The BBC’s coverage of Jubilee events may have been criticised over the weekend but the corporation can take comfort in the fact that most Brits opted to watch its coverage rather than its rivals. Stephen Fry and others have been notable for their digs of the BBC’s coverage which has been blasted for being “celebrity obsessed” and some of the corporation’s choice of presenters – such as Fearne Cotton – has also been knocked.
Tuesday’s Jubilee events included the Carriage Procession through the streets of London to Buckingham Palace which concluded with the Royal Family appearing on the balcony of the palace in front of hundreds of thousands of Brits. A flyby of air-craft, including the Red Arrows, also took place with the Queen, Prince William and Kate Middleton watching from the balcony along with other members of the Royal Family. The Diamond Jubilee Carriage Procession and the Royal appearance on the balcony brought an average of 6.2 million viewers to BBC One across the afternoon.
Elsewhere on Tuesday evening EastEnders pulled in 7.7 million viewers with a further 602,000 viewers watching the BBC Three repeat. Medical drama Holby City pulled in 4.9 million viewers at 8pm followed by legal drama Silk which mustered 4.7 million viewers. Ratings for Silk may have slipped somewhat but it still outperformed ITV’s Martin Clunes: The Lemurs of Madagascar which had just 1.6 million viewers.
The Diamond Jubilee was not the only significant event to take place yesterday as our planetary neighbour Venus had a transit across the Sun. The previous transit of Venus was in 2004 but the next one will not occur until 2117 making last night’s transit incredibly rare and important. BBC Two‘s science strand Horizon returned for a special on Venus’ transit, why it was so important and what the transit can tell us about planets orbiting other stars and perhaps more crucially how the transit of Venus could help us discover alien life elsewhere in the universe. The special edition of Horizon was watched by a sizable 2.4 million viewers.