Record 19.4 million see British TV talent show final
A record 19.4 million viewers tuned in to watch the final of British television talent show "The X Factor" at the weekend, almost one third of the entire population, new figures showed Monday.
The peak audience figures top the record of 19.1 million set last year for the same show, and made Sunday's edition the biggest non-sporting TV event on any British channel since 2001, the broadcaster ITV said.
The show, which was won by former painter and decorator Matt Cardle, 27, was watched by an average of 17.2 million people over its two-hour length -- 55 percent of the TV audience and a significant chunk of Britain's 62 million population.
The last time this many people watched the same programme at the same time was in 2001, when about 21 million people watched a Christmas Day special of hit 1980s sitcom "Only Fools and Horses" on the BBC.
Then, most people in Britain would only have had access to four or five channels, whereas nowadays digital television offers far more choice.
Cardle's single, "When We Collide", is a cover of a song by Scottish rock trio Biffy Clyro and a strong favourite to be the Christmas chart number one.
However, fans of the original are said to have already started a campaign to get Biffy Clyro's version in the top slot, in the latest attempt to relieve "The X Factor"'s stranglehold on the Christmas music charts.
Last year, a campaign was launched to get Jeff Buckley's version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" to number one instead of the version by "X Factor" winner Alexandra Burke.
Burke won but Buckley's version made it to number two.
© 2010 AFP