Entertainment & Arts

Hot weather hits Saturday night TV ratings

Blind Date Image copyright Channel 5
Image caption Paul O'Grady is the new host of the Blind Date remake

Complaining about the nice weather certainly isn't something you'll hear British people doing often.

But there's one group of people who would actively welcome rain and cold: TV producers.

Ratings tend to drop off a cliff whenever the weather hits scorching proportions, as viewers head to the park or have a BBQ in their garden.

This weekend was no exception - and some of the major TV shows lost out as a result.

On Saturday night, all the major networks were punting their big shows, with a few newcomers on the block.

Image caption Pitch Battle is a sing-off contest with different guest judges each week

BBC One launched its latest music show, Pitch Battle, which saw Kelis and Gareth Malone on the judging panel of the new talent contest which pits choirs and a capella groups against each other.

But the show, which aired at 19:30 BST, only attracted an average audience of two million viewers, around 800,000 fewer than watched quiz show Who Dares Wins in the same timeslot last week.

Channel 5 also aired the first episode of the reincarnated Blind Date at 19:00 BST, which saw Paul O'Grady taking over the presenting reins from Cilla Black, who fronted the original series.

The show performed extremely well for the channel, with an average of 1.5m viewers watching it live and peaking at 1.9m, according to overnight figures.

A Channel 5 spokeswoman said Blind Date more than doubled their average number of viewers for its primetime Saturday night slot.

There was lots of love for O'Grady on social media:

Image copyright Twitter/Zenon

Adam Salkie tweeted: "Never an easy job taking over a TV classic from an incredible hostess. However, Paul O'Grady is brilliant. Enjoyable show #BlindDate."

But not everyone was a fan.

Image copyright Twitter/Arlene Woollard

Pitch Battle also had a mixed response.

Image copyright Twitter/Deborah Glover MBE

But some viewers loved it.

Image copyright Twitter/Sally Goodwin

The BBC showed a different instalment of Pitch Battle than the one originally scheduled due to the recent Grenfell fire tragedy.

"Due to song lyrics and themes, the decision has been taken to replace the original opening episode," the corporation said in a statement.

The top show of the night was ITV's talent show The Voice Kids, which aired at the same time as Pitch Battle.

The singing contest, judged by Will.i.am, Pixie Lott and Danny Jones, averaged 2.9m live viewers and peaked at 3.5m.

But it was down on last week's episode, which saw four million tune in live, peaking at 4.3m.

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