals were on hand to dish out underhand compliments. 2.4 million viewers lapped up the interviews with the 'character', securing a 10% share for the channel.

Things were getting even worse over in the dark depths of BBC Three. The corporation's youth channel, which has ditched the Queen's English for something only slightly less contrived, has taken it upon itself to save these urban youngsters from themselves.

Last night saw the latest in a long line of shows teaching life's basics rules, Don't Just Stand There - I'm Having Your Baby (BBC Three, 9pm), attempted to warn/educate the audience about the difficulties of being pregnant in less than ideal situations. 322,000 viewers (a 1% share) watched the show, with many despairing for the target audience.

Meanwhile, Channel 5 was delighting audiences with Robson's Extreme Fishing Challenge (9pm) which saw songwriter Robson Green spend some quality time fishing. 869,000 viewers went along for the crazy ride, providing a 4% share for the channel.

As usual, the early evening was ruled by the soaps, with Emmerdale (ITV) netting 7.2 million viewers at 7pm. It was time for Dev and Sunita, (who's now more machine than woman) move out of the spotlight as evil ninny Kirsty put on her best performance in court.

9.6 million viewers tuned in for the first Coronation Street at 7:30pm as poor misunderstood Tyrone's trial got underway, resulting in a 40% share.

Over on BBC One at 8pm was EastEnders, which shocked unprepared viewers by filming at a location that could actually pass for London's East End. Monday saw desperate mother Bianca search for his gang-initiated son by handing out flyers in a council estate. 7.7 million viewers watched the rogue maverick's genius plan, pulling in a 31% share.

Unusually, the second episode of Coronation Street (8:30pm) actually brought in a bigger audience than the first visit of the night, although the audience share had shrunk.

9.7 million viewers (a 38% share) watched as Kirsty recovered from her stressful day in the dock by going all twitchy-eyed bat-shi* crazy on with Julie. Just another Monday night then.

Overnight data is available each morning in's TV Database, with all BARB registered subscribers able to view reports for terrestrial networks and key multi-channel stations.

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