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Derry Girls still viewers' favourite as most watched television show


Derry Girls

Derry Girls

Derry Girls

Derry Girls remains Northern Ireland's most watched TV show.

For the second year in a row the Channel 4 comedy, set in the city in the 1990s, topped the list ahead of entertainment shows I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! and Strictly Come Dancing and long-running soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale.

The first episode of the second series of Lisa McGee's hit show - screened on March 5, 2019 - drew an average audience of 573,000 and a share of 57% of those watching TV here at that time.

Line of Duty, which is filmed in Belfast, also performed well. The final episode of season five and the potential reveal of 'H' - aired on May 5, 2019 - came in at number four as it reached an average audience of 313,000 and a share of 45.1% of those watching TV here at that time.

But people in Northern Ireland continue to watch less broadcast TV than in any other region of the UK - on average two hours 54 minutes per day last year, an 11-minute decline on 2018.

The figures from broadcast regulator Ofcom's Media Nations report also show that the Covid-19 lockdown led to surge in TV screentime and streaming in Northern Ireland.

In following official health advice to stay home in April, viewers here kept themselves informed and entertained by spending on average four hours and 53 minutes each day - or 34 hours a week - watching broadcast TV, online video content and gaming , a 31% rise on last year.

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The lockdown also saw 78% in Northern Ireland watching video-on-demand services such as Netflix, Disney+, YouTube and other non-broadcast content - an hour and 18 minutes per day on average in April.

In the week of March 23 when Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation to announce the lockdown, average daily viewing of broadcast television peaked at three hours 42 minutes in Northern Ireland.

As lockdown progressed, reduced viewing of news programming, easing of social restrictions and good weather in Northern Ireland saw broadcast TV viewing decline from its peak - but it remained higher than 2019 levels up to the end of June.

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