Champions League final watched by 7.9m

LONDON - ITV1's coverage of Manchester United's 2-0 defeat by Barcelona in last night's Champions League final drew 7.9m viewers, according to unofficial overnight figures.

The 7pm-10pm programme managed a 33.1% share of all viewing.

The audience peaked at 10.3m early in the second half, which was someway short of the record peak of 14.3m when last year's Manchester United v Chelsea final went to penalties.

The final in 2007, which saw Liverpool fall to AC Milan, drew 7.7m viewers.

The popularity of the football meant that for once BBC One's 'The Apprentice' failed to dominate the ratings.

Its audience totalled 6.5m at 9pm-10pm, giving it a 24.9% share and peaking at 7m in its final 15 minutes when the match was over and Sir Alan fired candidate Howard Ebison.

'Grand Designs' was the best of the rest, giving Channel 4 1.8m viewers and a 6.7% share -- another 200,000 watched in on Channel 4+1.

BBC Two and Five were restricted to fewer than a million viewers each.

Five put Harrison Ford movie 'Presumed Innocent' on at 9pm-11.30pm, garnering 800,000 viewers.

On BBC Two Armando Iannucci spoke on behalf of John Milton's 'Paradise Lost' as part of the channel's poetry season., attracting 700,000 viewers -- a 2.4% share.

Later at 11.30pm-12.30am on BBC Two 'The Wire' brought in 400,000 viewers and a 5.4% share.

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