River Cottage Autumn cooks up 3.1m viewers on Channel 4

LONDON - Celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall returned to television screens last night in 'River Cottage Autumn', earning Channel 4 a bumper 3.1m viewers, according to unofficial overnight figures.

The audience easily beats the previous series average of 2.2m viewers for 'River Cottage Spring' when it was aired during May and June.

Last night's opening episode of the new series captured a 13.6% share of the audience between 8pm and 9pm. Including Channel 4+1, the programme pulled in 3.4m viewers.

The show was followed on Channel 4 by 'Bobski the Builder', which pitted British and Polish builders against each other in a competition to see who was better at their job. It pulled in 2m viewers and an 8.9% share of the audience between 9pm and 10pm; including Channel 4+1 it was watched by 2.2m viewers.

The 9pm prime time slot was won by BBC One crime drama 'Silent Witness', which drew 6m viewers and a 26.7% share of the audience between 9pm and 10pm.

ITV1's 'Real Crime: A Very Special Constable', the story of the investigation into special constable Nisha Patel-Nasri's death in Wembley in 2006, was watched by 2.4m viewers and a 10.5% share of the audience.

'Never Mind the Buzzcocks', the pop quiz show hosted by Simon Amstell, brought BBC Two 2.4m viewers and a 10.5% share of the audience between 9pm and 10pm.

Five's 'Danger Men', a six-part series examining some of the most dangerous jobs in the world, debuted with 1.1m viewers and a 4.6% share of the audience in the same slot.


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