Last night, an overjoyed ITV was celebrating as it was revealed that Tuesday night’s edition of the Yorkshire based soap trounced its BBC rival EastEnders in the viewer ratings.
Emmerdale stars Bhasker Patel and Michelle Hardwick – who play the roles of Rishi Sharma and Vanessa Oldfield respectively – retweeted a message posted by ITV bosses which read, “Last night an hour long Emmerdale beat Eastenders by 2 million viewers.
“@EmmerdalePress @EmmerdaleForum THANK YOU for your support.Cheers xx”
The Sun’s TV Biz reports that Tuesday night’s EastEnders was seen by a peak audience of just 5.2million, while the hour-long special of Emmerdale “stormed ahead” with 2.3million more viewers for a total of 7.5million.
The paper adds, “It was EastEnders’ lowest ratings figure so far in 2013 and comes just over a year after executive producer Lorraine Newman took over from Bryan Kirkwood — who quit amid declining ratings.”
On Monday, ITV’s Coronation Street drew 9million viewers, while EastEnders landed 7.5million. However, it seems the BBC aren’t worried about the figures, with an insider remarking, “A lot of soap fans like watching EastEnders, Corrie and Emmerdale…
“But if Emmerdale starts at 7pm and is on for an hour it’s unlikely viewers will switch over halfway through for EastEnders.”
There has of course been a good deal of criticism directed at EastEnders in recent months, not least because of the so-called “cast exodus” that’s seen some of the soap’s biggest stars leaving to pursue other projects.
However, it’s believed the BBC are actively working on plans to claw back viewers by reintroducing former fan favourites such as Michael French who of course played the role of heartbreaker David Wicks.
And as we reported recently, Barbara Windsor revealed that she’d been approached by the show’s bosses with a view to making a comeback as Peggy Mitchell, however, while she didn’t rule out a return, she did say it was “unlikely”.
Here’s a reminder of Tuesday night’s epic visit to Emmerdale…