Doc Martin continues to pull in viewers for ITV

Doc MartinMartin Clunes comedy drama Doc Martin continued to pull in the viewers for ITV1 last night

The drama starring Clunes and Caroline Catz returned two weeks ago for its fifth season and ratings remain as healthy as ever. Last night’s episode pulled in 8.5 million viewers with an additional 230,000 watching on ITV1’s time-shift channel. That means the third episode had a combined audience of 8.7 million viewers – admittedly down somewhat on last week’s audience of 9 million viewers. However, Doc Martin once again had the better of The Queen’s Palaces on BBC One at 9pm. The series, fronted by Fiona Bruce, ended with 2.8 million viewers, down slightly on last week’s 3.1 million viewers.

Elsewhere last night Big Brother continued its modest performance for Channel Five with its audience staying steady on its new average of 1.4 million viewers at 10pm. It was the broadcaster’s best audience of the night though as no other show after 7pm topped 1 million viewers with The Gadget Show at 8pm coming nearest. Over on Channel Four and at 8pm Dispatches had nearly 1 million viewers for an edition on Tony Blair and the Middle East while Embarrassing Bodies had 1.6 million at 9pm.

Panorama on BBC One at 8.30pm had 1.6 million viewers which was only slightly ahead of Exposure: Gaddafi and the IRA on ITV1 later in the evening. Exposure is ITV’s new current affairs strand. As for BBC Two its highest audience of the night was for University Challenge at 8pm closely followed by Antiques Master at 8.30pm with 2.5 million viewers and Dragons’ Den at 9pm with 2.3 million viewers.