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Belfast crime thriller The Fall pulls 3.5m viewers

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The serial killer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan)

The serial killer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan)

BBC/Artists Studio/Steffan Hill

 DSI Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson)

DSI Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson)

BBC/Artists Studio/Steffan Hill

Programme Name: The Fall - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Embargoed for publication until: n/a - Picture Shows: The serial killer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) and DSI Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson)  - (C) Artists Studio - Photographer: Steffan Hill

Programme Name: The Fall - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Embargoed for publication until: n/a - Picture Shows: The serial killer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) and DSI Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) - (C) Artists Studio - Photographer: Steffan Hill

BBC/Artists Studio/Steffan Hill

The serial killer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) and his wife Sally Ann (Bronagh Waugh)  - (C) Artists Studio - Photographer: Steffan Hill

The serial killer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) and his wife Sally Ann (Bronagh Waugh) - (C) Artists Studio - Photographer: Steffan Hill

BBC/Artists Studio/Steffan Hill

The serial killer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) and DSI Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson)   - (C) Artists Studio - Photographer: Steffan Hill

The serial killer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) and DSI Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) - (C) Artists Studio - Photographer: Steffan Hill

BBC/Artists Studio/Steffan Hill

The serial killer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan)  - (C) Artists Studio - Photographer: Steffan Hill

The serial killer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) - (C) Artists Studio - Photographer: Steffan Hill

BBC/Artists Studio/Steffan Hill

The Fall - ACC Jim Burns (John Lynch

The Fall - ACC Jim Burns (John Lynch

The serial killer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan)  - (C) Artists Studio - Photographer: Steffan Hill

The serial killer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) - (C) Artists Studio - Photographer: Steffan Hill

BBC/Artists Studio/Steffan Hill

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The serial killer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan)

Belfast-based gritty crime drama The Fall has proven a hit with viewers.

The first episode of the new psychological thriller aired at 9pm last night (Monday) after much hype from the critics.

And according to overnight figures, 3.53 million tuned in to its BBC 2 debut.

The ratings are expected to rise further once iPlayer views are taken into account.

The five-parter stars X Files actress Gillian Anderson and Co Down actor Jamie Dornan.

Anderson plays DSI Stella Gibson, an officer drafted in by the PSNI to help solve a grisly murder, while Dornan takes on the role of serial killer Paul Spector, who terrorises the women of Belfast.

Critics have compared the drama to Scandinavian hits like The Killing. The Guardian said: "Move over Denmark, Belfast is the new Copenhagen? Could be."

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