Red Nose Kilimanjaro climb pulls in 8.7m viewers for BBC One

LONDON - BBC One's Comic Relief double-bill of celebrities climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and competing in 'The Apprentice' topped the ratings last night, while Jade Goody's wedding attracted another high audience for Living, according to unofficial overnight figures.

'Kilimanjaro: The Big Red Nose Climb', which saw a team of nine celebrities including Gary Barlow, Chris Moyles, Cheryl Cole and Ronan Keating scaling Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa to raise money for Comic Relief, pulled in 8.7m viewers and a 36.5% share of the 8pm-9pm audience.

All nine made it to the summit after battling exhaustion, back problems and altitude sickness during the five-day climb, which has raised more than £1.5m for Comic Relief.

Gordon Brown praised their efforts for "inspiring a generation of kids who would never have thought about these things" and announced that the Government would give £2m towards fighting malaria.

Coverage of the climb was followed by 'Comic Relief Does The Apprentice' which this year saw Sir Alan Sugar challenging the celebrities to design and market a special Comic Relief product.

The female team including Ruby Wax, Carol Vorderman and Patsy Palmer beat the men's team including Jack Dee, Jonathan Ross and Gok Wan with their Velcro children's suit idea. It attracted 8m viewers and a 32.9% share of the 9pm-10pm audience.

The second part of Living TV's special on Jade Goody's wedding pulled in the channel's second highest audience to date with 770,000 viewers and a 3.1% share of the 8pm-10pm audience.

It didn't quite match the first part shown the previous night, which netted its highest audience of 789,000 viewers.

The final part of 'Billy Connolly: Journey to the Edge of the World' drew 3.7m viewers and a 15.1% share of the 9pm-10pm audience to ITV1.

The second part of Channel 4's 'Red Riding' drama series, adapted from David Peace's novels, scored 1.6m viewers and a 7.3% share of the audience. Including Channel 4+1 figures it reached 1.7m viewers.

It beat the second instalment of BBC Two's 'Darwin's Dangerous Idea' documentary series, presented by Andrew Marr, which netted 1.5m viewers and a 6.1% share of the audience.

Five's airing of Kevin Costner film 'The Postman' drew 576,000 viewers and a 2.8% share of the 8pm-11.15pm audience.

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