Daily TV Marketplace - VE Day countdown draws modest rating

BBC One grabbed just 3.4 million viewers last night with the first of D-Day to Berlin, a three-part series narrated by Sean Bean, picking up from where last summer's coverage of the Normandy landings left off.

The programme, scoring a 14.6% market share, was a strong competitor to ITV1’s Hell’s Kitchen, the ultimate ratings winner for the 9pm slot, which gained an extra 1.2 million viewers compared to the previous nights show, giving it a total of 4.7 million viewers and 20.4% of the audience.

As another wannabe restaurateur’s dreams were shattered over on ITV1, Channel 4’s Grand Designs made one young couples dream come true with a renovation project in Gloucester that captured the imagination of 4.4 million viewers, around 18.8% of the market.

Five’s film of the evening Awol – Absent without Leave, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and Harrison Page, only managed to gain 1.3 million viewers, a paltry 6.4% of the audience.

But the double bill of Coronation Street secured 10.6 million viewers at 7.30pm, but depleted to 7.9 million viewers in the special late night edition at 10pm, that saw the grieving street morn for murderer Katie’s death.

There was more corruption and murder over on Channel 4 at 10pm, gripping 3.2 million viewers, as the mystery surrounding Desperate Housewives was further unveiled with the exposure of Maisy Gibbson’s prostitution.

Jeremy Paxman’s grilling of Prime Minister Tony Blair in The Paxman Interviews on BBC One at 7.30pm secured a disappointing 2.5 million viewers and 12.3% of the market share, only 100,000 more than his Monday interview with Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy.

By Helen Kaye