Big Brother leaves Channel 5 with audience boost

'Big Brother' attracted an average audience of 1.8 million viewers last night, in the penultimate episode of the series, which has boosted Channel 5's evening audience by 25% year on year.

Big Brother: contestants Tom and Alex
Big Brother: contestants Tom and Alex

On last night’s show Tom O'Connell became the latest housemate to leave the show. His close Alex Rose Lee will be vying for the prize alongside Jay McKray and Aaron Allard-Morgan in the final episode this evening.

According to unofficial overnight figures last night 'Big Brother: Live Eviction’ had an average audience of 1.76 million viewers on Channel 5 and Channel 5 HD between 9pm and 10pm, a 7.3% share of the TV watching audience.

Although audiences are down on Channel 4’s final series of ‘Big Brother’ last year, ‘Big Brother’ has contributed to a 25% year on year increase in the Channel 5 audience between 9pm and 11pm since 9 September 2011.

In the past Channel 5 has tended to deliver an older less affluent audience than some of its competitors but the arrival of ‘Big Brother’ has also vastly increased the number of people between the ages of 16 and 34 watching the channel.

The average number of 16 to 34 year olds watching Channel 5 between 9pm and 11pm since the 9 September (the start of the ‘Big Brother’ series) is 572,000, up 130% year on year.

The ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ series, which immediately preceded the main ‘Big Brother’ series, had even more of an impact for the broadcaster by boosting its average audience to 3.1 million between 9pm and 11pm, up 124% year on year.

‘Celebrity Big Brother’, which ran from 18 August to 8 September 2011, increased the number of people between the ages of 16 and 34 watching the channel by more than three and a half times year on year to 1 million between 9pm and 11pm.

Nick Bampton, who joined Channel 5 as sales director in December last year, said ‘Big Brother’ has been a "game changer" for the broadcaster.

"With massive audience increases in these slots particularly against younger audiences and ground breaking commercial partnerships with Freederm, Dominos, Lucozade, Disney, 888, Jadeworld and Paramount Pictures, we are changing the way TV works."