Show makes a Splash! with viewers
Published 06/01/2013 | 11:52
ITV's new talent show Splash! proved a ratings hit despite a mixed response from viewers after figures revealed it was Saturday night's most watched programme.
Celebrity contestants took the plunge after spending weeks building up the courage to dive into an Olympic-sized pool under the tutelage of London 2012 diving star Tom Daley.
The opening episode attracted an average of 5.6 million viewers - a quarter of the total audience share, ITV said.
At its peak, 6.3 million viewers were tuned in to see comedian Omid Djalili and Benidorm star Jake Canuso dive into the next round of the show, the channel added.
Djalili topped the leaderboard with a daring 10-metre "swan dive", while Canuso made it through after winning a head-to-head "splash off" against TV presenter Jenni Falconer.
The first show of the series prompted a varied reaction on social networking site Twitter.
West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Ben Foster tweeted: "This could be the worst/most embarrassing thing I've ever seen on my television #splash."
Former Cold Feet star John Thomson wrote: "Thank God I didn't agree to do #splash. God help us! Yet another all-time low for television."
But Radio Five Live presenter Richard Bacon said: "We've had our sarcastic fun. But let's admit that in it's own mysterious way, it's strangely enjoyable. If not utterly compelling #splash."
Contestant Djalili later defended the show, tweeting: "Seriously. #Splash most surreal Saturday night TV show ever. But it'll go global."