Belfast Telegraph

ITV's Victoria crowned winner in Sunday ratings war

By Sherna Noah

Victoria beat the BBC's remake of Are You Being Served? when the lavish ITV drama went head to head with the return of the comedy favourite on Sunday evening.

Former Doctor Who star Jenna Coleman made her debut as the young monarch in the period drama, in an opening feature-length episode which saw her inherit the throne at the age of 18.

Victoria, which also stars Rufus Sewell as prime minister Lord Melbourne and will later feature Tom Hughes as Prince Albert, attracted 5.7m viewers and 6.1m at its peak.

It claimed a 30% share of the audience.

Are You Being Served?, which left viewers and critics disgruntled and also started at 9pm on BBC1, claimed five million viewers, a peak of 5.2m and a 24% share of the audience.

Porridge, another remake, which began at 9.30pm, was watched by 4.4m and a peak of 4.6m.

Derren Litten, Bendiorm's creator who penned the new Are You Being Served?, wrote on Twitter: "Overnight viewing figures are in.

"ITV's Victoria was always the one to beat but she only just nicked it!"

The second episode of Victoria was screened last night.

Critics and viewers were left unimpressed with Are You Being Served?

The legendary British sitcom, set in a department store, was revived with a new cast.

The Daily Telegraph's Michael Hogan only gave the show two stars, saying it was a "turgid, interminable half-hour" which made "Mrs Brown's Boys look like PG Wodehouse".

The sitcoms had been "dusted down decades later to look like lumbering dinosaurs," he added.

Digital Spy's Morgan Jeffery wrote: "The experience is still akin to watching a tribute band - entertaining enough, but never coming close to competing with your memories."

Belfast Telegraph


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