C4 Human Spider scales heights with viewers

LONDON - A Channel 4 'Cutting Edge' documentary about Alain Robert, a French climber who specialises in scaling skyscrapers without ropes, netted an impressive 2.5m viewers last night, according to unofficial overnight figures.

'The Human Spider' was watched by a 10.8% share of the audience at 9pm, rising to 2.8m and 12.2% including Channel 4+1. The programme was backed with on-air trails.

The 'Cutting Edge' series has put in a strong performance this year, averaging 2.5m viewers and an 11.4% share in 2008, compared to 1.5m and 6.9% last year.

Recent documentaries to score highly with viewers have included programmes on call centres and so called "phone rage", a music prodigy suffering from cystic fibrosis and a behind-the-scenes film on the family of Shannon Matthews in the days leading up to her rescue.

BBC One triumphed in the 9pm slot with a one-hour film narrated by Jamie Theakston on London's Economic Crime Unit. 'Identity Fraud: Outnumbered' drew 3.9m viewers and a 17% share.

Five's popular US import 'House', which stars British actor Hugh Laurie, brought 2.1m viewers and a 9% share at 9pm.

ITV1's 'Holiday Homes from Hell' gave viewers a look at what happens when the purchase of a dream holiday home leads to disaster, with 3.5m viewers and a 15.1% share at 9pm.

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