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BBC One’s popular drama Call the Midwife, starring Jessica Raine and Miranda Hart, continued to perform well on Sunday evening.

The period drama, written by Heidi Thomas, attracted 8.7 million viewers to BBC One at 8pm according to overnight figures; although a strong figure, it is approximately 500,000 viewers down on last week’s series opener.  At 8pm on BBC Two popular motoring series Top Gear returned for its 19th season with an impressive 5.2 million viewers.

Dancing On Ice attracted 6.9 million viewers from 6.15pm with its “school disco” theme. The ITV series had the better of BBC One’s new comedy Blandings starring Timothy Spall and Jennifer Saunders as just 3.7 million viewers tuned in; a big drop on last week’s figures. The Dancing on Ice skate-off at 8.30pm was seen by 5.1 million viewers as former Blue Peter presenter Anthea Turner made her exit.

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ITV’s lavish department store comedy Mr Selfridge, starring Jeremy Piven and Katherine Kelly, drew 5.4 million viewers at 9pm but a further 500,000 viewers watched an hour later on the network’s timeshift channel. Meanwhile BBC One’s crime drama Ripper Street, starring Matthew MacFadyen and Jerome Flynn, pulled in 5.2 million viewers.

Elsewhere last night Professor Brian Cox returned to BBC Two for a brand new series; Wonders of Life which had nearly 3 million viewers proving once again the sexy professor is ratings gold for the channel.

[Written by Doug Lambert]

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