Ratings round-up for the weekend.

The 8th series of ITV1’s Dancing On Ice kicked off on Sunday evening with nearly 8 million viewers while the premier of new period drama Mr Selfridge, starring Jeremy Piven and Katherine Kelly, attracted nearly 7 million viewers.

Dancing on Ice returned to ITV1 last night with Karen Barber and Jason Gardiner reinstalled as judges and former Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts installed to add a touch of sex appeal to the series. The 8th series, presented once again by Phillip Schofield and Christine Bleakley, was seen by 7.7 million viewers – down nearly a million viewers on last year’s launch. The results show later in the evening was seen by 6.9 million viewers as Baywatch actress Pamela Anderson made a shock exit.

At 9pm ITV’s highly anticipated period drama Mr Selfridge launched and the broadcaster has high hopes it will enjoy the same success as Downton Abbey. However, the drama has already drawn unfair comparisons with BBC One drama The Paradise – which aired late last year – because of the similarities between the two shows. Never-the-less Mr Selfridge launched with 6.8 million viewers while a further half a million watched on the time-shift channel. That gave the opening instalment a combined audience of 7.3 million viewers which doesn’t quite compare to Downton Abbey’s premier episode but does put it ahead of The Paradise’s ratings.

Up against Mr Selfridge was BBC One’s new gritty crime drama Ripper Street starring Matthew MacFadyen and Jerome Flynn. The drama, set in 1880’s London, managed to pull in a respectable 5.4 million viewers. BBC One’s other offerings of the evening also performed well with Countryfile seen by 6.1 million viewers and Antiques Roadshow pulling in 6 million.

Elsewhere last night Channel 4’s broadcast of film The Iron Lady, starring Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher, had 1.8 million viewers while a further 280,000 watched via the time-shift channel.

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