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Niall Johnson 

Eurovison peaks at 8.4m but can't overthrow BGT's weekly pageant of nonsense

Eurovison peaks at 8.4m but can't overthrow BGT's weekly pageant of nonsense

Friday night brought TV viewers their first glimpse of a returning legendary soap character, crazy-eyed spud man Grant Mitchell, although his initial two second appearance didn't seem to bolster EastEnders' strength very much.

5.7 million viewers tuned in to see Sharon Watts/Mitchell/Rickman/Mitchell reach out to her super-tight tank-topped former beau as part of Peggy Mitchell's big exit storyline, resulting in a 31% share.

However, while the much publicised return did top the TV Twitter Chart, it was only the second biggest show of the day, just behind the 7:30pm showing of Coronation Street (ITV) which bagged 5.9 million viewers and a 35% share.

While most of Saturday's schedule struggled to offer up anything resembling excitement, the evening did manage to bring an epic clash of the titans as ITV's mystifyingly popular talent show battled against an ever gaudier juggernaut from BBC One.

Kicking off at the exact same time, perhaps Britain's Got Talent's (ITV, 8pm) main advantage was its shorter hour and 20 minutes running time compared to Eurovison Song Contest 2016's (BBC One, 8pm) significantly longer 3 hour and 30 minutes duration.

The latest instalment in the 10th series of Simon Cowell's auto-pilot pantomime saw the usual array of singers, dancers, emotionally manipulative novelty acts and the outright mentally ill take the stage to impress the judges, or at the very least make Amanda Holden cry.

7.4 million viewers - the weekend's biggest audience - tuned in to see the usual random madness, resulting in a solid 35% share.

Eurovision

Over on BBC One, the typically entertaining, camp and garish - although sometimes jarringly earnest in these modern times - Eurovison Song Contest 2016 got under way with a 'controversial' new voting system involving the usual public vote complemented by experts who might actually have some taste.

The annual super-guilty TV pleasure once again saw Swedish comedian Petra Mede given the thankless task of hosting proceedings while Graham Norton once again sat in his little box and artistically sneered along with the rest of the giddy audience.

An average audience of 7.2 million viewers and a 38% share tuned in to see exactly how badly the UK's entry Joe and Jake would do (spoiler: something awful) with viewers peaking at 8.4 million at around 11:15pm, right in the middle of the increasingly confusing cascade of random results.

There wasn't much else of interest throughout the day, highlighted by the fact BBC News at 11:45pm on BBC One was the third biggest show of the day, with 3.5 million viewers.

Schedule normality returned on Sunday, heralded by the latest dose of wholesome rural adventuring on Countryfile (BBC One, 7pm) which went a bit Wicker Man with a celebratory spring special. 5 million viewers and a 28% share watched as the excited team wandered about some more green spaces looking at things.

Afterwards, the numbing normality of Antiques Roadshow (8pm) was watched by 4.9 million viewers and a 24% share.

At 7:30pm, ITV had a touching tribute to a late national treasure with Let's Do It: A Tribute to Victoria Wood. The bitter-sweet look back at the comedian's career secured 4.4 million viewers and a 23% share.

ITV's Sunday success continued at 8:30pm with The Queen's 90th Birthday Celebration securing 5.8 million viewers and a 30% share.

The grand finale of twisty-turny madness Undercover wrapped up with 3.7 million viewers and a 17% share, while Indian Summers came to an end with 860,000 viewers and a 4% share.

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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